Hej Norge! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has arrived in Norway, sailing into a scenic fjord. While we take in the sights (and plenty of smoked fish), we’re also discussing JOWST‘s Eurovision 2017 song “Grab the Moment”. Are we reaching out or just letting go? Read on to find out…
JOWST – “Grab the Moment”
JOWST is the stage name of Norwegian songwriter and music producer Joakim With Steen, who appears on stage in a mask. Earlier this year he teamed up with singer Aleksander Walmann, the runner-up on The Voice of Norway in 2012. Together the pair entered Melodi Grand Prix 2017 — Norway’s Eurovision selection — with their song “Grab the Moment”. In February JOWST told wiwibloggs that the mask is a way to let viewers imprint their own image onto him — making him a symbol of their own aspirations. “When I’m on stage I don’t want to be an idol, but someone people can look up to….other people are seeing this and I want them to think they can also do this. That’s what the song is about — grabbing the moment and doing stuff.”
“Grab the Moment” reviews
Robyn: “Grab the Moment” is one of my big favourites of 2017. I’m so glad that Norway are sending a catchy piece of electro pop. My only concern — all the prerecorded backing vocals and vocal samples from MGP will need to be performed live in Kyiv. This could totally change the sound of the song, but at least the amazing middle-eight is still going to be intact.
Deban: This entry fails to grab me. I struggle to relate to the distorted vocals which may eventually reshape when performed live. Even so, the staging, production and instrumentation all sound formulaic. Also, JOWST’s masked DJ irks me. It’s a passé, gimmicky concept that strips out the soul that “Grab The Moment” may have had. Musically, this is a disappointing turn for Norway.
William: A largely linear song, “Grab the Moment” bypasses swells and plunges, opting instead for a steady stream of electro sounds. The melody is repetitive, but it never feels monotonous, perhaps owing to the inspirational sound and decidedly contemporary production. Alexander’s earnest delivery balances optimism with just the right amount of edge and grit, avoiding the saccharine quality that so often comes with get-up-and-get-em tunes. I’m a fan.
Kristin: That was an unexpected win! “Grab the Moment” might not grab you at first listen, but on second and third listen it totally gets you. There is a chance that it could be JOWST’s Achilles heel in Ukraine, but it’s more likely that they will fly into the finals and actually give Norway a decent result. “Grab the moment” is not a winner. However, it flows effortlessly and the boys have a nice and approachable charisma about them.
Chris: On first listen to the studio version, “Grab the Moment” didn’t really grab me at all. The talk-rap was annoying and the distortion in the chorus frustrating. Live, however, this does pop out quite a bit. Obviously, there’ll be changes to it for Kyiv, which makes it more of a mystery again. If it does take people a while to warm to the song, that doesn’t bode well for JOWST and Aleksander’s chances at Eurovision. Hopefully, that immediacy appears in Ukraine.
Forrest: In a rather lacklustre lineup at Melodi Grand Prix this year, “Grab The Moment” was an instant standout. It is attention grabbing from the first note, and the vocal sampling is cleverly used to drive the song along, especially in the first pre-chorus. It remains to be seen how that will come across live in Kyiv, but Aleksander’s vocals are strong enough that it may actually improve live, even if dulling the electro edge.
Luis: There are so many things to like about “Grab the Moment”. The tune is a very current piece of electro pop with sleek production. The performance is very well thought out and, despite being very elaborate, it feels carefree. Norway has a very cool entry, but that may be its biggest fault. It’s bound to be a nice interlude between two stronger entries.
Steinunn: To be honest, I couldn’t even remember what song it was when I heard who had won this year’s MGP, but this entry sure has grown on me. It is a clean yet cool piece of electro pop with inspirational lyrics and some very cool staging. Even though the song itself is a bit repetitive, JOWST and (mostly) Aleksander manage to grab your attention and keep you interested through the whole song.
In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.26/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!