Sweden’s Melodifestivalen is a musical tour de force. Every year eliminated entries are of such high quality that they could easily crack the Top 10 of Eurovision. The 2012 contest is no exception. But even in this strong field, there’s one song that rises above the rest: Loreen’s “Euphoria.”

The Swedish North-African songstress is no stranger to Eurovision pre-selections. She competed last year with an empowering number called “My heart is refusing me.” Sadly Melodifestivalen voters refused her too, and relegated her to the andra chansen (second chance) round. Although Loreen didn’t win, her song went on to chart in Sweden’s Top 10. Empowered by that experience, she’s back with an even fiercer package in 2012.

Loreen: Crazy, sexy, cool

“Euphoria” is an electro-pop song with dark undertones stretching across four octaves. It’s non-stop wailing pleasure. Written by ESC veterans Thomas G.Son and Peter Bostrom, “Euphoria” is better than anything Benny Bennasi had ever dreamt of and makes the listener yearn for more. Loreen’s vocals evoke pain and suffering, but at the same time, she uses it as an instrument to prod you to the dance floor.

Although Danny Saucedo is rumoured by some to be the favourite based on how many folks have Googled him, Loreen has topped the Swedish download charts. Her Youtube videos are getting more hits. There’s a huge pre-order demand for the physical release of her single, surpassing that of every other contestant. And, perhaps most importantly, she is currently leading the WiwiBloggs.Com poll to determine “Who Should Win Melodifestivalen 2012.” As of Sunday night, she had 57% of the vote compared to Danny’s 8%.

The production team behind her entry give “Euphoria” the perfect treatment. The entire staging is in shadow effect. It’s minimalist—she shares the stage with only one other dancer towards the end—and at the same time visually captivating. Her costume design embraces the postmodernist tailoring of Rei Kawakubo. And the choreography is also a form of high art. Part urban, part butoh and created by Bounce Streetdance Company, this is contemporary dance at its finest.

WATCH:

If quality still matters at Melodifestivalen, then Euphoria deserves to win hands down. Apart from the song being the strongest vocally and lyrically, Loreen showcases something fresh. All the production elements stand on their own as works of art. Their combination remains cohesive, taking this act to another level. In a year of pompous crooners and milkmaids high on crack, ESC could use the lift.

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[…] Deban: Loreen’s performance transcends borders. She’s an African girl with the essence of a contemporary geisha. She executes movement and belts out her voice in perfect synchronicity to the back drop of what could be a barren Kyoto wasteland. It is conceptual, yet so relatable. “Euphoria” provides the perfect template for a thousand remixes. Its Japanese elements offers the perfect recipe for Pan-Asia chart success. Furthermore, the entire performance can be deconstructed, theorised, and still remain wholesome. Regardless of the ESC outcome, I’m convinced that Loreen will inspire many acts. The contest isn’t always about winning. It’s equally important to… Read more »

Gavin Brockwell
Guest

The day has arrived… Will their be tears? Will their be cheers? I’m not actually sure I can face the voting! Bring out the Kopperberg… It’s the only way I’ll get through it tonight!

Remi
Guest
Remi

I’m not sure I share the same opinion and excitement as Deban……firstly are we assessing her singing ability fused with entertaining tendencies; or are we simply judging the artistic proficiency of the people responsible for her wardrobe & staging? Secondly, was she really singing or wailing or……….? Is it me, or did anyone else think Jackie Chan meets Florence Welsh on a drunken pub crawl? I’m certainly not jumping out of my seat to reach out for my dancing stilettos; and that’s coming from someone who partly lives to dance. That said though, I have to credit her originality and… Read more »

Emma
Guest
Emma

Oh dear, looks like I’m one of the only Danny supporters here. Loreen is great but, just like Greece has, Sweden might just have hit a winning formula. For the past three years, Greece sent male-dominated ethno dance numbers with memorable staging (Sakis’ diving board, your favorite homoeroticism of OPA!, the breakdancers of 2011) and they’ve always hit the top 10 and gotten respect for it. Sweden hit the top 10 for the first time in five or so years in 2011 with Eric Saade–why not keep it that way? After all, Danny practically *is* Eric Saade with blond hair,… Read more »

Francisco
Guest
Francisco

Very well written.

salt
Guest
salt

Loren <3

Mr Häggkvist
Guest

YAY… This Is So True, Nice Entry Deban!!!

Gavin Brockwell
Guest

THIS IS THE BEST POST YOU HAVE EVER WRITTEN… EXCITING… COME ON LOREEN,