Fans won’t get to have their first taste of Melodifestivalen 2020’s third semi until Thursday lunchtime when the first snippets emerge. But accredited media in Luleå were given a first-listen to all seven competing songs on Wednesday evening.
Based on these early reviews — taken from Aftonbladet and Schlager Profilerna — Faith Kakembo and Mohombi look like the two to beat in deltävling three. Here’s a full round-up of what both publications had to say about each of the acts.
Melodifestivalen 2020: Semi-Final Three Previews
1. “Shout It Out” – Mariette
Describing Mariette’s latest effort as “nice pop which becomes a bit anonymous”, Aftonbladet delivers a damning verdict — “her weakest contribution in Mello so far”. Although the writer tempers his review by adding that strong staging may bring the audience to life. Schlager Profilerna is more generous, saying that “Shout It Out” is more like Mariette’s non-Melfest music. “This tries more to establish her as the artist she wants to be every day of the week”. We’re told to think “female Coldplay”. Both compare it to something David Lindgren might compete with, but “without the dance beat”.
2. “Livet börjar nu” – Albin Johnsén
Albin enjoyed a massive smash with “Din Soldat” in 2014, and ever since he’s been considered something of a one-hit-wonder. Schlager Profilerna speculates that this could be the song to erase that status. It reports that this isn’t rap in the “regular sense” and sounds more like “Norli & KKV and Hov1”. However, it fears the number may be too low key to become a true contender. Aftonbladet commends the hook but notes that it’s the type of song that performs better on the radio or Spotify than at Melfest.
3. “Piga & dräng” – Drängarna
Despite their better judgements, the two outlets both give positive reviews. Aftonbladet describes a “guilty pleasure” that “no one admits to voting or liking, but everyone will sing along to after a couple of beers”. Reluctantly admitting that it’s “really catchy”, Schlager Profilerna suggests that the band could be the Rolandz of 2020 — “if they play their cards right”. Both reviewers agree that kids will love the entry. In summary — “It’s like the dads of Timoteij”.
4. “Late” – Amanda Aasa
Amanda is this year’s P4 Nästa wildcard. To date, no Nästa act has broken out of their semi. And Schlager Profierna doesn’t see Amanda being the one to change this. The song “so desperately wants to be Veronica Maggio. But sorry. It’s not”. The writer concludes that while “not bad by any means”, the entry is “unnecessary”. Aftonbladet observes that this type of song tends not to work for female performers at Melodifestivalen, with viewers preferring “joy and warmth”.
5. “Vem e som oss” – Anis Don Demina
Aftonbladet offers mixed critique. It praises the “smartly produced hook”, acknowledging that Anis is at home with the audience. However, it grows “tedious” towards the end. Schlager Profilerna calls it an “upbeat party song” with references to “Behrang Miri or Samir & Viktor” and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us”.
6. “Crying Rivers” – Faith Kakembo
Like Amanda, Faith also took part in the P4 radio contest. However, she’s not here as a wildcard. Without hesitation, Aftonbladet says that this could be this year’s big hit. It’s the type of song that would be played last at “school parties and nightclubs”. Schlager Profilerna is equally impressed, leading with one word — “Wow!”. The blog puts it somewhere “between Norah Jones and a James Bond song”, calling it “a warm blanket here in cold Lule”.
7. “Winners” – Mohombi
Winners causes Schlager Profilerna to think of “Turkish ESC songs from the ’00s”, adding that that’s a “GOOD” thing. It’s “fun and catchy”, but not as modern or Spotify-friendly as “Hello”. It has an arena vibe, and the reviewer feels it’s the most certain qualifier. Although “the chorus and verse seem to live in different countries”. Aftonbladet thinks the verses and bridge are too long, but the chorus is “neat and effective”.
What do you think of this semi’s line-up? Who are you most excited to see live? Let us know in the comments.