Yesterday afternoon the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—pigged out on pickled herring in Helsinki. Then we gathered in a sauna to review Softengine’s Eurovision 2014 song “Something Better”. Did it live up to its name? Or did it prove to be something way worse? Read on to find out…
“Something Better” reviews
Angus: Ah Finland – forever trying to capture your one glorious Eurovision success story: Lordi. If Lordi were demons though Softengine are cute and sweet cherubs. This song is quite pleasant but it’s only a façade. Behind the seemingly idyllic composition, cute boys and excellent vocals lies a terrible truth: it makes no sense. It’s difficult to be convinced that they even know what they’re singing. Bless them. Maybe take a few English lessons and come back with something better next year? Ba dum dum tsss! Nice work on the bridge, though. That should go down well in Copenhagen.
Wiwi: If Buddha were an alternative rock musician, he’d write a song like “Something Better”. This is a about appreciating what you have while it’s here, and accepting that life is ephemeral and passing. Among the things I appreciate is this song.From the opening keyboard riff to the raucous bridge to the screaming finish, it builds in intensity and complexity, and each layer is better than the one before. The darkness of the lead singer’s vioce and the angry undercurrent of the song suggest he’s singing something profound. Even if the lyrics are occasionally non-sensical, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. As the only number from alt-pop-rock genre, it has a real chance to surprise in Copenhagen.
Billy: Amazing entry from Finland this year! It may lack an original sound, but for sure the lyrics, the rhythm and the whole style of this entry are perfect. It will make the crowds dance and go crazy! Softengine will give a spectacular performance, and the result will be great. I generally love this style!
Bogdan: Since we last reviewed “Something Better” back in January (wow!), I haven’t really changed my mind. This is a decent effort (minus the mind-boggling lyrics) by a decent band with cute guys and bad English skills. Towards the end of the song, Topi keeps screaming “We found”, but it actually sounds like “We fall”. Let’s hope you don’t, guys.
Vebooboo: Last year Finland shocked much of Europe with a scandalous Lesbian kiss. This year the nation will blow you away with one of the most professionally written songs of the year…and, um, it’s sung by a group of barely pubescent teens. So yeah, like size, age clearly doesn’t matter. I would say that Softengine has a bright future ahead of them, that “something better” truly does lie far beyond Eurovision…but I’m seriously worried that the lead singer’s vocal chords will be shot before he reaches the tender age of 20. I mean, seriously dude, you can’t shriek that violently and get away with it long-term. Preserve yourself, boo! But from a more selfish perspective, the combination of desperate shrieking and a much softer, catchy back-up vocal make for a delicious combination.
Deban: My thoughts on ‘Something Better’ centre on the fact that there are better songs in this year’s show. The running order could either save, or kill this song in an instant. How it fares on the night depends on many factors, including the band’s enunciation, and choreography, which both need a lot of work. Despite that, this is has the potential to be a solid stadium-rock effort. It has hues of The Killers, and Sinplus. 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 sounds so depressed and is mumbling so much at the beginning, because his song is great! I really hope he’s took a few more English lessons since the UMK final. 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 after Eurovision. Imagine the atmosphere in Copenhagen when they perform! There’s not any other song like it at Eurovision this year, so hopefully it’ll do well.
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: I’m still very sad that Mikko Pohjola isn’t representing us. However, there are quite a few ballads sung by male vocalists at Eurovision this year, so I think Softengine might stand out more as the only rock group in the contest. I have never been the biggest fan of “Something Better”, but after the UMK final it has really grown on me. I’m glad they revamped the song, because the official Eurovision version is better than the previous versions. I think they will get to the final, but I don’t know if they will place any better than Krista did last year. Krista was a million times better and had so much more personality.
Zach: Ahh, Softenvagina *err I mean Softengine, what can I say about them? Well, to put it simply 2004 called, they want their alternative rock back. This sounds like it could be a lost in the mix track on a Nickelback album from their mid 2000’s surge in popularity. Sub-par vocals, dated sound, cheesy lyrics, just all around “bleh” for me. Finland looks poised to continue their yearly qualify, not qualify record, especially with Norway being the only Nordic in their Semi Final. Where’s my Hanna Sky?
All 19 jurors review the songs, but we only have room to share 10 reviews. The remaining nine scores are listed below.
James L: 6/10
Maxim Montana: 5/10
William C: 6.7/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped before calculating the final average. We have dropped a low of 3 and a high of 10.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.19/10
You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.
Maybe I’ve listened to it far too much, but I actually don’t recall having that much of a problem with understanding the words they were singing. For the most part, it’s pretty clear. However, yeah.. the complex message probably won’t be thought about at all during the night. Hopefully the power of the song gets people voting 🙂
The song lives up to its title.
Among the blind nil point entries, this one-eyed track is truly something better.
Defo a contender.
It sounds like the soundtrack of your favourite teen movie as the credits roll. Me likey.
What a deluded comment: ‘Ah Finland – forever trying to capture your one glorious Eurovision success story: Lordi’ So how about Finland in 2009-2013 ?
Finland is also my favourite this year.
Loved Nick P’s explanation of the lyrics, otherwise I would have been none the wiser. A message based on wisdom, I am not sure the public will have time to get the meaning of what’s being sung, it will probably come over as a young rock band using an old format and looking good with it. 7/10
If the lyrics confuse you, please let me help you. They’re admittedly confusing but there’s a poeticism to them that makes them difficult, even for native English speakers. “‘Even human bound, people rolling dice. Image on the ground, such a novel life.’ he thought, While knowing nothing at all.” So we’re starting out with this guy who thinks he has the world figured out, that taking any risk is a superhuman trait and that everyone’s life path is set out. He has a poor attitude toward everything and has probably had his dreams crushed, either by himself or other people.… Read more »
My fav this year!!! Unique!!!! 10/10
I still like this song. One of my favorites for sure.
Back when there were some 8-10 songs this stood out very positively. For reasons I couldn’t pinpoint certainly, once we got many more entries this one sort of diluted. I’ve been wondering why. They sound pretty serious about this, though, like focused, which is good.
I only couldn’t then and still can’t digest the lyrics. Poetic effort, for sure, but to me there’s a thin line between poetic and spaced out which they have crossed. I wonder why this has not been discussed here, given the Wiwi people love to shred lyrics to bits 😉
The Finnish Bon Jovi!! 😀
Well, in comparison with the other songs at thia year’s ESC, this song is certainly unique. But generally speaking, I think the wiwi jury is right. Several bands were named as comparison, personally I thought of Muse (but I’m no expert), but in any case this song sounds like a leftover from a recording session of that band. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but not excellent either. It should make the final, but I don’t see it in the top 10. A 6.5 from me
Yeah, you should’ve dropped the 1.5, not the 3.
But anyways, I really don’t like this song. Topi’s voice really grates on me, and the song is pretty sub-par. Hopefully will not qualify, but chances are they will.
Am I the only one who is irritated and annoyed by the leader’s voice in the part But we fouuund something betteeer? I rank it with 6.5/10, it’s ok, but It doesn’t give me goosebumps!
I love this one! Finland is in my top 10. The new version kinda reminds me of The Killers’ When You Were Young.. but I’m not complaining. They weren’t my top favourite for UMK though, I so wanted Hanna Sky or even Jasmin Michaela for Finland, but their song is good so I’m happy with the result.
Not a winning song, but I wish them the qualification to the final and hopefully a place to at least equal Krista’s.
… and I wish people ceased to criticize everyone for not having the most perfect english, geez!
Agrerd with Sami as far as Krista is concerned. Krista is possibly the most energetic singer in recent years. In interviews where everyone else mumbled (maybe they were uncomfortable or not confident in their English?), Krista shone and brightened up every single interview. She is so funny! Team Ding Dong!!!
Surely you should have dropped a low of 1.5/10 from Anthony? Just saying