The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues its look at the contestants in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, reviewing the acts battling it out for the four remaining places in the final via the andra chansen round. Next is Isa, who has returned with the emotional “I Will Wait”. Did we think it was worth the wait? Read on to find out…
Isa – “I Will Wait”
“I Will Wait” reviews
Angus: Blonde teen dance Isa is dead. Moody artiste Isa has taken her place and although “I Will Wait” is 360-degree departure from “Don’t Stop”, it is definitely the more compelling of the two entries. It lets her vocals shine and the song will be an absolute killer for whoever has the misfortune to be drawn against her.
Deban: “I Will Wait” had me spellbound from the very start. The choreography — although appearing rather simple — is richly layered with movement that’s very effective. This is a big ballad that cleverly avoids being saccharine. Instead, it packs power and punch.
Padraig: I feel like I should appreciate this much more than I actually do. In fact, with such world-class staging it almost seems wrong to seek fault. But I have issues with Isa. Her vocals are perfect, too perfect. Rather than a dark ballad of heartache and pain, “I Will Wait” comes across more like a stage-school showcase. Isa’s voice is completely unwavering, there’s not even a hint of a tremble or a quiver. She never truly inhabits the song. If she’s not emotionally invested, how can she expect the listener to care? No amount of vocal acrobatics can substitute for the lack of feeling.
Robyn: Isa has gone from the girl next door of “Don’t Stop” to the young diva of “I Will Wait”, but it feels like like it’s still a work in progress. She’s a great singer, but she isn’t quite delivering a believable performance. It comes across as very precise, very rehearsed — and a raw emotional song like “I Will Wait” needs a rough, unpredictable edge.
Tobias: The 17-year-old Isa is competing for the second time in Melodifestivalen. Last year she entered with “Don’t Stop”, which was a more uptempo song. This year she is doing a powerful ballad, kind of the opposite. I feel she has grown up a lot since last year. She is more mature now and I like the new sound of Isa. First I doubted she would do well singing a ballad but it works. The staging is one of the most interesting in this year’s Melodifestivalen as well, making you curious of what will come next. Overall, a good song with cool staging. Isa for the final for sure.
William: The staging is beautiful, her vocals are flawless and the choreography is simple and dramatic. Yet for some reason that all adds up to something a tad boring. Isa is a star and the melody and song simply aren’t bright enough for her. This feels like a triumph of production over music. It’s just not clicking for me.
Chris: Can we please have fun Isa back? “I Will Wait” doesn’t do her anywhere near enough justice and feels like a very forced attempt to make her in to a “serious artist”. The staging is altogether better done, in various forms, by other artists this year. Isa does the best she can get with what she’s been given, but it feels like she’s been hard done by from the outset this year. It should still make the final, but I can’t see her being the comeback queen.
Josh: I was quite surprised to hear Isa only making it through to Andra Chansen, as I thought it was a safe qualifier to the grand final. Nonetheless, “I Will Wait” is power, beauty and fierceness built into a three minute song. Memorable staging elevates the song to a very high standard. This will be tough to beat in Andra Chansen!
Max: Isa brings polished drama to the Melfest stage with “I Will Wait”, which shows off her powerful voice to the full. The well-executed and theatrical stage presentation compliments the intensity of the song. However, in spite of its cascading choruses, it lacks emotional impact. Ultimately, “I Will Wait” feels like an overwrought “Undo”, and for all its calculated power, lacks the sense of sincerity that songs of its kind require.
Steinunn: Isa has definitely grown a lot since last year, when she was like the poster-child for teen pop. Now there is a tad more drama in the air. The staging is really good and interacts very well with the melancholia of the song. I can’t say that ‘I will wait’ is the best pop song I’ve heard, but it has a familiarity to it that at least makes me want to listen to it again. Isa delivers without too much effort, or so it seems, so I believe she is going to take Andra Chansen with a storm and make it all the way to the final.
In the Swedish Wiwi Jury we have 26 jurors but only have room for 10 reviews. The remaining 16 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 5 and a high of 10.