Alexander Rybak’s Eurovision Medley.

One of the highlights of the Danish Melodi Grand Prix 2012 was undoubtedly Alexander Rybak’s own unique take on a number of Eurovision-winning songs, including Fly On The Wings Of LoveFångad Av En Stormvind, Satellite, Hard Rock Hallelujah and of course, his own Fairytale to name a few. Check out the full show-stopping performance below:

The Danish Decision: ‘Should’ve Known Better’ by Soluna Samay to represent Denmark.

This Saturday, the annual Dansk Melodi Grand Prix was held to select the Danish representative at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and after an exciting, well-produced show, it was Soulna Samay with her soulful song (see what I did there?) Should’ve Known Better that won the right to fly the Danish flag. It was honestly very hard to call it, right down to the end with each song looking and sounding like a winner. Check out the winning entry below:

Composed by distinguished Danish songwriters Remee and Chief 1, the song is a moody little singer-songwriter number, very much in the style of Alanis Morissette. It’s got a very well-crafted melody that gets your attention and Soluna’s performance is very entrancing. Personally, this was my number two to win, my first being Jesper Nohrstedt’s Take Our Hearts. It’s modern Coldplay-meets-Eurodance would have done very well at the Eurovision Song Contest I thought.

Nevertheless, Should’ve Known Better is a worthy winner as well and will no doubt do well for Denmark this year. Although I think they really need to sort out the styling and create a cool, funky street-urban look to complete the vibe of the song.

The 2012 Dansk Melodi Grand Prix: A Review.

Tonight Denmark selects its entry to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest through the annual Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. What makes this year’s line-up so interesting is that there are no ‘big’ names in terms of performing artists, but we’ve got a slew of seasoned songwriters vying for the honour of flying the Danish colours. With such a diverse line-up, as well as being one of the most well-produced national finals around, we here at ASFE have decided to do a quick review on the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Doing the honours this time around are TK & Benjamin Schwartz.

Take Our Hearts performed by Jesper Nohrstedt
Ben: The voice reminds me of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida, and the beats behind remind me of Mika’s Relax. I want to flag the efforts on the lyrics, he got me with the first 2 sentences. Me like it.
TK: This is a simple, beautiful ballad with a lovely piano-driven melody that builds and builds. It’s also very contemporary and I can see this becoming a radio hit.

Best Thing I Got performed by Aya
Ben: It has a childish melody that reminds me of teen songs (like S Club 7), the kind that will stick to your head, and make it move right, then left, and again, for some time. The voice is great but she could try a note at Nina Simone, or Aretha Franklin. Could sound good. Unfortunately here, it derivates too much towards repeated radio tracks, and doesn’t make an impact.
TK: While Take Our Hearts was effortlessly contemporary and cool, Best Thing I Got just tries too hard and falls short. While the song is well-crafted and showcases Aya’s unique vocals, I was honestly expecting something with more ‘oomph’ from the 2010-winning songwriters of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Reach For The Sky performed by Kenneth Potempa
Ben: Sounds like a Maroon 5 or Hoobastank song, but without the lyrical originality they have. Great voice though. The lyrics are not shallow, but could be a little more thought over.
TK: A standard mellow rock song that Denmark would have sent in the early noughties. Enough said.

Overflow performed by Ditte-Marie
Ben: This is a no-no, sorry. Beat similar to Mrs Minogue, but lyrics more transparent than Shania Twain. Won’t last long in my memory.
TK: Ben hit the nail on the head with the parallel to Kylie. Overflow certainly takes its cues from her brand of dance pop. While the ‘oh-oh-oh’ bits are nice, it doesn’t make the impact I was seeking. If you’re going to channel Kylie, you need to hit us over the head with the proverbial sequined discostick.

Baby Love Me performed by Philip Halloun og Emilia
Ben: Good piano melody, and great voices, a duet that works well. I like the lyrics, except the “baby, baby, baby” repetitions in the chorus (which is quite nice, despite this).
TK: A pleasant, harmless little duet sung by two nice-enough singers. I reckon it won’t do much for the jury and televoters though.

Forever I B Young performed Suriya
Ben: Yo “mami”, you ain’t sitting on top of my ranking that’s for sure. We have beats that reminds the current hits from Turkey, but then they go in every direction (we have like 4 or 5 variations in the beat, I haven’t seen something like that since the Funk era, but then songs use to last 7’02…). The sound gets a bit better when she’s singing not rapping. The voice is OK, but the lyrics are quite simple.
TK: Time to get experimental with Danish dubstep! I’ve honestly never heard anything like this in the Melodi Grand Prix, so kudos to DR for featuring something unique. It actually reminds me a bit of Swagger Jagger. I’ll be interested to see how this translates into the live performance.

Universe performed by Karen Viuff
Ben: The voice & the melody go through different genres, but without finding one to stick to. I feel a bit lost after listening to this, and don’t really know what to comment, but it didn’t leave an unforgettable impression on me.
TK: Another a little gem of a song. Those strings! It’s very Dido-esque and very epic-sounding.  However, my main gripe is the post-chorus. It seems to me that the song builds towards something and the post-chorus seems to be the best part for the climax but instead the song just plods along and because of that, appears to be incomplete. It still great though.

Should Have Known Better performed by Soluna Samay
Ben: Same comment as the song before, but the voice he’s more impactful, and the lyrics are a tad better. Would like to hear her in an own style, maybe with a sampler or acoustic like KT Tunstall.
TK: A winsome song that is very much in the style of the the current crop of American radio hits. Its a solid attempt at being contemporary and very ‘un-Eurovision’. My issue with this song is that it fails to go anywhere.

Venter performed by Christian Brøns og Patrik Isaksson
Ben: I want to know what “Venter” means!!! Good voice, a big effort has been made on the melody, it’s lyrical, almost classic. And great voices too. Something different, maybe because I don’t get the lyrics? But it takes a star for being original.
TK: The only Danish-language song of the line-up. This too sounds like your typical Danish Eurovision entry: male-led mid-tempo rock. As a duet, this is interesting but the chorus fails to excite. I see this struggling to qualify from the Eurovision semi-finals.

All in all, a pretty strong line up that is extremely diverse and unique. No schlager or Europop songs. Instead, DR have opted for more contemporary entries that will sound different for Eurovision.

Grab a pair of Stilettos and get down with Danish dance.

Introducing a trio of Danish sirens who go by the name of Stilettos. And they’ve only gone and recorded what  sounds like the catchiest dance song of 2011. Entitled Click Click Click, its a mad fierce anthem full of swagger that’ll sweep you off your heels. The song actually started life as Stilettos by the group Siren and while it was a modest local hit, it never really took off. That is, until the Stilettos took the song and reinvented as Click Click Click, hoping to turn it into an international hit. Check it below:

Sounds like one to me! This song deserves to be BIG. You can purchase it here.

Skjulte Stjerner calls up a friend in London.

One of the hottest entertainment programmes heating up screens in Denmark at the moment is DR’s ‘Skjulte Stjerner’, or ‘Hidden Stars’. The show sees well-known Danish singers paired up with their ideal duet partners and square off in weekly competitions to see who performs the best duet. We’re already three weeks in and already one pair have established themselves as the one to beat. One half is Tim Schou, lead singer of the band A Friend In London who represented Denmark at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, placing 5th with the song New Tomorrow. The other half is über talented 13 year old Thomas, son of well-known singer Gry, who represented Denmark at the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest.

Over the past three weeks, Thomas and Tim wowed the nation with their unique duets and outstanding vocals. This week, it all came to a head as the pair performed a lovely piano version of New Tomorrow, and a house version of A Friend In London’s new song Calling A Friend. Check out the video below:

In the previous two weeks, Thomas and Tim performed Katy Perry’s Fireworks and a mashup of Dirty Dancing’s The Time Of My Life with Justin Beiber’s Baby. Thomas is clearly the star of the show, with his amazingly polished and powerful vocals that bely a talent and maturity well beyond the tender age of 13. Definitely looking forward to the next episode!

Who should do the honours for… Denmark?

After this year’s extremely successful placing, Denmark would undoubtedly want to build on that and send yet another great act and song that will secure another Top 5 position, maybe even victory.

In my mind, there are two acts that can deliver. One of these is a band that goes by the name of Alien Beat Club.

Alien Beat Club. Don't they look soooo swcheeeeeeet?

No novices to television, you might recognize Alien Beat Club, or ‘ABC’,  as the runner-ups of the Danish X Factor in 2009. They were the favourites to win, consistently turning in  great performances every week. I particularly liked their rendition of Lady GaGa’s ‘Just Dance’ with a rather surprising intro.

In terms of Eurovision, I reckon they’ll be a great choice because all four of them are talented singers and their sound is a cool urban pop with a dash of Euro flavour that should go down well with the voters and juries alike. Keep in mind that contemporary songs now tend to do quite well in Eurovision, as opposed to decades gone by. Check out their song ‘Echo’ from the album ‘Diversity’. It’s exactly three minutes long and would have made a perfect Eurovision entry:

Who knows? Victory at the Eurovision Song Contest might be as simple as ‘ABC’ for Denmark next year.