Halló, velkomin til Reykjavíkur! With Söngvakeppnin 2017‘s first semi final just around the corner on February 25, the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – decided that it was time to give our expert opinions on all of the competing entries in Iceland‘s Eurovision selection.
So today we gathered at the Gulfoss waterfall on the Hvítá river in the southwest of the country. We could barely hear each other, but still we managed to discuss Linda Hartmanns and her entry “Obvious Love”. Was it a bit too obvious? Read on to find out…
Linda Hartmanns – “Obvious Love”
About Linda Hartmanns
On Twitter she describes herself as a singer/songwriter who has gone from “choir singing to a hip hop group to an all girl lesbian rock band.” The mother of three found time to write a song about obvious love, as well as competing on The Voice: Ísland.
“Obvious Love” reviews
Robyn: “Obvious Love” is the best ballad in Söngvakeppnin 2017. Linda has a versatile voice, effortlessly moving from delicate to strong. The strong has good progression, and the electronic edge saves it from sounding too traditional. But at the same time it feels formulaic, like a calculated Eurovision ballad. Weirdly, the song seems to suddenly end, making it sound like a longer song clumsily cut short for Eurovision.
Jason: “Obvious Love” is quite formulaic and well, obvious, in its approach. However, in this case, it is not necessarily a bad thing. This is like Eurovision ballad 101, but done very, very well. Linda’s voice is pure and strong, and she knows how to sweep us up and take us on a journey. With another singer, “Obvious Love” would not be as good. My only dislike is the super abrupt ending.
Chris: Linda’s voice is obviously the star for the majority of the song. She does just enough to get me to around 90 seconds in and then I’m ready to check out. The final chorus finally changes things up, but by then it’s practically just damage limitation. I think this is actually one of the songs that really would benefit from using the Icelandic version, simply to be “different”. Otherwise, it’s too obvious for its own good.
William: Another day, another woman in pain howling into a wind machine. We’ve heard it all before — and frankly we’ve heard better versions of it. Linda has a great voice — no doubt. But if you’re going to bring a ballad it needs to stand out. This just fades into the chorus of shouting starlets.
Kristin; This is such a nice song to listen to and Linda’s voice gives it just the right amount of feeling, without overdoing it. “Obvious Love” might not be the right choice though. I am fairly certain that 2017 will be the year of ballads with female vocalists, and this would probably get lost. But for a ballad maniac like myself, this ticks all the boxes. Beautiful, just beautiful. But not a winner.
Forrest: If 2017 is going to be a year of ballads, this is a solid example of how they should be done. “Obvious Love” almost seems to assemble itself in front of you, each verse and chorus building beautifully on what came before. Linda’s stunning vocals give the song a solid core from beginning to end. I do wish, however, that the finished product of the final crescendo was shown off for a bit longer, rather than ending in such an oddly abrupt fashion.
Dayana: The beginning of the song is really promising, but then it turns into a dull ballad. Thankfully Linda’s magical voice improves the overall impression and makes you want to listen to “Obvious Love” until the end. All in all, it’s a great entry for Söngvakeppnin, but not such a great entry for Eurovision.
Deban: Linda’s magical voice harbours a wide range of emotions. Her mature take on lost love is what elevates this from a clichéd Eurovision ballad into a richly textured pop number. Unfortunately, the abrupt ending robs all the aforementioned merits.
In our Söngvakeppnin 2017 Wiwi Jury, we have 20 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 3.5 and a high of 8.5.