Ahead of the final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2017 on January 28, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are listening to and reviewing all the competing entries. First up is the only song in Finnish, “Helppo elämä” by Lauri Yrjölä. Are we loving the funky sound or does the song get lost in translation? Here’s what we think.

Lauri Yrjölä with “Helppo elämä”

About Lauri Yrjölä

Lauri Yrjölä is best known for touring with Finnish pop star Isac Elliot. Besides playing guitar in Isac’s live band, Lauri also has his own band Ottilia. Now Lauri is ready to launch his solo career. His song tells the story of someone who is fleeing from responsibility and trying to lead an “easy life”.

“Helppo elämä” reviews

William: The opening channels Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Heroes” and the chorus oozes Justs’ “Heartbeat”. Yet Lauri still manages to take us somewhere fresh and novel. The Nordic production is sexy and sleek, the pop-drop chorus is funky and memorable, and the use of Finnish is somehow enchanting and mysterious. Best of all Lauri has built in hills and valleys, and even introduces animalistic howling at 1:40. From the club to the game reserve, he gets it. This could win — and I wouldn’t mind it at all.

Score: 9/10

Antranig: After a solid start, this song gives us the cheapest chorus you could hope for. I’ve heard this three thousand times before and Lauri’s entry comes across as highly unoriginal. The song is trying to be very 2017 but it ends up being swallowed in the masses of 2016. As much as I love hearing non-English songs at Eurovision, Finland would do well to stick with one of their English options.

Score: 1/10

Robyn: Everything works. The production is edgy and modern, combining guitar with electronic sounds. Lauri has so much attitude in his vocals that it doesn’t matter he’s singing in a language most Eurovision viewers wouldn’t understand. The chorus is ridiculously catchy and is what keeps sending me back to the replay button. This is UMK at its best.

Score: 8.5/10

Bernardo: It was going all according to plan… and then the chorus came along. Loungy — far from what I expected. I was hoping for an explosion but I got bass-y drumbeat realness. But the Finnish lyrics give this entry a unique opportunity to stand out among the English bangers and Lauri’s voice helps it achieve that purpose. It’s good, just not good enough.

Score: 6/10

Patrick: It’s so great to have this in the national selection. I don’t know what that guy is singing about but it sounds so damn cool and the language makes this feel so special. This sound is a bit overused lately, but what he does he does well. I don’t think this would do well at Eurovision, but I’m happy Lauri is trying his luck.

Score: 6/10

Kristin: Oooooh this is smooth. A friend of mine is completely obsessed with this song, and I understand why, ’cause I’m almost there as well. It’s modern and cool, and the Finnish language (which is like THE coolest) gives it an edge and makes it stand out. Lauri himself is charming and cheeky at the same time, and is the perfect icing on this cake. Me like. Me like very much.

Score: 8.5/10

Sami: Thanks to Lauri there is at least one song in the Finnish language this year. And what a song it is! I love everything about this, from its lyrics to the production to Lauri himself. His vocals are on point and his voice is very pleasant. The song doesn’t get boring at any point, and you just want to listen it over and over again. This song would be a great representative to celebrate Finland’s 100 years of independence.

Score: 9/10

Forrest: “Helppo elämä” brings a nice mix of contemporary pop and EDM sounds to UMK this year. The electric guitar intro and post-chorus give me some Måns Zelmerlöw “Heroes” vibes and, remarkably, the pop-drop actually seems to provide the song some with some drive rather than stalling a promising pre-chorus. There’s no wow factor here, but this is a song I see myself coming back to on a regular basis after UMK ends.

Score: 5/10

In the UMK Wiwi Jury, we have 19 jurors but only room for 8 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Anthony: 6/10

Chris: 6/10

Dayana: 5/10

Edd: 4/10

Jordi: 6/10

Josh: 9/10

Jovana: 6/10

Luis: 6/10

Natalie: 7/10

Ramadan: 8/10

Rezo: 2/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.

WIWI JURY VERDICT: 6.35/10

SEE OUR LIST OF UMK 2017 RANKINGS HERE

FOLLOW ALL OF OUR FINLAND EUROVISION NEWS HERE

29 Comments
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Manu
Manu
4 years ago

@laszlo Completely agree! Antranig has overly biased opinions.

Rita
Rita
4 years ago

This is one of my faves so O hope he does well.

laszlo
laszlo
4 years ago

Antranig hates everything that isn’t Scandipop or sung by a diva

If he can’t use the word “slay” or “queen” to describe it/them then he gives it 1/10

Kungen
Kungen
4 years ago

instead of “Heroes”, I would suggest “Ghost Town” by Adam Lambert

an esc fan
an esc fan
4 years ago

Finland (and other countries too) needs a song in their language, after Sandhja 2016 and the jokes that were made about misheard english lyrics.

deli
deli
4 years ago

I am surprised to hear that this song has poor production. I could understand that refrain may by polarazing, I could understand comparision with Justs etc. but not that this song has a poor production.

Lagead
Lagead
4 years ago

Guess what – to me as a native in Finnish his articulation sounds terrible, and those lyrics are just so cheesy… just saying. Most probably don’t care since it’s not their native

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 years ago

Overrated.
In the middle of Finland’s ten song selection for me I’m afraid.

AngieP
AngieP
4 years ago

It’s an interesting song, with a strange sound I really like. Finnish lyrics don’t bother me.

beccaboo1212
4 years ago

When Ireland’s JESC 2016 representative Zena Donnelly performed “Bríce ar Bhríce”, she decided to sing he last chorus in English. So if Lauri wins UMK, he might wanna record a new version of “Helppo elämä” by singing the last chorus in English as well. 🙂

RodrigoPinto
RodrigoPinto
4 years ago

This is my favourite song so far in the whole national selection process!!
I really hope this wins UMK!! #GOFINNISH

MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease
MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease
4 years ago

Nice song!

BUT – UMK at is best is not this I think. It’s when Finland enter something “bonkers”(in a positive sense!). Some totally uncomercial, uncompromised, that few other countries would even DARE – even if they would. Like the autist band with their (great) punk rock song in 2015. Brilliant! AND daring- UMK at it’s VERY best! Could you imagine Denmark or Sweden, with their safe pop song dare that? No – niether could I! No wonder Finland is the best Nordic ESC country to me 🙂

Z24
Z24
4 years ago

This is my winner.

Finnish elevates this entry tenfold and, while obviously inspired in past entries, is original enough on its own to be seen as “the trend”. Love the video aesthetic and the Daft Punk feel. Here’s hoping this can go to Kiev, I see some really classy staging.

9/10

(J)ESC Fanatic
(J)ESC Fanatic
4 years ago

I agree with Bernardo. This song starts so well and when you expect a killer chorus, you get one that doesn’t fit at all. Both the verses and the chorus work on their own, but not together. Still, I kinda like it, the Finnish language sounds amazing and I also fancy his voice.

6/10

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

This song is great, and the music video is really good. I suggested on YouTube that he keep the theme from the video for the live version, and Lauri replied to me!! 🙂
Interactive planning, I love it.

Tomas Patrick Davitt
Tomas Patrick Davitt
4 years ago

His voice is gorgeous in the studio version – I hope he keeps it up in the live version. He really sells the Finnish language in this song so I hope he keeps it if he wins

Maria
Maria
4 years ago

I love this song! I hope it wins UMK 🙂 This would be something modern and different, though he has the same good loungy sound as Justs. Finnish is gorgeous!

Vanessa
Vanessa
4 years ago

This is my favorite one in this years UMK

vlvikin
vlvikin
4 years ago

I love this song!

esconly
esconly
4 years ago

Mediocare song…
6/10

cheesecake
cheesecake
4 years ago

Fantastic song, I’d love seeing this in Ukraine.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

Very polarizing, as I expected. I think this song is atrocious. The production is cheap, and his voice has no chemistry with this type of music.

Paul D
Paul D
4 years ago

I would love to see this at ESC but it doesn’t seems very likely…

James
James
4 years ago

*praying

James
James
4 years ago

I’m raying to the Eurovision and UMK gods to let there be a song in Finnish competing this year.

fikri
fikri
4 years ago

i love this song so much.

Héctor
Héctor
4 years ago

This is easyly my fav song from the UMK. I agree with most of the comments that highlight the Finnish language, it makes the song so cool! Also “Helppo Elama” has a modern and original sound with a catchy chorus. Maybe the start is better than the chorus, but in general is a solid contestant. In fact, I think he deserved a higher score, like 7/10.

Lauria, Gunther or Emma for the win!

Laura
Laura
4 years ago

We need more house/lounge/club/edm -songs to Eurovision.
This is a really good one. He can also sing and perform.

dutchie
dutchie
4 years ago

Another deep house track, just like Justs last year. Both not very original within the genre, but for Eurovision standards it’s quite refreshing.