She ain’t looking for no mama’s boy. The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — recently gathered in Oslo to discuss the ten songs competing at Melodi Grand Prix, the national selection for Norway at Eurovision 2017. Today we move on to Ella and her song “Mamma Boy”. Does Ella make us want to run to our mammas? Read on to find out…
Ella – “Mamma Boy”
“Mamma Boy” reviews
William: This is very loud, slightly rowdy and very in-your-face. The sound harks back to that brash early ’80s pop sound (“Hey Mickey”, for instance) but feels somehow current owing to the production. Devoid of staging the sound grows monotonous rather quickly. But if Ella brings staging as badass as her sound, this could surprise.
Steinunn: This song is perfectly described by Ella herself; “bla bla bla bla bla”. Man, it’s boring. It’s probably supposed to be some kind of girl power anthem but it just comes out as weird and patronising. At least to me being a strong and an independent woman does not mean you have to sound like a b***h. Unless you’re Beyonce, but Ella sure ain’t no Queen B.
Robyn: This is loads of fun. “Mamma Boy” reminds me of the sassy, fun pop from early ’80s groups like Bow Wow Wow. But it doesn’t quite feel substantial enough to work as a Eurovision entry. The song gets repetitive and loses energy, which means it’s totally up to Ella to keep fuelling the pop fire.
Chris: “Mamma Boy” seems to have a legion of influences, none of which really seem to mesh well. I get some Bananarama, I get some Kesha… none of it seems to make a huge amount of sense. It’s certainly fun but by the two-minute mark, it’s already too repetitive. It’ll probably be fun on stage and it’s a nice distraction, but I don’t think I could stand to see this on repeat in Kyiv rehearsals.
Cinan: When I first heard this song, I wanted to start dancing straight away. I love the beat of the song, and I really miss this type of music at Eurovision. The song generally is awesome and I love the way that Ella sings it. I love her style too. Slay them, gurl!
Forrest: This song has somehow figured out how to warp time, as every time I listen to it, it feels like six minutes rather than just three. Perhaps that’s because once you’ve heard 30 seconds, you’ve effectively heard the whole thing. “Mamma Boy” gives off some edgy Brit-pop vibes mixed with a bit of Maroon 5, which isn’t an unpleasant combination, but this song does quite manage to do it justice.
Jovana: I read several comments that said “Mamma Boy” belonged to the soundtrack to St. Trinian’s – and I agree! I can definitely imagine Girls Aloud from their Chemistry era performing this song. I am a Girls Aloud fan, so I find it hard to be objective on this one. I’ll try to be fair and say that, musically, “Mamma Boy” is not great. But it is undeniably fun and fearless, and hence the score.
Zakaria: “Mamma Boy” is surely meant to sound like a feminist anthem à la Kesha but it comes out rather annoying and bitchy in a wrong way. Ella is trying too hard to have attitude on this song, so hard that it sounds false and irritating. I don’t even want to imagine what the live performance will sound like, I already have a headache.
Our jury for Melodi Grand Prix 2017 contains 20 jurors, but we only have room for eight reviews. The remaining 12 scores are listed 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 2 and a high of 8.