Earlier today the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—read aloud from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and then boarded an EasyJet flight to Stockholm so that we could review YOHIO’s Melodifestivalen song “To the End”. Did the song keep our attention for the entire three minutes? Or were we more interested in whether he’s had plastic surgery to look Japanese? Read on to find out…
“To the End” Reviews
Deban: Yohio was the bridesmaid last year. He came second to Robin Stjernberg at Melodifestivalen. I was in Stockholm when the frenzy was going on, and to be honest, I simply couldn’t get my head around the buzz. “To The End” is a slight improvement on last year’s “Heartbreak Hotel“, but lacklustre nonetheless. Perhaps this could be attributed to his lack of energy on stage. Lots of fireballs, Harajuku rock costumes, outrageous hair and makeup. Good elements, but Yohio needs to deliver too.
Padraig: I don’t get Yohio. He looks like a real life anime character, and has the voice of a Jedward. I’d expect some sort of k-pop cum euro-trash sonic fusion. But instead we get a bit of generic soft rock. Uninspiring lyrics, perfunctory vocals … I think I’ll stick with Finland’s Softengine.
Anthony: Having suffered “Heartbreak Hotel” after losing out to Robin Stjernberg last year, YOHIO is back “To the End” of this year’s final. Unfortunately, I’m not really a fan of Yohio but on the plus side, “To the End” is much more Eurovision friendly and a slight improvement from last year’s entry, which may have been a tad overhyped. My biggest concern is that the juries at the Eurovision Song Contest may not take kindly to Yohio’s glam rock genre. It didn’t go down well with the international juries last year, so there’s the possibility of lightning striking twice.
Angus: There is a ring of truth to the argument that YOHIO is all style and no substance. ‘To The End Of The World’ is enjoyable enough but most of it is about the personality around YOHIO rather than any musical qualities. He may have been the televoters’ favourite in 2013 but I can’t see any repeat success this year. There are better songs and much better singers. He is an unquestionable showman though and for that he gets bonus points.
James: In terms of the act, I really like YOHIO. If he has the opportunity to represent Sweden, it’ll surely attract a lot of attention and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But my fear is that the Swedish public are only voting for the act and not the merits of the song, sort of reducing YOHIO to a ‘freak’-show. YOHIO’s been participating for a while now, gathering all the support he can and I certainly would not be angry if he won. The song is radio-friendly, but I know that it will be forgotten. All Europe will remember is an image and not the performance. Still, it’s an impressive performance nevertheless – I do love me’ pyrotechnics.
Patrick: Ah… Yohio is back again. In my opinion “Heartbreak Hotel” was much better. His voice is not bad but sometimes he loses the power in the middle of the song. “To the end” has a strong chorus and nice lyrics. I’m really not a fan of it, because it don’t shows any emotions and it’s nothing new. I really liked his song from the last year but this song is not comparable to the other acts in Melodifestivalen 2014. I’m sure his young teenage-fans will vote for him but will he receive points from the judges too?
Sami: “Heartbreak Hotel” was more memorable, but I like “To the End” much more. It’s not that weird, but still there’s something unique and Yohio’s voice is lovely. I don’t think it will win, but I’m sure I will play it a lot after the contest. The performance is also very beautiful and I like his styling much more this time.
Ramadan: Yohio is so freaking fake. It’s All About You, oops I mean “image” not ‘You’ (Hello Albania 2010). I’m not a fan of this song or his last song. This sounds like a rockier version of Ulrik Munther 2013. Sounds like a million other songs, most of them better than this. I cannot see this doing well in the final of Melodifestivalen.
Franceska: The intrumentals have some 80s/90s vibes, yet they don’t deliver. Yohio’s vocals don’t complement the song, are a little weak, and carry no “oomph”. Lyrically, it’s ok. It has the inspirational vibe with a mix of relationship ish that appeals almost universally. I like it, yet I’m afraid of Sweden’s placing if they send this. It’s run-of-the mill. It hurts me to see Yohio send such a mediocre song. Maybe third time’s the charm?
Zach: Everyone says you either love or hate Yohio, but I’m actually just kind of in the middle. “Heartbreak Hotel” last year wasn’t my favorite, but I appreciated the variety it brought. “To the End” is actually a little more mainstream in sound I feel, and I actually like it a little more. The lyrics are kind of cheesy, the kind you hear from that B-Class band that had a hit but you can’t quite remember them. His singing fits this song more, and it’s evident he’s improved a bit. But, like David Lindgren last year, I think his second attempt won’t be as fruitful.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.40/10
Final ranking: #5 of 10