The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is currently reviewing all of the songs and acts taking part in the Finnish national final, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2017. Today we move on to Anni Saikku. Are we ready to reach out for the sun with her or is the heat too much? Read on to find out…
Anni Saikku – “Reach Out for the Sun”
About Anni Saikku
Twenty-one-year old Anni Saikku lives in Helsinki and loves the sea. Like many other UMK singers, Anni has taken part in The Voice of Finland. Some of her Eurovision favourites include Loreen’s “Euphoria” and Loïc Nottet’s “Rhythm Inside”.
“Reach Out for the Sun” reviews:
Sami: I really enjoy this song and most of that is down to Anni’s beautiful voice. I also like the lyrics, though in the chorus they get slightly repetitive. I have no idea what is happening in the music video though, so I hope they have different ideas for the actual performance.
Robyn: This is a very nice song, but it’s exactly the sort of song that would be a semi-final casualty at Eurovision. There’s little that’s memorable about it. The uplifting, folky lyrics might touch some listeners, but it’s the sort of song that would evaporate from viewers’ memories soon after.
Bernardo: Anni’s voice is everything. Deep, sexy and inviting, it gets me hooked from the very first note. “Reach Out for the Sun” is lyrically so well constructed that I might forget how instrumentally weak the chorus is. I wouldn’t mind seeing this at Eurovision, but there are at least two better songs.
William: This has one of the strongest openings of any song at UMK: sound lyrics, steady progression and a sexy-yet-sweet voice that channels strength and vulnerability all at once. Unfortunately the stellar opening verses give way to a pop-drop chorus that leaves me wanting. She reaches out for the sun but stops and touches her shoulder instead. The song is good, but she is great. I hope to hear more from her after the contest.
Luis: Build, build, build, build and then… destroy everything you did in the past minute because the chorus is the flattest thing ever. Anni has a sultry voice, and she manages to get you into the song in the verses, but then the chorus comes and everything vanishes. I’d even say it’s lazy — it’s a pop-drop taken to its maximum, and that’s not what a Eurovision entry needs. As we say in Spain, it feels as if Anni had horchata instead of blood running through her veins.
Anthony: “Reach Out for the Sun” is a pleasant, inoffensive piece of chart-pop built around Anni’s vocals. The instrumentals are slightly reminiscent of Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer” but manage to sound current and modern. The chorus could do with a bit more oomph to it though. It’s a decent effort but Finland will be hoping to avoid an unwanted hat-trick of semi-final exits in Kyiv.
Antranig: The opening bars of “Reach Out for the Sun” are reminiscent of Sia’s “Alive“. While this never reaches the epic levels of Sia, it is definitely a respectable UMK entry. Lyrically it is very strong and Anni is on point vocally. While it might not stand out as the obvious choice for Finland, sending Anni to Kyiv would not be a bad idea. Overall, a strong entry.
Jordi: I have fallen in love with the timbre of her voice. Joining her tone with this song, it really brings inspiring and moving rhythms. However, the chorus fails to deliver. By having such a strong bridge, Anni had me dreaming of touching the sun in the chorus. But I’m left standing in one spot! Even so, I still find this entry pretty intriguing and touching. It just needs more strength in the chorus. The rest is untouchable.
In the UMK Wiwi Jury, we have 19 jurors but only room for 8 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
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 3 and a high of 8.