Over the past week the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — have been reviewing the ten acts competing in the final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2017 — Finland’s national selection for Eurovision. Last — but hopefully not least — is Alva with “Arrows”. Did she hit the target with this one? Read on to find out…
Alva – “Arrows”
Alva is a 16-year-old student who admires Zara Larsson and Little Mix and describes herself as stubborn and temperamental, but also happy and energetic. A woman with my faces, clearly! Besides singing, Alva also dances. She says her song is about being in that awkward place between friendship and romance, where you can’t be sure what the other person is feeling about you.
Chris: A very, very good pop song is sometimes all you need. “Arrows” has more weight to it than some similar songs in other NFs this year (say, Liis Lemsalu) which means it doesn’t feel disposable. It’s suited to repeat listens, even if it does get a little repetitive. But it never gets annoying, which is important. With staging too, this one could shine and be a real dark horse at UMK.
Luis: Alva brings teen pop perfection with “Arrows”. Problem: I’m not into teen pop. However, there’s good material here. This song goes straight to the point: it has an infectious chorus, and it hits just at 0:30. Her vocals are silky and gentle, and Alva exudes spontaneity and charisma. If she can deliver on stage, Finland may be shooting those arrows to Kyiv!
Robyn: “Arrows” is a masterful piece of teen pop and it’s easily one of the strongest entries in UMK 2017. My only concern is that the song can feel a little repetitive — even the music video couldn’t manage to cover up the sameness. But Alva is a hugely likeable artist and her charisma could elevate the performance.
Bernardo: “Arrows” is 100% pop, the entry every national final should have. Alva’s vocals are above average and the composition and production fit her stage persona perfectly. She shoots arrows into the dark but I only see light for three minutes. Give us that 18-year-old, boyfriend-girlfriend realness and fly to victory.
Natalie: I was into this from the very first note — it has exactly the sort of pretty, spacey production that lights my fire. Alva’s voice and the gentleness and softness in the lyrics caught me even more to the point where I feel infatuated. This isn’t going to appeal to everyone — indeed, it comes across a bit amateurish and shouty even to me, and it has a bit of the tweeny love song vibe, but the stupid little girl inside me will be utterly overjoyed if this wins.
William: With its smooth production, electro sounds and sleek finish, “Arrows” sounds distinctly Nordic and Alva can more than carry it. Her ethereal voice has hints of Ellie Goulding and there’s strength behind all the daintiness. I start to lose interest 90 seconds in, but if Alva gives this texture and dynamism (or at least some killer LED arrows) it could really come to life sung live. I’m hoping it does!
Sami: Amazing production, catchy melody and a rising star with a beautiful voice. This is a pop masterpiece, a real gem. I can hardly find anything bad to say about this. I could totally see this doing well in the actual contest as well.
Jordi: Sweet as honey! I could listen to this over and over and over and not get bored. The fresh, radio-friendly and pure sound makes this a strong contender. However, I still think it needs more dynamism as it gets too sickly-sweet in some parts. But her voice is mesmerizing, angelic and really clear… shoot me an arrow please!
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 4 and a high of 9.5.