The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Iceland to review the acts of Söngvakeppnin 2018. Up first is Ari Ólafsson performing “Our Choice“. Was this our choice for Eurovision? Read on to find out!
Ari Ólafsson – “Our Choice”
“Our Choice” reviews
Antranig: As a vocalist, Ari is clearly one of the best in the Icelandic selection. As a song, “Our Choice” is terribly ancient and sounds like it is older than Ari himself. The Icelandic version “Heim” may mask some of the poor lyrics but it still sounds equally dated. Ari could do really well for Iceland one day with his vocal talent but it won’t be with this song.
Robyn: No. I am very unhappy that this song exists. This song stands out because most of Söngvakeppnin 2018 is so sleepy. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good song. This is horribly dated, dredging up tired old “love love peace peace” lyrics. The last time ballads like this were on trend was in the mid 1980s and nothing has happened that suddenly makes this relevant.
Jonathan: After starting off as a piano-driven ballad, it was slightly surprising when “Our Choice” transformed into a rockier number. This at least gives it drive and helps it build throughout, but it additionally gives it a rather Eurovision 2010-12 vibe, making the song a number of years past its prime. The song also works better in Icelandic, specifically due to my lack of knowledge about the language, thus I can pretend Ari isn’t singing the same cliché “love love peace peace” lyrics of the English version.
Aline: A song which can grab your attention from the very first second. Ari has a soft voice, which I really love. I also really love the lyrics, which deliver a really strong message. I really hope Ari can deliver the high note in the song, because if not, this could ruin the song and his chance of going to the final and that would be really sad as the song itself is pretty good.
Barnabas: A really heartfelt pop-rock ballad, with a universal message, which soars into epic heights when he hits those high notes. What more can be said? A solid choice if it gets a chance to win.
Chris: Ari would be much better served entering “Heim”, rather than “Our Choice”, in this selection. That’s mainly because it would hide the cringeworthy, generic, “heard it all before” lyrics of the English version. Ari seems much more focused on his vocal tricks than the song. But even after a few of those, they get tiresome.
In our Söngvakeppnin 2018 Wiwi Jury, we have 10 jurors but only room for 6 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 2 and a high of 8.
Beautiful voice and nice melody. I really enjoyed his performance on Saturday. I’ll agree it’s a bit dated but it’s good.
At some point, if someone leans in enough to old Eurovision styles and kinda crossbreeds them with modern trends, you could get a Carly Rae Jepsen/Troye Sivan sort of happy medium. This, sadly, does not reach those heights, but if you go deliberately anachronistic as opposed to unintentionally anachronistic, it could work. On the regular pop charts, I’d use songs like “Uptown Funk” or “Shut Up and Dance” as examples. In Eurovision, I’d point to “Je n’ai que mon ame,” “Take Me to Your Heaven,” “Rise Like a Phoenix,” and “Amar pelos dois” as examples of how a song that… Read more »
Like an Irish 90’s entry. Still funny that some people think these songs can still work now.
I know that Eurofans are not very keen on ballads, especially old-fashioned ones, but I believe that Icelandic finals in general is being under a lot more criticism than it deserves too. Sure, they don’t have many songs, maybe not even one that can be considered an ESC winner material. But, at least all of them sound like proper songs, well produced in an actual studio, unlike the majority of Belorussian and Moldovan entries and half of Romanian ones. Our Choice is definitely a heavy material for young Ari, even though he has a great voice to perform it. It’s… Read more »
0/10 ! We share the same name, but that’s about it. I really wish Thorunn Erna Clausen would stop sending songs to the Icelandic selection, she is just SO BAD. Her songs could have been written by a six-year-old and still be considered insufferably bland. Ari is not doing himself any favors by accepting to sing such a pathetic excuse for a song with lyrics that are among the most abysmal I have ever heard. Now, Iceland has let me down as whole this year so it almost doesn’t matter what this send. But, please, do not go with this.… Read more »
I’m confident this was stolen from a 90s Disney movie soundtrack. Even though there’s worse in this selection (can’t wait to see your reviews for Saviors and Gold Digger, I hope y’all dragged them hard), Robyn’s comment made me scrihm. But then again three-fourths of the Icelandic songs this year aren’t worth more than 2/10!
Hahah.. clean that earwax dude, saviours and Gold Digger will end up as the two songs on top.
It’s a very basic ballad and wouldn’t do well in the contest. The singer is too young for the deep message the song has.
Kristian Kostov was only 17 for one of the darkest love songs in recent Eurovision and he came 2nd.
Beautiful Mess dark? A Katy Perry saying “Prism is a dark album” tea. Sis, it’s as dark as a spotlight.