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”

“Battleline” reviews

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.

Score: 8/10

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.

Score: 8/10

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.

Score: 6/10

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.

Score: 9/10

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.

Score: 4.5/10

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!

Score: 6/10

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:

Barnabas: 7.5/10

Bogdan: 4.5/10

Chris: 7/10

Sebastian: 6/10

 

 

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.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.62/10

Read all our Söngvakeppnin 2018 Wiwi Jury rankings

Read more Söngvakeppnin news

15 Comments
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AngieP
AngieP
2 years ago

It’s not the most original song I’ve heard. However, I like the dynamic it has and the strong chorus.
6/10

Ari
Ari
2 years ago

Cringeworthy and amateurish, I wish this team of so-called songwriters would stop infiltrating the entire European national final landscape with their generic and meaningless rubbish. Something like this being accepted just makes me think that the real Icelandic songwriters who actually can write a half decent piece of music do not want to participate for whatever reasons.

Iceland is pretty doomed this year either way, I believe. However, I would pick one of the couples. They’re harmless, at least. Harmless is as far as Iceland can go this year.

Colin
Colin
2 years ago

Duets can be tricky due to difficulty of matching harmonies. Group songs multiply that concern. When I saw the picture of five performers, I was afraid this was going to be a total trainwreck. Luckily, they sound great (at least in the studio version). They have good energy and it’s very catchy. That said, the lyrics are very basic and kind of cheesy. But their energy carries it higher.

7/10

esc freak
esc freak
2 years ago

Easily the best song in the selection. Totally agree with Robyn’s review.

7.5/10

Kris
Kris
2 years ago

There is no doubt! This is Iceland’s best chance at qualifying this year.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 years ago
Reply to  Kris

Not in a million years. This song is so formulatic and the English translation is appalling, especially with that stuttering in the chorus.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 years ago

It WON’T qualify but it might still be their best chance. What exactly is the alternative?

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 years ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Here for You, of course.

Kris
Kris
2 years ago

That’s my number 2 ! But this one is clearly better!
Atleast this has some power in the chorus , while here for you doesn’t have a power moment. It just plods along nicely. I’ll stick with my word.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 years ago
Reply to  Kris

A powerful chorus didn’t do anything for Timebelle, I don’t expect it to do anything for these either… the lyrics are truly unlistenable. If they send the Icelandic version they have better chances!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 years ago

I prefer Here for You, too.
Don’t think there would be much of a difference at Eurovision though. Think both songs are far away from qualifying.

Lilja
Lilja
2 years ago

Too bad that they are not the best live singers

Kris
Kris
2 years ago

Our eyes may cry once in a while but I’ll wait forever!! Whether you lose or whether you win……..

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 years ago
Reply to  Kris

I know you’re trying to quote some song but I am sorry I forgot about it along with the rest of Sweden the day after the final of Melfest 2017.

Kris
Kris
2 years ago
Reply to  Kris

A 7.5/10