It’s now time for the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — to get started on the 43 songs that will be competing in Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm. Our first port of call was Oslo, where we visited the Fram Museum to learn all about polar ships. Afterwards we sat down to discuss Agnete and her song “Icebreaker”. Did she melt our hearts? Or we were we left cold? Read on to find out!
Agnete – “Icebreaker”
Angus: Norway have been building to a winner the past few years and in Agnete they have their girl! Every time I hear the tempo changes it hits like an iceberg to the face and I want more. The dance-pop elements are icy cool, the chorus a vocal tour de force and the staging dazzling. “Icebreaker” has everything a modern winning song needs.
Bogdan: The surprising tempo change reminds me of Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast”, where the chorus is slower than the verses, and I applaud the courage of the songwriters who dared to swim against the tide. In this respect, “Icebreaker” will stand out in May and it will be interesting to see what the juries and the viewers make of it. I expect a lot of fan support, the likes of which Agnete enjoyed at the end of the Norwegian suspense-filled final.
Deban: “Icebreaker” wields a mattock in both hands as it redefines notions of Eurodance. Agnete’s vocal delivery, although lacking in grit, possesses a pop-soprano quality that sharpens this number. Nothing is lamer than predictable pop! Agnete knows this, and delivers a rescue package laced with killer-suspense, creativity and a banging hook. “Icebreaker” puts me in a trance.
Padraig: Is Agnete really comparing herself to a ship with a strengthened hull? It’s certainly not the most romantic of metaphors. But it may be apt considering the amount of lyrical clangers she has to deal with. Unlike most people, I don’t find the tempo change jarring. It does, however, leave me underwhelmed. When I’m teased a Cascada-esque banger, I expect a Cascada-esque banger. The two-in-one approach may have wowed the Norwegians, but Europe will prove harder to please.
Robyn: This song is really growing on me, though that’s not necessarily a good thing when performers only get one shot in the semi-finals. The staging at the national final was a mess, from Agnete disappearing from view as she walked down the stairs, to the poorly executed dancer in a box, to Agnete’s alarming talon-like false nails. The tempo change is unusual and unexpected on first listen, but the if song’s presentation can be strengthened, it could do really well.
William: With smokey vocals and raw sensuality, Agnete doesn’t just break the ice — she melts it! Initially I found the tempo change jarring. But on repeat listen I’ve come to love it and the dubstep that follows. This has the darkness of Margaret Berger but Agnete fills it with light. I prefer the live version to the studio take, as Agnete mixes power, soul and vulnerability so well. Bonus points for the effective use of smoke. There’s clearly a geyser beneath her glacier and I can feel the heat!
Mikhail: It starts off generic but nice. And then the tempo change comes and I want to mute it. It is simply annoying. The shift is not smooth and it hits you like an electric shock. Ultimately this is two different songs stitched together. When you have two snowballs and slam them together, you don’t get a nice big snowball, you get a weird ass mess.
Denise: The tempo change sounded a little weird the first time I heard it. Now I don’t even notice it anymore and it’s just a really good song. That it’s changing all the time grabs your attention. I also like the staging and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the same thing in Stockholm.
Patrick: Let me be honest with you. Agnete was not my favourite at all. When I heard the song the first time I was really confused and pretty much hated it. But seeing it live changed my mind completely. Agnete needs to work on her vocals, but she has time. The song is modern and the staging amazing.
Mike: Initially I thought that the Norwegian national final was really bad and that the winner didn’t matter. But the more I listen to this song, the more I love it. At first the change in the chorus seemed really weird, but for some reason it makes sense now and fits the song. Gabriel Alares, who co-wrote the song, told me the lyrics have a special meaning for Agnete and that they revolve around a friend of hers who was previously addicted to drugs. This should take Norway back to the Top 10 for the fourth year in a row.
Tobias:“Icebreaker” is written by the Swedish songwriter, Gabriel Alares, who also wrote Russia’s entry last year. This song is a mix of Loreen’s “Euphoria” and a typical Sia song. The performance makes it a lot stronger. I don’t think Agnete’s voice is on point during the whole song but you don’t think of that while you look at this gorgeous artist. I think Norway will be in the top ten this year, but this is not the winner.
Judit: I love Norway, believe me, but I simply can’t love this song. The music is OK but the lyrics… “I’ll be your icebreaker/When you’re stuck in frozen water.” Really? Maybe it’s my fault, and I’m not creative enough, but for me it’s just annoying, nothing more. Sorry Agnete, it’s not my cup of tea.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 7.5/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 10.