Monday, January 07, 2008

I'll base my decisions on my intuition

Yay! Anne Hvidsten is back, and with a great song! I realize "A Little More" probably won't be most people's favorite songs out of all the MGP 2008 songs, but so far, it's mine. That's not to say I want it to be sent to Eurovision--I don't think it would lend itself to that--but I love it. It's a lovely mid-tempo pop song with just a little bit of country influence, it's kind of female singer-songwritery and I imagine it could quite easily be called generic MOR or "radio pop," but if it is, it's a great sweet simple comforting example of it. I love the part where the guitars drop out to bring us into the chorus and Anne sings "but it's a little more than I can...handle, and it's a little more than I can...control," complete with backing vocals. The bridge right before that is great, too. And the verses. Basically, it's sweet and adorable and unassuming and I love it. And yes, I love Anne, so that might be slightly influencing my perception of the song (it was the first of the MGP songs I listened to), but I think this is just one of those songs that connects with me for some reason, that does all the right things for me to love it.

A Little More

Since no one else seems to like this song, though, we might as well deal with some of the other entries. Some songs of note, not necessarily because they're good:

Zuma's (no, not Jacob; a duo made up of two guys) "Always Always" is maybe worth a listen; it's very '80's. Then again, I liked Lustans Lakejer's very '80's entry from Sweden in 2007, so what do I know? I'm not sure that "Always Always" is quite as good as I'd like it to be, but so far I like it, and I'm looking forward to seeing the group live (let's hope that gives the song more life as well, though I could see it easily going the other way). I think it's about my second favorite song right now. Actually, let's post that, too:

Always Always

It's cases like Zuma's that remind me why I love these national finals so much--not only do they feature new songs you may like, they often introduce you to new artists you may love.

Pop lovers will probably also want to give at least one listen to the Fred Ball-penned "Baby Don't Stop The Music" by Michelle and Lene Alexandra's "Sillycone Valley" at the very least because they'll be two of the most discussed tracks in certain circles and because you might (or might not) like them. Shockingly, "Sillycone Valley" sounds more grown-up than you would expect given the title and singer--musically, at least (it's got kind of this Asian electro-pop feel). Lyrically, it's--unsurprisingly, given the singer--got lines like "if you wanna play my bongos/well you can play 'em till you blow your mind," so, um, pretty much what'd you'd expect in that department. It's still roughly my third favorite song at this point. "Baby Don't Stop The Music" is very Fred Ball-sounding, though I don't know that it's his best work. Still, it's nice to see decent electro-pop in a national final. Both could have trouble live, though; we'll see.

I really like Maria Haukaas Storeng, so I'm glad to see her in the MGP, but I'm not sure that I adore her Mira Craig-penned entry "Hold On Be Strong." It's not bad, though. People are also talking about Veronika Akelsen's "Am I Supposed To Love Again" (in a very positive way), but right now it's too lounge singer-y for me, though I could possibly see it growing with time. On the other hand, I could also see it doing so well that I end up building up a huge irrational dislike of it (and that's the way I see it going right now). The Christian Ingebrigtsen co-penned "Eastern Wind," sung by Torstein Sødal, is a big ballad and could conceivably do well if Norway is in a ballad mood.

Speaking of big, "Far Away" by King Of The Trolls is ridiculous in a Roger Pontare "Where The Spirits Are Calling My Name" kind of way, only even more over the top (who knew that was even possible?). Of course, I could probably have just told you that the singer looks like this

and you would've been able to guess what it sounds like. Actually, the instrumental bit after the chorus really reminds me of something, but I can't place it (edit: I think it's "Wild Dances"). All that said, for my sins, I may really like it. The song is very...energetic. We'll see what the live performance is like.

Pop-punk group Crash! are back with another entry; given how well they did last year, you might want to keep an eye on their entry "Get Up." I kind of slightly like Nicholas Carlie's "Colliding" in a generic radio rock ballad that I'll probably never listen to again after the national final season/a week kind of way.


kevin (ru) said...

To me Michelle sounds 200% Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

paul @ said...

Wow it's all so very good. I like Zuma, Lene and Michelle. All tres bon indeed. I don't usually follow the national heats but it seems like i am missing out on some corking tunes!

AcerBen said...

I love Maria's entry! Her album is very good too

Anonymous said...

Some very good songs actually, its annoying with that Nicholas Carlie song though the average chorus doesnt match the verse. Anne Hvidson is by far the best though.
I should have my Pop blog back up by next week btw =]

Poster Girl said...

It does, now that you say that!

I'm glad you found something to like, Paul! Yeah, there are some good songs lost in national finals, but it can also sometimes seem like there's a lot of not so great stuff to sort through as well.

I love her album! It's nothing revolutionary, but it's a very enjoyable listen, surprisingly consistent especially for a post-Idol album.

Yay! And yay for you liking Anne's song as well :) At least someone else does!