Take us to our happy place, honey! The Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals recently gathered in Olso. There we discussed the ten entries competing in this Saturday’s Melodi Grand Prix, the national selection for Norway at Eurovision 2017. Rounding out our reviews is Ulrikke with her song “Places”. Is this the kind of place we want to travel to? Read on to find out…
Ulrikke – “Places”
William: She promises to take us places we’ve never been before — always a dangerous statement when working in the genre-of-the-moment. Yet Ulrikke lives up to her billing, delivering one of the fiercest pre-choruses of the season. The chorus itself isn’t a pop-drop, but it does lose some of the momentum. Regardless, this is a solid effort and a deserving contender.
Robyn: This is a super cool dance track, but it’s a lousy song. The lyrics sound like they’ve been hastily thrown together in half an hour, and chorus sounds like they ran out of ideas entirely and just stuck with filler “ooooh” sounds. I’d happily dance to this at Euroclub, but Norway deserves a better quality entry for Kyiv.
Chris: There’s no great message behind “Places”; in many ways, it’s like an updated version of Tooji’s “Stay”. A danceable number void of any real passion and merit from a songwriting standpoint. But Ulrikke’s a very talented performer and if Norway wants to sound modern and relevant, this is obviously the song they should pick. You wouldn’t be shocked to have this pop up in a mix on Spotify.
Luis: Ulrikke rides the tropical vibe trend and she does it smoothly. Her voice is silky and warm, and she packs a lot of attitude on her singing. “Places” is a great mix of pop with EDM, and it makes a great radio hit. However, it suffers from the same fate as many other songs this year in many countries: it’s so Spotify, but it’s not really Eurovision. She’s taking me to the dance floor, but not to Kyiv.
Edd: This is the perfectly produced funky pop radio hit — but that’s its flaw. There’s clearly been so much concentration into making this song ‘perfect’ that it’s void of any personality. The underwhelming musical production doesn’t make me want to smile, cry, laugh, dance, throw a brick at the wall; it just flows past me. Let’s see if some colourful staging can save it.
Antranig: “Places” has an extremely catchy hook and is absolutely infectious, with a powerful build-up. I don’t think this will be the most suitable song for Eurovision and it is likely to become too repetitive upon further listens. However, the average Eurovision voter will hear the songs once before voting and nobody makes a better first impression than Ulrikke.
Josh: “Places” could’ve been absolutely amazing. The production in the instrumental is very 2017 and it’s ready for radio play throughout Europe right now. I fear that Ulrikke’s voice is a bit too sterile and safe for the mood this song is trying to convey. It’s a decent entry, but there’s definitely something missing.
Steinunn: This is not a bad song. But it just doesn’t get very far and there’s nothing that’s surprising or original about it that makes it stand out from other pop songs being produced at the moment. It needs some kind of ‘oomph’ to make me want to add it to my playlist. Having said that it’s still probably one of the best pop songs in this year’s MGP.
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 4 and a high of 10.