Earlier this week the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — headed north for Melodi Grand Prix 2016, Norway’s selection for Eurovision. Next song comes from Laila Samuels. What kind of aftertaste did her song “Afterglow” leave? Read our reviews to find out!

Laila Samuels – “Afterglow”

https://youtu.be/7HgF81246kM

“Afterglow” reviews

William: I like the chorus and it makes an impact — the first time around. But on repeat listen I get very bored very quickly. I’m not feeling the verses — she sounds Enya on barbiturates. She does loud and she does soft, but drama doesn’t come in two volumes alone. Ultimately I find the whole thing a tad forgettable.

Score: 5/10

Chris: Oh, I want to love this song so much and it’s just making it so difficult for me. “Afterglow” will need some killer staging for it to reach its peak, because somewhere in this song there’s greatness. Unfortunately, right now, it builds and builds to nothing. Laila’s voice is giving me life — please, NRK, make this work.

Score: 7/10Afterglow Laila Samuels Cover Melodi Grand Prix 2016

Robyn: I love the feeling of this song, the moody, folky feeling, an epic story told. But despite the theatricality, there’s no gripping sense of involvement. It makes me think of Iceland’s “Never Forget” — that song had the same epic Nordic feeling but it demanded the listener’s attention. “Afterglow” is strong, but it doesn’t know how to make the most of its strength.

Score: 6.5/10

Edd: Hello “A Monster Like Me” 2.0. Laila has a catchier melody and a more eery production than Deborah & Mørland, although she lacks the wow moment in the final chorus where all the production comes in. Conclusion: a good song that goes nowhere. If they want a safe result in May this would be a good bet, but Norway sending another ballad this year would just be a cop-out when they have such a fruitful line-up this year.

Score: 4/10

Laila Samuels Afterglow Melodi Grand Prix 2016 Norway Lyrics

Antranig: There are so many similarities between “Icebreaker” and “Afterglow” but while “Icebreaker” is having an identity crisis, Laila knows exactly what “Afterglow” is and she owns it. This is dark, sexy and takes me on a journey for three minutes and it would have no trouble keeping Norway in the top 10 once again. I’m confident nobody can deliver Norway a better result than Laila.

Score: 10/10

Steinunn: I love this song. It’s not the best I’ve heard from Norway, but it sure is my favourite this year. It has all the elements of a good Norwegian song: an enchanting singer, a little bit of mystery, a bit of Scandinavian melancholia. I’m putting this on my playlist right now.

Score: 8.5/10

Renske: “Afterglow” is dark, mysterious and surprising. It wants you listen more and experience the afterglow. The chorus sounds confident, but after it’s repeated a few times it gets a bit predictable. If Laila can deliver a Margeret Berger performance, then this song will make waves.

Score: 8.5/10

Liam: The “A Monster Like Me” similarities are too obvious to handle, but it worked for Norway last year, so who’s to say that it won’t work this year? This is giving me Lana Del Rey vibes (I love Lana Del Rey). “Afterglow” is something I would add to my “Get ready to cry” playlist.

Score: 10/10

Sami: I have mixed feelings about this one. Laila has great voice, but it sounds little too produced in this song. The shouts in the background on the verses are very confusing and bit scary too. It’s a bit of a mess, but I don’t mind listening to it once or twice. It will obviously reach the superfinal, but there are few songs I would pick to represent Norway over this.

Score: 6/10

Deban: “Afterglow” has some great ideas but it needs more than three minutes to tell a story. The first minute, although dull in comparison, was necessary to build up to the grand flourishes at the end. Laila is a top class act, but she needs more room and creative freedom to make this entry more compelling.

Score: 7.5/10

In the Norwegian Wiwi Jury we have 25 jurors but only have room for 10 reviews. The remaining 15 scores are below!

Josh: 8.5/10

Bogdan: 10/10

Mikhail: 9/10

Denise: 7.5/10

Luis: 7/10

Zakaria: 7/10

Bernardo: 8/10

Mario: 4.5/10

Cristian: 7/10

Maria: 4.5/10

George: 8/10

Dayana: 9.5/10

Ramadan: 10/10

Patrick: 9.5/10

William C: 9.5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 4 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 7.76/10

FOR OUR LIST OF NORWAY 2016 RANKINGS, CLICK HERE

FOR MORE NORWAY EUROVISION NEWS, CLICK HERE

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dimitris esc
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dimitris esc

This is by far the best song in Norway this year!

Tavi
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Tavi

This is the best song that will win the selection -_- , you did the same with Mikael Saari , you gave him a low ranking , he will win UMK , as well as Laila will win MGP 😀

PP
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PP

For me best song in MGP 2016, then song Laika.

David Who
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David Who

I myself have written folk-influenced songs in the past, but none of them come close to the feelings “Afterglow” evokes from me. Laila’s voice on the song is stunning as well. My only criticism is that it has perhaps come along in the wrong year. Norway has sent out two depressing songs to ESC in 2014 and 2015, so it’s realistically looking for something a bit more cheerful and fun this year. I adore “Afterglow,” but unfortunately it’s the right song in the wrong year.

olive
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olive

I know this will win, but I still prefer The Hungry Hearts for Stockholm, it’s much more original and catchy. Afterglow is something that we have already seen in Eurovision a million times before

Marshpan
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Marshpan

I don’t think we should punish the song for exemplifying what Norway tends to do best in the competition. It’s gone so far by this point that I’d probably a little disappointed if Norway didn’t send in a ballad this year… Not to mention that Norway doesn’t tend to do well with more up-tempo and upbeat songs, mind you. I’ve seen this song get a lot of hype on Tumblr and on the internet, and I can certainly see why it garners that attention. It isn’t the best song nor the most innovative one I’ve encountered, but it certainly engages… Read more »

fikri
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fikri

recent norwegian entries all have an ethereal sense to them and this fits perfectly with them. i love this entry and i want to see it competing in stockholm.

Ezako
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Ezako

I absolutely adore this song and I’ll be so gutted if it doesn’t win! For me it’s perfection and it’s my favourite from all the selections (along with Darline in the UK). The somewhat “abrupt” ending makes it more grand and just makes me want to listen to it again.

I’m surprised by some low scores. Agree with Antranig- Laila is Norway’s best bet.

Alex
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Alex

I agree with Deban on this. What this needs is ritardandos and accelerandos, just like My Heart Is Yours from 2010. The song just ends suddenly, too. It’s like they tried too hard to jam the song into three minutes.

But what’s there is nonetheless very good.

Kaiser
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Kaiser

Easily the best song in the Norway selection this year. If the public do the right thing and pick it then I see no reason why this won’t finish top five.