Earlier today, the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – gathered in Reykjavik to discuss the contestants participating in Söngvakeppnin 2016, the national selection for Iceland at Eurovision 2016. Today we look at Elísabet with her song “Again”. Do we want to listen to Elísabet again and again, or would we rather switch it off? Read on to find out…
ELÍSABET – “AGAIN”
Josh: “Again” encompasses everything I enjoy in a Eurovision entry–drama, soul, a great singer, and a subtle gospel choir. I fear that too many of these elements are being used at the same time though, which makes it sound quite messy, in particular the ending of the song. I struggle to imagine this song being able to fill Globen Arena without really careful staging. I do like the song. But just like when you go on a hot date– you dress up, and then remove one accessory, otherwise it’s too much.
Luis: I have to admit I’d totally love “Again” as a soundtrack. It’s well constructed — although its transitions are a bit forced in some points — and the progression of the instruments creates an interesting dark atmosphere, like a suspense film. It reminds me of the soundtrack of Borgen in a way. I’m loving that, but I have to say that I can hardly see it translated into a Eurovision stage. In fact, I can’t imagine this song staged if it’s not with a big orchestra and a choir, and with only six people allowed on stage, that’s quite difficult.
Robyn: There’s a lot of drama happening with “Again”, and a good sense of progression and musical storytelling. It builds and unfurls, but feels like it never reaches the climax it’s promising to deliver. The drums worry me, in the way that drums props at Eurovision always seem to be a curse.
William: Her mystical sound pays homage to Enya and Icelandic tribeswomen. It could serve as the inspirational backing track in biopics of Boudica, Joan of Arc, Indira Gandhi and other women who have gone to battle and left a lasting impression. And while I love her melody, the thumping beats, the production and, most of all, her powerful voice, this just isn’t right for Eurovision. It’d be like showing up to a frat party with a plate of smoked salmon rather than a keg of beer. Great dish, wrong table.
In the Icelandic jury we have seventeen jurors but only room for four reviews. The remaining thirteen scores are below!
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 4.5 and a high of 10.
BRING ON THE NEXT JAMES BOND SOUNDTRACK! This song has everything a good soundtrack needs, powerful vocals, a haunting melody, a thumbing beat and just sheer beauty. I was worried at the start that this could ge tlost, but I feel as though the minimalism (besides the end of course) could do well, if Elisabet pulls a Loreen and makes the stage in Stockholm seem rather miniscule. Captivating song – just fix the chorus at the end, it just sounds off.
This is the best song on the icelandic selection.