Yesterday the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – travelled to Finland, where we visited the northern town of Rovaniemi. Under the glow of the Northern Lights, we discussed Sandhja‘s song “Sing It Away”. Did it sing all our troubles away? Or did it hit a bum note? Read on to find out!
Sandhja – “Sing It Away”
“Sing It Away” reviews
Bogdan: Is this written by the same team who wrote Barei’s song? With similar verses, instrumentals, and lyrics, I find “Sing It Away” equally tedious. Plus, I don’t find any redeeming qualities in Sandhja’s voice either. She seems to get tired before she even makes it to the bridge. Not a very good impression overall.
Sami: After last year’s PKN incident — what I could call a catastrophe — Finland is sending a song that you actually can take seriously. Finland’s national selection UMK is getting better every year and we had many great songs in the final this year. In the end, Sandhja was my second favourite there and I’m happy she got chosen. “Sing It Away” is a real feel-good song with uplifting message. I love Sandhja’s voice and look and I’m glad she gets a chance to show all that for big audience. The camera work and the whole stage performance at the national final was bit messy so I hope they change that at the actual contest. Next to that, I really think Finland deserves a place in the final this year.
Robyn: It’s a little ominous that “Sing It Away” didn’t manage to win the UMK public televote, but Sandhja has an amazing voice and can effortlessly deliver the song in proper disco diva style. The only weak spot: for a song that’s about singing your troubles away, Sandhja looks quite angry when she’s singing it. A line like “There’s no need to be carrying a frown” doesn’t work when it’s literally sung with a frown. I’m not expecting a stage-school permasmile (and I know all about resting bitch face), but if Sandhja can bring some genuine joy to the performance, it will soar.
Angus: If Sandhja had been handed a song like “Hunger” or “I’ll Be Fine”, she would knock it out of the park. Unfortunately she has to make do with “Sing It Away” which seems to put a ceiling on her vocal and force her down from diving off into crazy beautiful vocal gymnastics. All the soulful promise of the opening verse evaporates into a fun, but frivolous chorus that wastes her talents.
Chris: There’s nothing wrong with “Sing It Away”, so I can’t exactly mark it down. Maybe it’s not the most original track we’ve heard all year, but Sandhja is a good performer with a good song. The issue is that’s all that “Sing It Away” is: good. It never aspires for greatness, or to be a Eurovision winner, which often makes me feel like there’s no point it being here. A filler track that’s enjoyable for three minutes and won’t last in the mind much longer than that.
Kristin: Well, well Finland. Once again, you’ve proven that you don’t give a toss about what other people think, and I beg you NEVER to change! I was totally on Team Mikael Saari, and like others, I was gobsmacked when Sandhja just stormed in and took the trophy. Surprising results, but not bad at all. “Sing It Away” has a retro late ’90s ring to it, and a good one as such. But Sandhja sweetie, please drop the Miley Cyrus attitude with the tongue and peace sign. Other than that, I’m perfectly okay with this.
Cristian: After Belgium, Finland also brings us a retro touch of ’70s. “Sing It Away” is a danceable track which, sadly, does not remain in your mind. I listened to other songs by Sandhja and I don’t see this song as her best offer for the Eurovision. However, it puts a smile upon my face and that’s important.
Deban: Sandhja is a talented emerging artist saddled with a slice of disposable pop. “Sing It Away” leaves you with a firmly average first reaction that verges on annoying when you hit the ‘repeat’ button. I admit the presence of a positive lyrical message. However, that shouldn’t excuse it from having an engaging musical structure. The silent interlude at the two-minute mark is a good pause. Unfortunately, by then, I’m thirsty for a completely new song.
Padraig: “Sing It Away” was one of my early favourites in Finland. The studio version makes for a vivacious three minutes of radio-friendly pop. But things go awry on stage. Sandhja simply comes across as too aggressive. She sings with a ferocity that’s unwarranted for such a light-hearted song. And then there’s all the frowning – why? The track will certainly go down well at Euroclub, but it’s doomed to stay in the semis at the actual contest. Even if Sandhja does manage to project the appropriate emotions, the entry lacks the flourishes needed to standout.
Rezo: Sandhja is an excellent singer and has a great vocal. But while the song is good, it’s also very ordinary. Finland won’t come top this year. The song lacks variety, and could see Finland repeating last year’s result.
Tobias: It is not a song that attracts me at all. I mean, it’s an OK song, but nothing more than that. I don’t remember it after I’ve heard it and sadly I think this will not qualify for the final.
William: Talk about a tease. The first 30 seconds set up a modern and potentially amazing EDM track. Then she goes all disco, a genre well past its prime and one I cannot access on any level. The horns in the chorus are irritating and the hook isn’t one I’m keen to hang on to. Fine production but you really can’t polish a turd.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 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 9.