Over the next two weeks the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music un-professionals—will be reviewing and scoring all 12 of the acts competing in Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, Finland’s national selection for Eurovision 2014.
Last night we packed our painkillers and sharpened our claws and headed to Helsinki to review Softengine’s #umk14 song “Something Better.” Did we fall under the band’s spell? Or did we think that there was, in fact, something better? Read on to find out…and then share your scores with us in the comments box.
Angus: The percussion and piano keys combined with the blending male vocals make this pretty fun to listen to. The diction will need brushing up though if they actually expect to make the Final and the overall mix of the song could do with some work too, it feels like they can’t decide between stadium anthem or intimate wrought sing-song.
Bogdan: I think the lead singer looks up to Coldplay’s Chris Martin for inspiration, which is not a bad thing. Unfortunately, the song is not as strong as any of the British band’s, although it’s a decent effort. It might win UMK and it could sound and look better on the stage in Copenhagen, but it’s not something that I would vote for in 2014. It’s rather dated for my taste.
Deban: I didn’t know that this song was sung in English until I heard the line ‘..while knowing nothing at all’. Despite that, this is a solid stadium-rock effort. It has hues of Sinplus. “Something Better” is credible, and at the same time, memorable. I like the ingenuity behind the group’s name too. A clever oxymoron for an emerging pop-rock band.
Katie: I don’t know why the lead singer is looking depressed and is mumbling so much in the beginning, because his song is great! The chorus is definitely the best part, where the electric guitars really kick in. Softengine are a brilliant band, and I’ll keep listening to this song even after UMK and Eurovision. Just imagine the atmosphere in Copenhagen if this song was performed there…
Padraig: They may have the look of a boyband but stylistically Softengine are more akin to the likes of 30 Seconds to Mars or Biffy Clyro. And they are certainly a step above the soft rock bands which we’ve become accustomed to at Eurovision. But then that wouldn’t be hard. With its rousing chorus the song merits multiple listens and I LOVE the keyboard riff. It’s just a shame that the lyrics seem to have been written using Google Translate, resulting in random bouts of meaningless gobbledygook.
Sami: The singer has a great voice, I like the melody and the live performance, but I’m not the biggest fan of the song. The words sound a little stupid and the song has been heard a million times before. They look like the perfect boyband though.
Wiwi: The Killers meet Nils Brinck in Softengine, one of the more current-sounding bands in this year’s UMK. Softengine’s lead singer has a sweet voice which works well with notions of longing and forlorn love. Pop rock is always borderline to make the finals at ESC—hello Switzerland 2012—so choosing Softengine will always be a risk. Even so they deserve serious consideration. This is my soft rock jam, y’all.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.5/10
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It makes no sense to write a song like this for Eurovision, with that high note repeating in the chorus, if you can’t hit that high note with any consistency. It’s catchy, with a nice piano line. Shades of Sinplus, however, are NOT a good thing. The lead vocalist needs to enunciate better!
The studio version which deli linked is MUCH better than the original. But this is in part because the vocals aren’t live. 6/10
Gotta say, I wasn’t even paying attention to the lyrics lol! I do love the song though 😀 Enough to win? Not sure. I can see the genre being off putting. But awesome enough to make it on my music list 🙂
To Wiwi-team: you should also take into account new final versions of all songs because they are available.
New version of ‘Something better’ is really something better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c1P0jY4kVE
I’m not keen! I can’t understand a word that the singer is saying and the song doesn’t really go anywhere. Something just doesn’t feel right about it; to me, it just seems a bit disjointed. 3/10.
My favorite UMK entry. 7/10 at the moment but hopefully they’ll fix some of the imperfections before the final. 🙂
I almost liked this one, but I thought the lead singer’s voice was a bit weak on the higher notes….plus it is reminding me of something, driving me crazy here….oooh Jesper, that’s who!
Hmmmm. A bit predictable. I give them a 5
Adequate contemporary generica. Possibly the most immune to specific criticism or distain, but equally immune to enthusiastic support.
They’re a decent enough band, but a poor use of three Eurovision-minutes: There’s no point in sounding like that safe radio station playing constantly in convenience stores everywhere.
I’ve listened to these types of bands all the time in US. They’re pretty generic much like Softengine. But with that being said I do like the song. The lead singer does need to work on his diction but his voice does have some charm. Plus he’s pretty yummy. The performance was pretty static and boring. Hopefully if they go to Copenhagen they’ll liven it up. But, I do like the song and it’s a great effort. So I give- 7 points.
There’s really nothing about them to me that sets them apart from any other Coldplay-inspired rock band. The song is mediocre and the singer has average vocals, nothing special here.