Norway have had a mixed history at the contest, but in a modern context, Norway is a strong competitor. It’s not uncommon to see Norway in the final, and additionally not uncommon to see the nation finish in the Top 10. This year the nation is hoping for another respectable result, this time with the trio KEiiNO and their song Spirit in the Sky. Will this be another Top 10 result?
Song + Vocals
From when the Norwegian national final songs were released, Spirit in the Sky quickly became the fan favourite, and a lot of hype began to surround the entry. I don’t know that hype always indicates a good song, but when I first listened to this entry for myself, I had mixed feelings.
There are a range of positives and negatives with this song, but I can certainly see why it was a hit with fans. This song has a certain familiarity around it, especially with the style of beat in the pop genre. The chorus is catchy, and ultimately the fans in the arena will be singing and dancing along with this song, which will give the performance a good atmosphere. Being an upbeat song in a ballad heavy semi-final will also certainly play to Norway’s advantage. The trio are strong live performers, and their energy will certainly resonate with viewers and the live audience.
Originally, I will say that the song felt a bit disjointed with the three different singers who individually are great, but really, they are very separate throughout the song. It feels rare that more than one artist is singing at the same time in this song, and I think it would have been nice to see more collaboration in what is a collaborative song. I will also say that I was one of those people who couldn’t quite get on board with the joiking. I’m usually the type to love all things ethnic, but something about his part in the song was off-putting. I’ve since moved past that and enjoy the song as a whole, but for regular viewers who haven’t heard this song before, it could be a barrier.
I have since come to enjoy this song, but I credit most of that to Alexandra’s voice. She has such a beautiful tone of voice, and personally I would have loved this song more if it was just her. That said, I think it would have had the potential to sound much more dated without the other two singers, and ultimately the joiking has some novelty factor. Overall, this certainly isn’t the most contemporary song, however I think it has enough broad appeal – I mean, who doesn’t love a good pop song.
Act + Performance
The stage performance of this song has so much potential, and I’d be disappointed if we don’t see some sort of Northern Lights imagery. We got hints of that in the national final, but that performance felt a bit messy and I would hope for something streamlined.
I think the reality of this entry is that the stage performance could lack, but their voices and energy on stage would be enough to give Norway another qualification. It might not give Norway a Top 10, if the stage performance wasn’t up to scratch, but knowing Norway and their production values, I suspect we will be in for a treat.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where this wouldn’t be in the final. I suspect a Top 10 finish for Norway based on how catchy and energetic the song is, and how it will resonate with viewers. I think it has some novelty factor that will also play into how memorable this entry is, not to mention a late running order position. It’s all looking positive for Norway this year.