This week the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — met up and rated the six songs of the first heat of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2016, Finland’s selection for Eurovision 2016. Today we are reviewing ClemSO with “Thief”. Did he steal our hearts or did we want to call the cops? Scroll down to find out!


“Thief” Reviews:

William: ClemSO brings the heat of Nigeria to frigid Finland with this soulful afrobeat number. This isn’t my kind of music and yet his voice — as smooth as hot chocolate — is drawing me in and making me want to commit so many sins. This song is not for Eurovision, which may be why I like it.

Score: 8/10

Edd: When I heard the word “Afrobeat” I was super excited – expecting an upbeat, exotic banger. Sadly my expectations were not lived up to. His voice is weaker than an alcopop (despite all the autotune) and the same can be said for the production. The language sounds cute (especially the “ti ti eh” in the chorus) but it ain’t making up for a dead song.

Score: 3/10

Sinan: Yaaas the beat, ummm like dat! This really makes me dance, which I love to do, so I don’t care about the music video or the lyrics. This song slays — my body tells me so.

Score: 8/10

Sam: While light and easy to take in, I don’t feel like there is much to hold on to in this song. It’s three minutes of “in one ear, out the other”, making “Thief” an easy non-finalist.

Score: 3/10

Luis: This is both easy to listen and easy to forget. I appreciate the Yoruba language, but as he doesn’t really emphasizes it in any point of his song (hello, it’s the first time we listen to a Nigerian language in a national final!), it ends up sounding like a bad pronunciation of English for a non-native. Plus, ClemSO’s voice is so weak that there is no way this song can be enhanced from any point, because the background music isn’t specially engaging neither.

Score: 2.5/10

Robyn: On first listen, I wasn’t a fan of this, thinking it sounded like a cheaply produced demo by a bedroom MC that has been given a slightly less cheap remix. But I’ve come to like it, but more as a good ‘n’ dirty club track than as a UMK contender.

Score: 6/10

Kristin: OK, so I’ll never get those three minutes of my life back. There should be a rule within EBU against boredom like this! ClemSo, bless his heart, tries to entertain, but its all white noise, and his over relaxed attitude makes him look just as bored as I was. This leaves me totally empty.

Score: 2/10

Antranig: I’m a sucker for a Eurovision song in a language we don’t normally hear. “Thief” is the “Haba Haba” of 2016 and it’s a catchy upbeat number. I don’t think ClemSo will qualify from this semi but I’m having plenty of fun with this one in the meantime.

Score: 8.5/10

Max: This is distinctive and enjoyable, but lacks progression and a solid hook. The language definitely suits the song and distinguishes it from the rest of the field, but as an entry that only reveals its goods upon repeated listens, I don’t think it is likely to win over UMK viewers who will only see ClemSO perform once. 

Score: 5.5/10

In the Finnish Wiwi Jury we have 17 jurors but only have room for 9 reviews. The remaining eight scores are below!

Maria: 5.5/10

Josh: 3.5/10

Ramadan: 2/10

Denise: 4/10

Bernardo: 4/10

Dayana: 4/10

Cristian: 6/10

Mario: 3/10

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 2 and a high of 8.5.




Photo: YLE

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4 years ago

I didn’t think much of this when I heard it for the first time, but it has grown on me since. Now I can easily imagine myself digging along to it at a club. But he won’t stand a chance in the first semi-final. There’s no time for people to get into this during the broadcast and appreciate it for what it is.

I’ll put it this way, the song gets 7/10 from me now, but in the UMK context it goes down to 2/10. I’m still glad it’s in there though.

4 years ago

lol Afrobeat is not a ‘banger’ genre
femi and fela kuti are afrobeat, this is not
however, this is also a really really good song and to date the only one I’ve actually bought on iTunes so far
lyrics are also kind of clever; he mentioned aso rock and a couple references to nigeria so that’s pretty cool

4 years ago

This has become my favorite in UMK this year. It strangely reminds me of last years’ Belgium candidate Loïc Nottet. Even though musically they are very different, they both have the similar modern and oh so smooth touch.

4 years ago

No thanks.
I feel like I lost minutes of my life.

4 years ago

Every time I hear this song, I like it more. Maybe it isn’t right for Eurovision, but it is right for my ears. 9/10

4 years ago

Such a low score for an incredible song

4 years ago

Love it! In my top 3 in UMK this year! Love his voice too. Reminds me of Youssou N’Dour (seven seconds). I don’t agree that this is not for Eurovision. I think any song style should be for Eurovision. Yay for diversity!