Denmark, a once strong Eurovision nation, has been dropping off the radar in recent years, with the last few results less than desirable. Although Anja Nissen managed to get into the final after the two years previous of non-qualifications, even her results was towards the bottom of the table – which we still don’t understand – but that’s a story for another day! This year, Denmark is going full Viking with their entry Higher Ground, which will be performed by Rasmussen, but will it reach higher ground at Eurovision?
This is certainly a step in a different direction for Denmark, with the last few songs definitely being more pop oriented. We had the boy bands in 2015 and 2016, both of which failed to qualify, then the powerful pop entry from Anja, and now this. How do we even describe this song? Can we say it’s ‘historical-theatrical pop?’ It’s definitely not a modern track, but that’s now what it’s trying to be, it’s definitely trying to connect to a moment in history, and in that sense, it’s a successful song.
Because this song is quite theatrical, I feel that it does fit into that kitsch-ness of Eurovision, and realistically, everyone loves a Viking at Eurovision. I think the first verse is quite a slow burn, and for me, it’s the element of the song that I like the least. Unfortunately that’s the first impression for those listening to the song for the first time, but perhaps the intrigue of the Viking will prevail. Once we reach the chorus, it’s a bit more likeable, for me at least, and it’s the part of the song I’ll remember even after the song is finished.
What’s a Eurovision song without a key change, and Denmark is delivering on that this year. As we reach the final minute of the song, I like that it finally builds up into something a bit more powerful, but still perhaps think that it could have been taken to another level again. Rasmussen is inarguably a good vocalist, and I think on stage, if he is backed by some strong voices, this might reach that next level.
Speaking of the stage performance, this has huge potential for something a lot more theatrical than many of this year’s competing songs. I want ships on stage, I want Viking costumes, I want it all. I want the national final performance on steroids. With a strong stage performance, I would count this into the final, especially knowing it’s in the second semi-final. Being 5th in the running order is a bit rough for Rasmussen, but this will get votes, I have no doubt.
All aboard… the historical-theatrical pop train!
I think this could be the best placing Danish song in a while, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it do quite well. It’s not been a song that’s really captured my imagination during the lead up to the contest, but I think on the night I’ll enjoy the song and performance package, and I don’t think I’ll be alone.