Today the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — finished up our tour of Norway at a disco in Oslo, dancing the night away with Bobbysocks. After we partied well into the morning, we got together and settled down to review the ten acts competing in Norway’s national final, Melodi Grand Prix 2018. Lastly we look at Alexander Rybak and his song “That’s How You Write A Song”. Can Alexander bring the winners trophy back to Norway again? Read on to find out!

Alexander Rybak – “That’s How You Write a Song”

“That’s How You Write A Song” reviews

Antranig: When a Eurovision winner attempts a return, it comes with big expectations. Lena defended her title with an amazing song. Loreen met those expectations last year despite not getting to Eurovision. Rybak, on the other hand, is arguably the most iconic winner of modern times and has come up with this hot mess. This is very fun and enjoyable but it’s also childish and forgettable. Safe to say his fairytale won’t be a happily ever after.

Score: 6/10

Bogdan: The biggest downfall of this entry are the lyrics, which detract from the quality of the song itself. Despite its undeniable catchiness, it’s still a far cry from “Fairytale” and an insult to actual songwriting. It may work as a joke entry or as a tribute to the epic “Love Love Peace Peace”. It may please some of Alexander’s fans (I doubt they’re all impressed), but no, that’s definitely not how you write a song, kids.

Score: 3/10

Kristin: My oh my, Alexander. Could it be that you’re just taking the piss now? Yes, yes you are, and that is perfectly okay. Master Rybak is definitely not in it to win it. This sounds more like him merely showing up and take part just for funsies because – let’s face it – he is never going to top his former success, and I doubt that he is even trying. So let’s just all sit back, relax, learn how to write a song and not take things so seriously! Alexander is simply enjoying life and I suggest we do the same.

Score: 6.5/10

Robyn: This is a super catchy tune, but it feels more like an educational song aimed at schoolkids. Rybak has always been this way — “Fairytale” has the same dinky style — but what was cute for a young guy now seems fatherly coming from a 30-something adult. I expect this will still do well in the grand final (kids will love it!) but it’s not the secret to a repeat of Johnny Logan’s success. It would be a perfect Junior Eurovision entry, though.

Score: 6/10

Sebastian: “That’s How You Write A Song” is kitsch, not clever. In what seems like a rather long advert for an Apple product, Rybak’s latest entry sounds dated, repetitive, and oozes far too much cheese. His scat-singing seems uninspired, in an almost lazy attempt to fill three minutes. Props to Rybak for bringing his unique style to the national final, but I wouldn’t be taking songwriting advice from him if this is his showpiece.

Score: 2/10

Our jury for 2018 consists of 15 jurors, but we only have room for 5 reviews. The remaining 10 scores are listed below.

Antony: 6/10

Bernardo: 4/10

Chris: 5/10

Cinan: 7.5/10

Deban: 3/10

Jonathan: 6/10

Josh: 6/10

Lukas: 6.5/10

Rezo: 8/10

Steinunn: 4.5/10

 

 

 

 

 

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 8.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 5.38/10

READ THE FULL MELODI GRAND PRIX 2018 RANKINGS

READ MORE NORWAY EUROVISION NEWS

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Hana
Hana
3 years ago

Perdón,
Me ha parecido que habéis dicho que la canción de Álex es para juniors?
Él es así y no deberíais pensar que NO va a ganar, porque si gana después quien os iba a ver escondiéndoos en cualquier lugar para que la gente no se ría de vosotros.Y no deberías hablar así de la única persona que este año puede devolverle la victoria a Noruega.Ni de nadie. Pero es vuestra vida, supongo.No,no lo supongo.Simplemente soy una persona que no debería estar aquí ayudando a ignorantes.Asi que…
SUERTE ÁLEXANDER!

Danka
Danka
3 years ago

Okay, so his song is for juniors.. “Believe in your dreams and go for it” . And you mean it is a crap. But then, singing about advert for Scandinavian guys, who are supposed to be very efficient in bed has high scores. Now I am glad my country is not ESC thingy so they do not play ESC songs in radios, until it is paid of course …I can live with it 😀

Josh Kennon
Josh Kennon
3 years ago

Definitely not as strong as “Fairytale” — BUT he still has a following, and the fact is, there’s only at MOST 6/as FEW as 3 “sure bets” in my eyes to get to the final from Semifina 2, & with Denmark, Poland, Sweden, & even Netherlands in this semi, he’ll have a lot more potential help than most…he just needs to deliver….

poison
poison
3 years ago

I like the song becasue I am a Rybak fan who knows all his works and so knows how very different this is musically for him – and I appreciate that he did that. But most people aren’t me and see this as a single song and as a single work, I can’t disagree much with the wiwi jury. The music is very catchy and fun to sing along with. But the lyrics need a major rewrite to be a contender. The subject matter – follow your dreams – works fine for Eurovision but the lyrics are far below his… Read more »

Cee
Cee
3 years ago

I like it, it’s fun and very feel good, but I just worry that the Eurovision audience are not going to respond to it.

Of course it’s not Fairytale, but it’s still good. Everyone would complain if he brought a dupe of that song and call him unoriginal lol. Make your minds up.

Rory
Rory
3 years ago

This is the most horrendous song in all NFs this season.
Like, literally!

Too much cringe, copy-paste, stupidities and whatnot. Childish as childish can get. Grow up Rybak!

Colin
Colin
3 years ago
Reply to  Rory

Worse than – Beauty Song (Moldova), Come To Life (Moldova), Nirvana (Romania), Butterfly (Lithuania), Are You My Friend (Latvia), Krakowiacy i gorale (Poland), Maybe It’s Love (Moldova), Love Renegade (Malta), Forever (Armenia), Stop Killing Love (Ukraine), You Are the Only One (Romania) or Tegu (Lithuania)????????

Seriously?

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin

Excellent point that needed made, Colin. =)
Seriously everyone, hyperbole just makes you look stupid.

Hada
Hada
3 years ago

Children’s music is a legit, respectable genre that requires talent and there’s no reason a children’s song shouldn’t go to Eurovision or even win. After all, they too watch Eurovision (and probably vote). We need that. I just wish artists were upfront about it instead of pretending they’re writing a regular top 40 pop song (I mean you too, Jacques Houdek…) About Alexander: This song is not on the level of Fairytale, and I don’t want him to go because I don’t want him to tarnish his legacy. You went to esc, you win it and broke records back then.… Read more »

Safiya
Safiya
3 years ago

I have mixed feelings about it. I absolutely love Alexander Rybak and many of his songs, but this is a bit childish… But on the other hand – it’s catchy, it’s very positive, so why not? I’m sure his live performance will be amazing and he definitely has charisma.

AngieP
AngieP
3 years ago

I can’t tell how much I love this guy!
The song is not that bad. It’s actually a decent song. However, I feel like the music is from a decade ago. Ex: if that was in 2008-10, it could have done well.Now, I don’t believe he would do as well. Also, it’s obvious it will be better live, the studio version doesn’t have this vibe.
The only reason I don’t really want him to go is because there is this outstanding performance in 2009 which gave him the trophy. I don’t want to see him “fall” in a way.
6/10

Melissa J
Melissa J
3 years ago

Oof, I knew Wiwibloggs would be harsh with Alexander (They always are for some reason) but this is just downright mean. There were way worse songs in other NFs this year that didn’t get so much of your ire. But I guess I just have to give up the hope that this site will ever like anything Alexander Rybak does. On the note of this song itself, I actually really enjoy it. It’s got a good vibe and a positive message (everyone has a talent). It might be about “writing a song” but I think it can apply to anything… Read more »

LILLIAN LLEWELLYN
LILLIAN LLEWELLYN
3 years ago
Reply to  Melissa J

Wise words, well said. #clapclap

Ffs
Ffs
3 years ago

LOL

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 years ago

Love it and going to put myself out on a limb here….
Performance is going to be great. His singing will be spot-on and as usual, his violin-playing will be from another planet. If Sunstroke Project can come third with less overall talent, there is no reason that this couldn’t do well. Some of you guys take yourselves all too seriously. This is going to be a lot of fun and there is a lot of talent on display. What’s more, it is the best that Norway has to offer!

Findus
Findus
3 years ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

This..! I agree 100%

Ana
Ana
3 years ago

https://youtu.be/Sbk0e_YAgOs
Have you seen it? Alexander adds violin to the other contestants’ songs ^^

I think he’s just playing with all of it. I mean, he isn’t treating it serious, but in a good way. He loves Eurovision and just wants to be part of it, no matter of results.

dani
dani
3 years ago

wiwibloggs can make a top of eurovision singers that want to come back but will never top their previous successes. the names that come to my mind are
-loreen-euphoria
-alexander rybak-fairytale
-stig rasta-goodbye to yesterday
-mihai-tornero
-waylon-calm after the storm

Findus
Findus
3 years ago

I just love this, and I’ll vote for it. For all the reasons lots of you dislike it, I love the song :=) And if the performance is cleverly carried out, I think viewers will get behind it, which means they will vote. Hopefully!

Eve
Eve
3 years ago

Omg, why the hate:( Song is nothing special, but not so bad either, and I’m sure he will be great live. Famous artists usually don’t go to esc (after seeing these comments I wonder why, jeez), but he’s brave enough to do this, and I respect him for that. Don’t know if he’s going to win NF, but I’m with Kristin on this one ”Alexander is simply enjoying life and I suggest we do the same.”
But, I still wish that violin part is longer 🙂

dabamba
dabamba
3 years ago
Reply to  Eve

^ The violin part. I had excatly same thought while listening the song. There could be little bit more in it.

Colin
Colin
3 years ago

It’s a solid entry for JESC… an odd selection for ESC. I think Alexander is quite brave to send this to ESC, since it’s not a safe bet. I assume he will have fun with it and that’s okay.

6.5/10

Colin
Colin
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin

Okay, let’s make it a full 7 for sheer fun!

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

“It’s like a modern version of Sesame Street”, said my Mother. Well just as that show used to teach lessons to children through song, this song attempts to encourage children to write a song, because it’s quite easy, according to Alexander Rybak. Rybak is a great musician, and his live abilities will stand out at MGP. The trouble is, while the song is supposed to be “groovy and encouraging”, it instead comes across to me as “patronising and annoying”, but maybe that’s because I grew up out of Sesame Street about 30 years ago. It will be nice to have… Read more »

Joe
Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

As someone who still enjoys Sesame Street, I wouldn’t count it out. Childish, sure, but it puts a smile on my face.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Indeed. Well, Rybak can put a smile on my face by just smiling, to be honest. (He doesn’t have to try so hard.) 🙂
It is difficult to be objective when I’m a massive fan of him personally, hence why I’m “torn” over this one. My professionalism says that this isn’t the best song in MGP this year. But it might be second best.

Yerevan is calling
Yerevan is calling
3 years ago

Great fun song! Deserved to be ranked beter 😉

dabamba
dabamba
3 years ago

I hope this will win in Norway 😀 I think the song is just meant to be positive, non-serious, fun. It’s catchy. The lyrics are naive, makes not want to listen it but it still lures to press play button, and makes want to dance, wouldn’t want to smile to it, but it makes smile.

Though part of the effect can be the well made music video. If they can transform the similar attitude to stage performance (which will be challenging), it will be close to win.

Candy
Candy
3 years ago

Love the Rybak, hate the song.

Miguel
Miguel
3 years ago

I hope Alex doesn’t win. He doesn’t deserve the humiliation. I like him as a person and i like his songs but not this one. The lyrics are just stupid.

Leo M
Leo M
3 years ago

Love it. It is such an unusual message and it is so much fun too. I don’t a Eurovision full of ballads or love songs, we need something more upbeat & positive and this a perfect example. I actually like it more than Fairytale.

Lucky
Lucky
3 years ago

Always interesting to read reviews from so called “experts”. Sorry to say, but it seems that some “experts” can’t let go of Fairytale, and compare every step he takes to that, or just don’t like him, and use every opportunity to show it. Fairytale was his big breakthrough but it seems also to be his curse, And that is not fair to a brilliant musician like Alexander Rybak who challenge himself in so many musical ways and genres. When it comes to MGP/ESC, it is the whole package that counts, not only the song, the lyrics, the artist or the… Read more »

Ari
Ari
3 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Power to the People! Power to the People!

An “expert” is someone who can tell you exactly why his prediction did NOT come true, after the result is known. 😉

Lucy
Lucy
3 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Obviously I prefer Fairytale to this, but it has grown on me after the shock of it being different from Fairytale wore off, however my issue is that I can’t imagine it confined to the Eurovision rules of 6 people on the stage because this song feels like a big number, with lots of people.

Miguel
Miguel
3 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

I agree with you to some extend. But… In the last ten years Norway has always been a darkhorse. Mørland & Debrah Scarlett, Carl Espen, Maria Haukaas Storeng, Agnete, Margaret Berger and Alexander Rybak himself. Even JOWST (whom i am not a fan at all). This year they will have their worst result in a long time.

Lucky
Lucky
3 years ago
Reply to  Miguel

Due to info he has posted himself there will be 4 dancers, so no problems with the “6 persons rules”

Alex M
Alex M
3 years ago

I like it.

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
3 years ago

I like Alexander Rybak, but this song isn’t very good. He can do much better.

Dogg
Dogg
3 years ago

His personality shines through, but the song isn’t good. It’s outdated and childish. It’s not a song for an adult man, near 40..

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 years ago
Reply to  Dogg

He is 31. A difference of 9 years.
I hope you don’t buy your wife’s birthday cards without help. 😉

Jo
Jo
3 years ago

What happened to Norway? Once I thought they were going to be my favourite country at ESC, but now their selection is just meh. That iced crap in 2016 really changed things for them, after the holy trinity 2013-2014-2015.

Pavel
Pavel
3 years ago
Reply to  Jo

Last year was OK, but they should have gone with the ”Wrecking Crew”

Ari
Ari
3 years ago
Reply to  Pavel

I am inclined to agree. Agnete started the downfall with her boring song. “I Feed You My Love” and “A Monster Like Me” should have won the whole contest. I liked Jowst but not the performance because the cute guy had a mask on.

Ari
Ari
3 years ago
Reply to  Pavel

Totally!

Ari
Ari
3 years ago
Reply to  Ari

* Totally agree about “Wrecking Crew”

Rigg
Rigg
3 years ago
Reply to  Jo

I think in 2016 they should’ve chosen “Feel The Rush”

Ari
Ari
3 years ago
Reply to  Rigg

Afterglow for me.

Kuna
Kuna
3 years ago

I think it’s just Beep Beep covered in sprinkles and then renamed by Alexander

And also pretty lame
4/10

Roxy
Roxy
3 years ago
Reply to  Kuna

LOL. Sounds about right.

Pablo
Pablo
3 years ago

Also, you substracted a high of 9, which no one has. Just in case

Kris
Kris
3 years ago
Reply to  Pablo

Lol…yeah

Kris
Kris
3 years ago

This would have come bottom 5 in jesc this year….So it’s not even good for that. Firmly in my bottom 3 here.
I would rather they come with a good song rather than just for the heck of it.
A 4.5/10

Pablo
Pablo
3 years ago

Alexander just can’t figure it out, eh? This is… Not good. It would be good for JESC or other younger artist, but from him out of all people? Really? It is catchy in some parts but it comes across as… so not for him all flaws are augmented and all positive attributes are met with confusion.

The worst thing is that this may be the likely winner. Because it’s from THE Eurovision winner. Sigh.

3/10

Ari
Ari
3 years ago

Based on this song, I do not want to take songwriting lessons from Alexander. I mean, I suppose it is possible that he is mocking the contest, which would be fine, but to me, the more likely possibility is that he simply wrote a dire song. If he is not in to win it, he could have still written a way more awesome song of mockery, like “Love Love Peace Peace”, but “That’s Who You Write A Song” does not even come close to it.” What’s more, this is not his first attempt to come back to the contest as… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago
Reply to  Ari

No, Rybak wouldn’t mock MGP. But he has been good at self-mocking in the past. Genuinely, this feels like a song that is a genuine attempt to get children to write songs. One might call it a recruitment drive for JESC. There’s nothing disingenuous about it, in my opinion.