Melodifestivalen 2016 is on and Malmö is already on fire! Earlier tonight at the Elite Hotel Savoy, SVT treated members of the accredited press and Sweden’s Melodifestivalen club to the full three-minute songs competing in semi-final 2. We sat down with our laptops and notepads and here’s what we remember. It’s hard to deduce how this semi will go down — after all, we only heard studio versions of the songs, so no live vocals and obviously no staging. In our mind it’s Wiktoria and Victor och Natten for the win! Of course, that’s not likely to happen as this semi-final of death features some seriously big names with strong songs of their own. In any event, here’s what we thought…

DAVID LINDGREN — “WE ARE YOUR TOMORROW”

Memorable lyrics: “A million candles in the space, we are your tomorrow, we’ll find a better way ignite a higher flame”

This starts with an electro howl, which almost sounds like Azerbaijan’s 2015 entry. But that very quickly dissipates as David Lindgren comes into focus. There’s a lot of electro going on here, yet it’s definitely not a club banger. It’s too sweet and earnest and inspiration-seeking for that. “We are your tomorrow, we’ll find a better way…” Yawn. It’s exactly the kind of song you’d expect someone to write in the middle of a migrant crisis and it’s also exactly the type of song you’d expect from David Lindgren — but without that amazing wall of sound from his earlier numbers.

This gets a little monotonous by the second verse and the chorus starts to sound very High School Musial. At one point some female backing vocalists come in and chant “We are your tomorrow.” They sound like they are the ghosts (okay, “angels”) who were haunting Jon Henrik Fjällgren last year! Ultimately this is disposable and forgettable and I cannot remember the melody an hour later. But David is an amazing performer and will likely elevate the so-so song. After all, he’ll be using lasers!

My ranking: 6

Where I think it’ll end up: Andra Chansen

MOLLY PETTERSSON HAMMAR — “HUNGER”

Memorable lyrics: “We are dust but I keep chasing, you can’t be the one I need, but I’ve got a hunger”

She’s got a hunger — and she’s also got one hell of a soulful song that continues the feel and vibe of “I’ll Be Fine”. In fact, I’m pretty sure she sang this song last year. There’s a vintage quality here — it’s clearly modern yet could fit in almost any era with its bluesy-funk feel.

Molly opens the song with a series of long notes, showing off her power and control, before the beat and the production pick up. She peppers her “Hunger” with Robin Stjernberg flourishes and when I close my eyes I hear some of the great African-American female jazz and blues singers. It’s like she’s hiding them in her hair or something, because this has a lot of power behind it. This song is big enough for her to spread out her voice, and ultimately it’s all about showing off her vocals. Some will call it vocal masturbation, others will call it pure pleasure.

My ranking: 5  

Where I think it’ll end up: Andra Chansen

VICTOR OCH NATTEN — “100%”

Memorable lyrics: “Have heart on the right side but my brain is lost 100 percent”

When I saw that a rapper would compete in Melodifestivalen I braced for the worst. But this is actually all kinds of amazing. It starts off with the tap-tap of the piano, which guides you through three delightful minutes of sunshine pop. Drums and plenty of hand-clapping feed the upbeat sound and help give this major drive and push. The three minutes speed by. While it nods to his urban roots with some spoken-word sections, it won’t alienate fans of bubble-gum pop. He recently told us that he listens to Justin Bieber and One Direction and we totally believe it — this is well-produced and deserves to be a pan-European hit!

My ranking: 2 

Where I think it’ll end up Andra Chansen or OUT

ISA — “I WILL WAIT”

Memorable lyrics: “You make me feel like before you I wasn’t alive, I know we’ll fall all the time but I still wanna try”

Whereas Molly rides the wave of her Melodifestivalen 2015 song, Isa has decided to catch a new one. She’s gone for a dreamy power ballad that sees her working her lower register during the verses and holding rather long notes during the chorus. She’s clearly a woman missing her man, but at times the pain and agony makes me lethargic and makes this feel a little dull. That said, she works the vibrato well and the choral backing gives her extra fire power. She will need to be vocally on-point to make this work live, but if she does (and we know she can) she may blow the roof off the Arena. I see a wind machine, a flowing dress, shadows, a single dancer and a ticket direkt till final.

My ranking: 3  

Where I think it’ll end up: The Final

KRISTA SIEGFRIDS — “FALLER”

Memorable lyrics: “Perhaps this is just as it should or crazy but what the hell do I know”

This isn’t your father’s form of schlager — it’s fresh, sweet, fragrant and elevated by some seriously modern production. The pace is upbeat and fast from the beginning, with Krista working soft vocals to the point she sounds angelic. But of course this is an angel who dances and as the song builds you can hear her breathing deep to sustain the pace. The chorus is big with some major thump and at this point Krista belts it out like all the lyrics end with exclamation points. The backing vocalists are used to great effect, shouting FOR YOU! They sound like Swedish cheerleaders — a tad cheesy, but they do make you want to cheer. This is way better than Anna Book’s schlager from last week. Even so I worry Krista is going to finish in fifth place. Fingers crossed for Andra Chansen though.

My ranking: 4 

Where I think it’ll end up: Out

PATRIK ISAKSSON, TOMMY NILSSON & UNO SVENNINGSSON — “HÅLL MITT HJÄRTA HÅRT”

Memorable lyrics: “I have always stood here by your side and I want to be with you, I love you”

After all those ladies it’s time to bring out the Swedish meatballs. Patrick, Tommy and Uno surprised me — I thought this song would be very 1988, but it’s actually quite hard to date because of its underlying folksy vibe. The opening starts with a single vocalist — he sounds torn and contemplative. Drums come in, as do his fellow singers, and the chorus swells in a pretty emotional way. It’s surprisingly dynamic and feels less repetitive than some of the entries that precede it. At time it’s got a swiling, 1960s sound, at times there are flashes of ageing boy band. The ending fades to one singer who sounds really pained. Pass the tissue! Not my cup of tea, but it’s surprisingly enjoyable.

My ranking: 7  

Where I think it’ll end up: Out

På plats i Malmö Arena ?????????? #melfest

A photo posted by W I K T O R I A (@wiktoriajohansson) on

WIKTORIA — “SAVE ME”

Memorable lyrics: “Sorry mama I ain’t been in touch but I ran out of money gambled all my luck”

Nashville meets Stockholm and I absolutely love it. From the first note Wiktoria channels the good-and-the great of country music, dropping major attitude and soul as she croons about hitting the road and getting away from Mr Wrong. Wiktoria is pissed and yet she’s an absolutely delight as she drops gutteral growls and enunciates so clearly you’d think she was from Tennessee. The melody is direct and simple and completely addictive, driven by simple guitar strumming and a very catchy beat. Unlike some of the acts in this heat, you get the sense she believes what she’s singing. By the time she hits the bridge your mouth should be on the floor (or emitting phrases like, “You go girl!”). If this song is Wiktoria angry, then I need her to stay mad for the rest of her career!

My ranking: 1

Where I think it’ll end up: The Final

Read more Melodifestivalen news

11 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
deli
deli
5 years ago

This website doesn’t fancy a success of Finnish singers.

Milla
Milla
5 years ago

Isa and Molly seems to be the ones people talk about the most. I have never liked Molly much so I’m more interested in Isa’s song. When it comes to Wiktoria’s song people say that it might sound too American. And the fact that she is not very known in Sweden could also become a problem. Maybe she will go to AC because of this. It’s going to be a tough semi.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
5 years ago

After reading the reviews, am most excited for Molly!

Comi
Comi
5 years ago

Hmmm, now you made me interested in Wiktoria’s song 😀 Though I can’t wait for Molly’s and Isa’s song 🙂
Oh and I don’t think that Molly’s same-style song is a bad thing, I mean, that style and vibe fits her perfectly!

No Name
No Name
5 years ago

The Swedish journalists favors Isa and Molly rather than Wiktoria, but this seems to be an open game. I wouldn’t count any song out so far, but I think it will be much clearer tomorrow when you get a glimpse of the performance.

Conor
Conor
5 years ago

knew wiktoria would slay I called it in December when I saw that her songwriters worked with avicii

Ruud
Ruud
5 years ago

Thanks AnesBosna! I guess it’ll probably be the same for the next two semi-finals, so I don’t have to ask again every week 🙂

Edwin
Edwin
5 years ago

Interesting! I think we all knew that the producers wanted Wiktoria in the final and I’m rather excited by it.

It’d be a bit disappointing to see Molly Pettersson Hammar go away. She wouldn’t soon be back.

AnesBosna
AnesBosna
5 years ago

@Ruud
The snippets will be avialable tomorrow around 11.00 to 18.00 CET.
Each snippet will be released around 1 hour after each of the artists rehearsal.

AnesBosna
AnesBosna
5 years ago

So the two most unknown artists in this semi gets a lot of love from the Wiwijuries.
It looks like this semi is gonna be hell of a bloodbath 😀

Ruud
Ruud
5 years ago

When will the snippets be released? Looking forward to hearing Wiktoria as well after the review!