In the lead up to 2019 edition of Melodifestivalen, fellow Eurovision connoisseur Jaz (Eurovision by Jaz) and I have joined forces to share some of our favourite Melodifestivalen moments from the last 10 years. Having known Jaz through the power of social media for a while now, I know that Melodifestivalen is the peak of her year, but for me, I haven’t always followed it with a close eye until fairly recently so this post in a way has acted as a Melodifestivalen education! With that said, let’s get into what this post is about!
Here on Eurovision Union you’ll find my reviews of Jaz’ Top 10 Musical Moments, while on Eurovision By Jaz, you’ll find her reactions to my Top 10 Musical Moments! If you haven’t already, make sure to follow Jaz on all the appropriate social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
#10 | Hold On, Nano (2017)
Good choice, Jaz! This is certainly one of my favourite entries from over the last few years, and even to this day I’m surprised that this didn’t win the contest overall. This song feels uber modern, but Nano’s soulful vocals give this an extra layer of emotion. During the live performance, his vocals weren’t perfect in certain spots, and he definitely has a vocal comfort zone, but overall it’s easy to look past. In terms of the visuals, I’d say that if this had gone to Eurovision, it would have had a bit of a revamp since the staging at Melodifestivalen didn’t reach the potential of the song. All in all, a fantastic song – and I’m certainly happy that Nano is back again this year!
#9 | Kom, Timoteij (2010)
I can admit that this is an entry I’ve never heard, or watched the performance of, so this really is a first impression. There’s something about this that is screaming mid-2000’s Swedish Junior Eurovision – are we sure this isn’t a Sandén sister song? Jokes aside, I do love a dramatic violin solo every now and then, but overall this song isn’t quite capturing my imagination. I can imagine that after a few listens it would become an earworm, but after this one listen, I can’t say that I would press repeat. I do like the ethnic vibes it gives off at the start however, and for a split second it sounds like it will break out into an Alcazar song, but instead gives Riverdance vibes. The chorus definitely feels a bit cliché and not at all creative, but since it qualified directly to the final in 1st place, I’d say that I might be the minority in my opinion!
#8 | Good Lovin’, Benjamin Ingrosso (2017)
It’s definitely no secret that I’m team Benjamin Ingrosso, and so I’m pretty happy to see this on the list. If you’ve seen my half of the list, you’ll know this made it onto mine as well, and for good reason. Benjamin knows the pop genre well, and knows how to always keep it fresh. I’d say that the staging for Dance You Off was edgier, but this is still memorable, even if just for the walls of Aluminum foil! Of course, Benjamin knows how to work the camera and works well with choreography while still maintaining a great vocal performance. This track definitely has a lot less falsetto than Dance You Off, so arguably you hear a lot more of his vocals and truthfully he nails it. Another fantastic entry!
#7 | Constellation Prize, Robin Bengtsson (2016)
Admittedly I haven’t heard this song either, despite having followed the 2016 national final season. It’s a first impression, but also a comparison since he did make it to Eurovision the year after with I Can’t Go On. Even just one verse and one chorus in, I already see the hype for this. In a way, I don’t know that this packs a punch as I Can’t Go On did, but in this track we do hear more of Robin’s vocal talents. His voice is strong, but yet has this sensitivity and soulfulness about it, and you definitely hear that more in Constellation Prize. I would say my only dislike about this track is the incredibly generic beat. The melody is nice, but is somewhat dampened by the backing beat. Other than that, I think this is a nice entry!
#6 | Det Rår Vi Inte För, Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone (2015)
This is turning into a bit of a Melodifestivalen education, since you guessed it, I don’t know this one either! My apologies go out to Jaz for not knowing a big proportion of your favourites, but perhaps I’ll find some new favourites among your list! My first impression: I like 50% of this song. Those who know me, they will know I do like a bit of rap, and so the 50% of this song that I’m a big fan of is of course Behrang Miri’s part of the song. I’m definitely not into the chorus as much as the verses, although I feel it picks up in the final chorus performed by Victor Crone. Extra points go to the duo for performing in Swedish, and I have found that the few Swedish rap songs I’ve heard, I do quite like, it’s just a shame I’m not in love with the choruses of this one!
#5 | Förlåt Mig, Mattias Andreasson (2012)
Guess who hasn’t heard this song before? This is probably getting a bit old now, but I like to preface my mini reviews by saying whether this is a first impression or not, and this is yet another. The song title is in Swedish, so I have high hopes, so let’s give it a listen! Although this has a long verse, the melody is nice, and it’s all worth it once you reach the chorus. This really is the highlight of the song as Mattias unleashes the vocals and the song becomes slightly more modern in sound. This clearly stood no chance against Loreen, and upon looking at the results, I am surprised this didn’t at least make second chance round, but saying that, I only really know the entry from Molly Sandén from this semi-final, so perhaps its result was justified. My money is on Jaz thinking that it was definitely UNjustified! (Am I right, Jaz?)
#4 | Human, Oscar Zia (2016)
Now this is a track I know purely out of the fact that it was difficult to go through this national final season without hearing it. It was definitely one of the favourites of the competition, and I can easily see why. This did make it onto my shortlist of songs, but you’ll have to check out the alternative part of this article over on Eurovision By Jaz to find out if it made my list! Back to the review, this song oozes emotion, and it’s easily heard through his vocals, especially during the powerful chorus. They did well in the staging of this, and the black and white was definitely the best way to make this impactful. It keeps the focus on Oscar and the message he is preaching through the song. I really do think this is a fantastic entry, and it would have done well had it won Melodifestivalen and represented Sweden at Eurovision but alas, it was not meant to be.
#3 | Last Breath, LIAMOO (2018)
I’m also quite a fan of LIAMOO, so expect a pretty good review of this one! As with the Behrang Miri song, the best part of Last Breath is the verses which are the rap portion of the song. This definitely feels like LIAMOO’s vocal comfort zone, as the choruses aren’t as strong as they are in the studio version, but really, it doesn’t take too much away from the overall package. I can safely say that there’s been many a time where I’ve done a bit of karaoke to this song in the car, and I think that’s due to the fact that lyrically it’s quite easy to pick up in the choruses, just a few listens and the words are memorized. On the flip side of that, it’s a bit generic lyrically, but ultimately it’s catchy. The staging of the performance was simple, but interestingly for a fair bit of the performance it’s actually difficult to see his face, and I’m now realizing that watching this back, it’s quite hard to connect with him in the performance. Between the fast flashing lights to the quick camera cuts, not to mention the smoke, we don’t get a lot of LIAMOO face time and I think that’s important when you are trying to connect with an audience – unless you are SIA! Despite a few minor criticisms, I do think this is a great entry, and I definitely can’t hate on it being in 3rd position!
#2 | Hela Natten, Josef Johansson (2014)
Since there’s no live performance uploaded on YouTube, I won’t be able to comment on the visual performance on this one, but I will say that I haven’t heard this one either – sorry Jaz! With a stellar songwriting team, I have high hopes with this song, but already with Swedish language, that’s a big thumbs up from me! On first impressions, this is another song that is strong in chorus, but perhaps lacks memorability in the verses. As for big ballad style pop numbers, this is a fairly good one that incorporates a bit of the gospel style later in the song which is also another appealing feature. I can’t comment on how it sounds live, but I do like the tone of his voice, and is definitely more up my alley than some of the other tracks on the list!
#1 | You’re Out of My Life, Darin (2010)
I’m actually quite embarrassed to say that I haven’t heard this, but to be fair, I don’t think I had quite branched out from my Eurovision obsession at that time to discover the Swedish gem that is Melodifestivalen. Darin really is one of the best, and even without hearing the song I’m somewhat not surprised to see him top the list! Straight away, we get vocals galore from Darin, and then we hit the drama filled verse. I have to keep reminding myself that we are talking about 2010, which really was a different time for music. This is exactly what we were seeing at Eurovision, very dramatic and emotional pop ballads, so this would have fit in quite well. Watching it in the context of 2019, I can’t say this aged well, but really, for what it is, it ticks all the boxes. The real highlight is clearly Darin’s vocals, and also the fact that he really knows how to give camera eyes – so dreamy!
Make sure you give Jaz some love over on Eurovision by Jaz, and you can find her review of my Top 10 here.