The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Iceland to review the acts of Söngvakeppnin 2018. Up first is Fókus Hópurinn performing “Battleline”. Did they win the war? Read on to find out!
Fókus Hópurinn — “Battleline”
Antranig: In a very weak edition of Söngvakeppnin, this is miles ahead of the competition and stands out as the clear winner. The lyrics can make you cringe a little, meaning that the Icelandic version is definitely the better of the two. “Battleline” has a strong bridge which drives the song home in strong style. They’ve come for battle and they’re winning the war.
Robyn: I don’t understand why, but somehow what appears to be an Icelandic Steps tribute act is one of the best entries in Söngvakeppnin 2018. “Battleline” has energy and attitude and the quintet deliver it with expertise. Even when it gets a bit cheesy (“Are you ready to face your demons?!”) they sell it and I’m buying it. I’m not sure if this would do well in Lisbon, but at least it’s going to be entertaining.
Jonathan: There’s a reason Spain ranked “Camina” last in the Operación Triunfo Eurovision Gala, and Switzerland 2006 / Armenia 2015 finished on the right-hand side of the scoreboard. Amalgamating a group of random individuals usually ends in a bit of a train wreck as each performer (at least secretly) wants to grab the limelight. “Battleline” doesn’t help things with its rockier edge and series of long powerful notes, which could easily turn it into a vocal showdown. That being said, it is one of the few Söngvakeppnin 2018 entries I still remember the melody of after listening to it.
Aline: This is my other favourite entry in this selection. The song is building up to a great and really strong chorus. I really love the sound of the singers’ voices in the verses and when they start singing together it gets even better. I can imagine a really strong performance and I keep my fingers crossed that this will make it to the final and maybe even to Lisbon. Somehow, I’m a little bit scared that it will sound like a mess when they come to the chorus.
Luis: Look, if Spain got anything right this year was leaving “Camina” last on their national selection. Iceland should do the same. Has anyone ever listen to songs by groups of artists (not bands) at will? “Battleline” is bound to become a trainwreck on stage, with so many people singing so loudly. I’d be happy if it’s not, but even though they get their vocals right, this shouldn’t, by any means, be Iceland’s entry.
Natalie: To be honest, the idea of “fighting for love” is definitely nothing new, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t appreciate some good pop rock with that theme! Fokus are all so in synch as well, and it is very easy to be infected by them. As much as this is just a cliché of pop themes that everyone has heard a million times before, it is at least done well for what it is. I’m ready for the battlelines!
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 4.5 and a high of 9.