Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Never heard of...them

The song titles and composers for the non-wildcard entries for this year's Melodifestival were released today. As you can imagine, I'm beyond excited.

As I did last year, I have to throw in my two cents on the various entries. In general, there's an almost shocking lack or reduced number of the old staples, the songwriters who have dominated the entries for years. For example, Henrik Wikström and lyrics writer Ingela "Pling" Försman don't have any songs this year, while Anders Hansson and Fredrik Kempe, composers of many of my favorite entries of recent years, only have one song each (nor does Alexander Bard, who you can usually expect to have an entry, have any this year). Few of this year's writers are unknowns in a Marie Lindberg sense (i.e., never having had a song recorded before), but compared to previous years, there are few known names. Melodifestivalen is sometimes criticized for freezing out songwriters outside of its establishment, so it will be interesting to see how the quality this year measures up; it could go either way.

Once again like last year, I've also incorporated information from the Swedish press about the tracks. Sources: GP, UNT, DT, ESCToday, Gylleneskor, QX, Schlagerprofilerna, and Expressen

Most recent update: Expressen published an article speculating on some of the artists. Where their names hadn't already been brought up, I've edited them in.

If you've got any more information or any corrections, I'd love it if you left them in the comments. This will probably be the post where I'll edit in all new information as it comes out (mainly for personal reference, since I'll try also to mention it in a new post).

("m" is for music, "l" is for lyrics. Just in case you were wondering.)

A Place To Stay, m & l: Torben Hedlund
No idea on this one.

The Swedish media report that its'a poppy mid-tempo song with synthesizers and there is talk of the singer being a woman who is known in a certain context. Jenny Silver sings the demo.

Doctor Doctor m & l: Tony Nilsson, Mirja Breitholtz
You all know by now I LOVE Tony. His big break was with Ola's series of hit singles that started with his second album (meaning he's been involved with nearly every Ola song I love--"Natalie," "S.O.S.", "Can't Get Enough," "Love In Stereo," "Feelgood") but since then he's made songs for Johan Krafstrom (the slightly more pop-rock Ola sound of "Disarmed" and "Chain Reaction"), Velvet ("The Queen" and "Radio Star," both pop bliss), Marie Serneholt ("Disconnect Me"), and Elin Lanto ("Discotheque" and "My Favorite Pair Of Jeans"). Mirja is, if I'm remembering correctly, his girlfriend, with whom he's co-written a previous Melodifestival entry ("Love In Stereo," I think). Anyway, I LOVE his work and am super-excited for this song.

The Swedish media report that there are rumors Elin Lanto is going to sing this song, modern up-tempo pop, which would THRILL me. Since her early 2008 makeover into a dance-pop princess, she's been going from strength to strength. Maybe this will help her get an album out.

Headlines, m & l: Tony Nilsson, Peter Boström
My dream team! Tony plus Peter "Bassflow" Boström is a great combination--together, they've made most of the songs of Tony's I just listed above. Peter is a writer and producer (and remixer--see what he's done to Martin Stenmarck's singles) in his own right, working with just about every amazing Swedish pop act (including producing Bosson's "One In A Million" and "You" and Charlotte Perrelli's "Hero"). Many people felt disappointed with Marie's "Disconnect Me" this year, but I'm hoping people will be won over by these two in the Melodifestival context--not just the Ola on the radio context--in 2010.

The Swedish media speculate that the performer will be male and report that "Headlines" is upbeat with ironic lyrics. Expressen guesses that Galaxy One will be the performer.

Heaven And Hell,m & l: Håkan Larsson, Jörgen Svensson, Björn Lönnroos
None of these names rang a bell for me--all I've got for sure is that all three of them wrote some songs for Shebang, a fun pop-rocky attitude-filled Swedish girl duo (none of their big hits, though), but they say they say on their MySpace (which, as you'd expect given their group name, makes their work sound traditional dansband-ish) they've worked with Fame, Fame's former member Jessica Andersson, and Charlotte Perrelli.

A woman sings the song on the demo. The song is reported to be a rock--very much hard rock--song that alternates between a ballad and uptempo and Expressen reports that Linda Pritchard is being strongly considered. Edit: though now that she's probably singing "You're Making Me Hot-Hot-Hot" they'll be looking for someone else.

Hippare Hoppare, m & l: Vlatko Ancevski, Vlatko Gicarevski, Mats Nilsson, Teddy Paunkoski, Otis Sandsjö, Stevan Tomulevski, Douglas Leon

Oh boy. Andra Generationen, who made the, um, unforgettable "Kebabpizza Slivovitza," a Balkan-flavored pop song, are back. Just what I was hoping for.

Edit: actually, apparently not. It's said this song will likely be performed by reggaeton rapper Dogge Doggelito (thanks, Len and Damian!).

Human Frontier, m & l: Tobias Jonsson, Anneli Axelsson
Tobias Jonsson co-wrote the fantastic BWO-esque disco-pop Neo song "Flower Power Supergirl." Given that both writers have Hitworks connections, I'm expecting one of their acts (the stable from which Neo, Anniela, Hilda, Ida, and Sister Love come) to perform the song, which could mean the first opportunity for the company to get some real cross-Sweden exposure.

The Swedish media report that the song is uptempo pop and Expressen guesses Anneli Axelsson, who has sung backing vocals before, will be the performer. I tend to side with QX's prediction of Neo, though.

Hur kan jag tro på kärleken? l: Kenneth Gärdestad, m: Tony Malm, Niclas Lundin
Niclas Lundin, Maria Marcus's husband/partner, tends to do more European chart pop than, say, Melodifestival-style songs, though I guess there's not a huge difference--sometimes pop-rock, though not always. Tony Malm is equally varied in what he's done, so let's just cut to the description of the song...

...which is that it's in the style of Ted Gärdestad's 70s hits. No, I didn't know either (edit: though as Len pointed out, I clearly should have remembered). From what I gather, that means vaguely folky ballad. Expressen guesses Erik Linder will perform the song, a delicate ballad.

I Did It For Love, m: Lars "Dille" Diedricson, t: Kristian Wejshag
Lars is a songwriter whose name appears fairly often in the contest, usually in association with traditional schlager or dansband songs (Linda Bengtzing's "Jag ljuger så brå," Scotts' "Jag tror på oss," Sarek's "Älvorna," and Charlotte Perrelli/Wizek's winning 1999 entry "Tusen och en natt").

Apparently Jessica Andersson sang the demo for this song and says she would love to perform it in the contest, though that decision will be left to SVT. She's been on this retro-pop kick lately (see: "Wake Up"), so I'm hoping this song isn't totally like that. The fact that that she says the song is a beautiful ballad and QX says it's a classic dramatic pop ballad(and not, say, a "Jag ljuger så bra" redux) is a disappointment for me, though.

Idiot, m & l : Niklas Jarl, Per Aldeheim
Given those names, I'm expecting this to be a rocky entry; both the writers have been involved in some poppier songs, but that's not their general tendency and, combined, I think they'll be playing up their real love.

QX says it's an up-tempo pop song in Swedish.

Innan alla ljusen brunnit ut, m: Stefan Moody, l: Danne Attlerud
Danne is a familiar name, linked to some poppy, schlagery entries (Fame's "Vindärna vander oss," Magnus Carlsson's "Live Forever"), but since he wasn't involved with the music, looking at Stefan Moody's past would probably be more helpful. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with him.

The song is said to be a ballad or sentimental mid-tempo/ballad with a French twist. Expressen reports that SVT is starting to look for an artist and has Lisa Ekdahl on the list.

Jag vill om du vågar, m & l: Pontus Assarsson, Jörgen Ringqvist, l: Daniel Barkman
Former Fame Factory contestant Pontus has written many a schlagery song (Fame's "Vindarna vänder oss," Fame's "The One That You Need"), poppy song (Jessica Folcker's "When Love's Coming Back Again"), dansband-y song (Erik Segerstedt's "Saturday Night," nearly E.M.D.'s entry last year, Scotts' "Vilken natt" from their most recent album). He's also done ballads, but it's unlikely this song is one...

...because it's rumored Pernilla Wahlgren may sing this entry, a killer traditional schlager song which QX describes as an "uptempo/shuffle schlager with a modern beat." Poor Pernilla has had trouble getting back in the contest in recent years due to Christer Björkman (who semi-infamously gave Linda Bengtzing "Alla Flickor" instead of having demo singer Pernilla sing it because he dubbed her too old) despite having a Melodifestival '80s classic in the form of "Picadilly Circus." Pernilla is overdue for some new music and at least a mini-musical comeback (well, in my mind, anyway, even if Sweden may feel she's a little too present in the media). I'm hoping this is great and will help fill my schlager fix (incidentally, for a taste of modern Pernilla schlager, check out rejected Melodifestival entry "I min värld" from a few years ago).

Magisk stjärna, m: Micke Wennborn, m & l: Py Bäckman
The names weren't familiar to me, but if I knew my '80s Swedish pop better, I'd apparently know the name Py Bäckman. She and Micke have worked together in modern times on other artists' music, too, though, including one of the good up-tempo songs on dansband Barbados's pretty good album Stolt ("Vi Kan Int Va Tillsammans") and Nanne's also good duet "Ett Vackert Par" (which she nearly took to Melodifestivalen in 2002, before it was disqualified), which has sort of a quick slightly pop-rockish vibe.

"Magisk stjärna" is a ballad or mid-tempo song which will be performed by one singer, which Expressen says will be Jan Johansen.

Manboy, m & l: Fredrik Kempe, m: Peter Boström
This is another freak out worthy track for me. Opera-pop singer Fredrik Kempe has been on a Melodifestival roll since 2007 (the year of "Cara Mia"), even delivering the winning entry the past two years (Charlotte Perrelli's "Hero"--written by Fredrik and produced by Peter--and Malena Ernman's "La Voix"). Given that title, I'm expecting something fierce, uptempo, and discopoptastic.

...and it looks like I'd be right to expect that, albeit with a spin: "Manboy" is an uptempo song in the "Cara Mia" style (and rumored to be equivalent in quality, too) which will probably be performed by a young guy. Several sites speculate that that guy will be Eric Saade, member of Swedish boy band What's Up.

Manipulated, m & l: Sarah Lundbäck, Iggy Strange-Dahl, Hayden Bell, Erik Lewander
Sarah Lundbäck seems to have a delicate singer-songwriter sound when she's performing her own material, but apparently these writers are all part of a collective known as the Dogboys which has sold songs to some artists scattered throughout Europe--nothing big, though (though former Idol contestant Nathalie's debut album apparently featured a lot of their work), and all scattered in style.

A woman will probably sing the song; Expressen guesses that woman is Sarah herself. QX says "Manipulated" is a modern dance song you can't sit still for.

Never Heard Of Him, m & l: Figge Boström, Anna Engh
I hesitate to say anything, but...well, let's just say I'm not sure we can say this is completely previously unheard.

Swedish media describe it as an uptempo song.

Edit: Len reports that a Twitter comment makes it seem like Anorah (Anna Nordell, the incredibly underrated Swedish singer who has released an album and participated in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix but has never really had a chance to be front-and-center in Sweden, despite doing loads of demos and backing vocals) will be participating in the contest this year. If that's true, I'm thinking it's most likely she'll be singing this song.

"Never Heard Of Him" was disqualified and replaced by...

"You're Making Me Hot-Hot-Hot" m & l: Tobias Lundgren, Johan Fransson, Tim Larsson
These three songwriters (often along with a compatriot who no longer works with them) are responsible for some of Melodifestivalen's modern favorites (well, favorites of fans, even if not all of them advanced as far as they should have)--Linda Bengtzing's "Alla Flickor" and "Hur svårt kan det va?", Alcazar's "Alcastar," Jessica Andersson's "Kalla nätter," and Jessica Folcker's "Om Natten" among them--as well as a song many fans hate, Martin Stenmarck's "Las Vegas" (I'm not in that group, though I agree it definitely wasn't the best song that year). They've done songs that earn less attention either way, too, but in general, any entry by them is one to get excited about.

Schlageprofilerna reports the song is going to be sung by a woman former Idol contestant (well, in the early stages) Linda Pritchard.

Road Salt, m & l: Daniel Gildenlöw
Another name new to me, Daniel is apparently a member of rock band Pain of Salvation.

It's reported that he hopes he or his band will perform the song, a sentimental, calm song played on electric piano--not a rock song at all.

Run, m & l: Niclas Arn, Karl Eurén, Gustav Eurén
These three have a talent for catchy which they occasionally try to spoil with heft amounts of gimmicky poppy rap thrown in. Sometimes it works (Markoolio's "Markoolio Anthem" and "Värsta Schlagern," Miio's "När vi två blir en," B-Boys International feat. Paul M.'s "One Step Closer") and sometimes they veer off in the wrong direction (Markoolio's "Kärlekssång från mig"), but thankfully sometimes they set aside the rap entirely (Alcazar's "Burning," Verona's "La Musica" and "Ti Sento," Nina & Kim's "En gang för alla"). They also did Brandsta City Slackers' entries to Melodifestivalen.

This particular entry is said to be a poppy uptempo song with folk/ethnic elements and may be sung by Erika Selin from this year's (still ongoing) Idol competition. Expressen says SVT is also considering Sofia Jannok.

Singel, m: Hamed "KeiOne" Pirouzpanah, l: Håkan Bäckman
KeiOne co-wrote Ola's latest single, "Sky's The Limit," but don't let that fool you: he's usually more hip-hop and urban in style (though as usual I'll take any opportunity to rep for Adam Tensta's "80s Baby," which does a great job of incorporating poppy '80s beats into hip-hop).

This entry is said to be a hip-hop song which will be performed by a rapper. It's KeiOne on the demo, but it's unclear who the ultimate performer will be. Expressen speculates that it will be Frispråkarn.

Stop, m & l: Mikaela Stenström, Dimitri Stassos
Dimitri Stassos is a known name in Melodifestivalen from his songs for Sofia, "Hypnotized" and "Alla," but he also co-wrote Soraya's "La noche es para mí" (Spain's 2009 Eurovision entry) and has written some songs outside of those contexts (like a few songs on Ola's first album).

There is significant speculation that Sibel, the big-voiced former Idol contestant who performed "That Is Where I'll Go" in 2008, will sing this song, which is described as a fast cool modern swing track in the '30s style. QX reports that the authors say it's like nothing that's been in Melodifestivalen before.

This Is My Life, l: Kristian Lagerström, m: Bobby Ljunggren
Melodifestival stalwart Bobby has made songs in many styles (in 2008, for example, the top three entries were all co-written by him and ranged from Charlotte Perrelli's disco-pop "Hero" to Sanna Nielsen's giant ballad "Empty Room" to BWO's "Hung Up"-sounding "Lay Your Love On Me").

2008's fifth place Idol finisher Anna Bergendahl is said to very likely be the performer of this song, a beautiful positive mid-tempo track.

Thursdays, m: Thomas G:son , Peter Boström, l: Sharon Vaughn
G:son is legendary for his schlager songs, true, but he's kind of hit and miss for me--he can be great or he can be kind in sound. Still, the addition of Peter and Sharon (albeit only on lyrics in this case) Vaughn of Agnes's recent work gives me hope this will be one of the hits.

...I have to admit I'm kind of worried, though: the song is said to be performed by Lovestoned, the two-boy two-girl mainly Swedish pop group who you might know from their reggae-pop single "Rising Girl" earlier this year (and not Ace of Base-style reggae beats either). Expect "Thursdays," a "happy pop song" according to QX, to easily fit on the same album as "Rising Girl," considering it's said to be a mid-tempo reggae song with Scandinavian influences.

Tonight, m & l: Sharon Vaughn, Anders Hansson
Anders Hansson has been producing brilliant songs for ages--since the '80s and certainly even more recently with his work with Lena Philipsson (production work on Det gör ont en stund på natten, the album from which 2004 winner "Det gör ont" comes) and BWO, but his prominence and individual recognition has really gone up with his work on Agnes's Dance Love Pop album, which is all done by him...and which Sharon worked on. They do make ballads, sometimes, though--see Agnes's "Big Blue Wall."

Swedish media reports make it sound like we should be ready for another of those ballads, since "Tonight" is said to be a dramatic megaballad made for one singer. Sigh. There go my hopes of pop fabulousness. Expressen says that it's rumored this song will be performed by a new Alexander Bard project (that Gravitonas rock project he's mentioned or something else?).

Underbart, l: Lina Eriksson, m: Johan Moraeus
Lina Eriksson has written many songs, often poppy, but in Melodifestivalen world she's known for Thorleifs' "Sweet Kissin' in the Moonlight," Magnus Bäcklund's "The Name Of Love," and Nordman "I lågornas sken." Once again, though, looking at the music composer might be more helpful. You might vaguely remember pop-rock band Ella Rouge from some mild blog buzz a few years ago; Johan was part of that group (yeah, totally had to look him up, but I did remember the band once I heard the name and saw the album cover).

"Underbart" is a midtempo song with folk music elements according to one source, while QX says it's an uptempo happy song which is not pop. Expressen guesses the group Orsa Spelmän will perform the song and QX says it's meant for a male artist.

Unstopable [sic], m & l: Dimitri Stassos, Alexander Kronlund, Hanif Sabzevari, Ola Svensson
Some familiar names in there! Let's start with the one that isn't: Hanif is apparenetly a music critic. As for the rest, Alexander Kronlund is a BIG name--think Britney Spears ("If U Seek Amy" and "Lucky"), Robyn ("Don't Stop The Music," "Who's That Girl"), Linda Sundblad (in Lambretta--"Bimbo" and "Creep"--and solo--"Lose You"), Sugababes ("Side Chick" and "Can We Call A Truce"), and more. Dimitri Stassos doesn't sport quite the same success outside of Melodifestivalen that Alexander does--a few songs for Clea, a few songs from Ola's first album ("My Home" and "Given To Fly" are both by him and are underrated, albeit nothing like "S.O.S" or "Natalie")--but co-wrote both of Sofia's entries to the contest as well as "La noche as para mí," Soraya's Eurovision entry last year for Spain. Ola has been a vehicle for great poppy pop songs in the past, and I hope this is another case of that.

Hanif describes the song as a classic Billboard hit and a modern uptempo song. Ola sang the demo and it's speculated he's likely to sing it in the contest, too. QX/Schlagerprofilerna's Ronny Larsson reports that it's rumored this song is on par with "Natalie." I can see how it could be--Alexander going back to pure pop could and should be fantastic.

We Can Work It Out, m: Bobby Ljunggren, Marcos Ubeda, l: Andreas Johnsson
Bobby and Marcos are both fairly common names in the contest. Bobby has done a wide range of styles, as I suppose has Marcos to some degree, but I associate him with a typical Melodifestival sound, for lack of a better phrase. Andreas Johnson (spelled in the press release with two s's but seemingly taken by the Swedish press to be the artist we all know--best known internationally for "Glorious" but now usually selling a certain type of pop-rock in Sweden) entered the contest for several years running with "Sing For Me," "A Little Bit Of Love," and his Carola duet "One Love," but there's some media speculation he's hesitant to sing this song. QX, though, says he's the likely performer but that it's not in the retro pop style of his previous entries.

Yeba, l: Getty Domein Mpanzu, m: Tuomas (Tiny) Pyhäjärvi
I had NO idea who either of these two writers were.

Getty is apparently likely to perform the song, which is in Lingala.

Åt helvete för sent, m & l: Lina Eriksson, Mårten Eriksson, Susie Päivärinta
Yes, yes, those are the names of the '80s pop sister duo Lili & Susie...

...but don't get too excited because it's reported they won't be performing this beautiful orchestral ballad which either a man or woman could sing. Expressen says that SVT wants to have Thorsten Flinck or Olle Ljungström sing it.


Damian said...

Oh! I forgot that it could be Elin for singing another Tony Nilsson's song. That would be fantastic!

Hippare Hoppare is also possible for singing by Dogge Doggelito.

Don't you know - aren't Tony Malm and Anton Malmberg the same persons?

I'm disappointed that Manboy (probably the best song of MF-2010 due to such a great combination of songwriters) can be sung by Eric Saade, his voice is not tasty and I'm not impressed by him as artist at all :(

And well I just lllllove the fact that it's so much of Peter Boström this year!

And about "Never Heard Of Him" it's said in QX that it's a pop-rock song ;) Though I can't believe it's THAT song)))

I dream to see Erika on MF. Everything she does is fantastic and very strong, I've fallen in love with "About you now" after her performance on Idol.

Oh, Sibel and Anna Bergendahl!!! That would be incredible!

If "Tonight" is as great as "Big Blue Wall" or "Penny On The Sidewalk" I'm ready to give it victory already! Sweden needs to finally try some powerful ballad.

"Unstopable" has also incredible list of authors, Ola is really lucky to get this song.

Artists list is turning to be great again if all these possible artists will be there :)

Len W said...

Am I really meant to believe that you aren't familiar with the 70s hits of Ted Gärdestad and his brother Kenneth? 1979 MF winner "Satellit", even? Also pop standards performed ad infinitum on "Så Ska det Låta" like "För Kärlekens Skull", "Låt Kärleken Slå Röt", "Sol, Vind och Vatten" and "Åh, Vilken Härlig Dag".

Paul said...

my god that's comprehensive and totally insightful. As i say every year, I'm not as versed in MF as a lot of people but that doesn't mean I don't follow it on your pages. I tend to get excited when the actual finals take place - and i'm sure your blogger will be in overdrive when it does! I'll be waiting :P (ooo that's very end of x-men 2!!)

EuropeCrazy said...

A fantastic review as always, I knew I could count on you :)

Particularly excited at the thought of Ola being back at MF again as I loved "Love In Stereo".

The amazing thing about MF is that practically all of the songs become top 40 hits and it determines the Swedish radio playlists for the following 6 months so I am keeping my fingers crossed for a high standard in the 2010 selection.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this brillian post!!


Poster Girl said...

Damian, re:Antony/Tony, that was my first thought when I saw his name but I couldn't get any confirmation. I took a look at his MySpace to see if the credits matched but he doesn't list anything before 2007 and he just seems so young that I didn't know if he could have been involved with the earliest tracks Tony Malm is listed as being involved with. Swedes are talented, though, so it's possible. Oh, wait, just did a bit more checking: on Anton's old MySpace site he says he's co-written with Tony Malm, so I don't think he can be the same person. If you or anyone has any definite information, though, please let me know! I honestly don't know what Eric's voice in particular sounds like, so I'm sad to hear that. I hope he ends up impressing us because you're right, "Manboy" sure sounds like it's a great song and with the right singer could be a breakout-worthy event. I'm kind of disappointed that the Hansson/Vaughn collaboration is a ballad, but they do seem to make great ones together so hopefully we'll get something special. The Figge's got me thinking it's that song. We'll see, I guess! We always need some good former Idol entrants.

Len, you're killing me! I can't believe I didn't remember "Satellit." Now that you mention them, the other songs sound familiar, but I couldn't say for certain that I'd ever heard Ted's versions (and not just, as you mention, others singing them). Thanks for filling in my big mental gap.

I thought maybe you'd be pleased about the What's Up! guy, Paul--you've kind of always followed them more than I have. Anyway, I'm always very glad you don't just totally stop visiting the site when I get caught up in Melodifestival fever and instead just take away a handful of great songs and new singers :)

Thanks! I always feel like a perpetual beginner to the scene, but I try to do the best I can :) The idea of Ola with Alexander Kronlund is just too much--this really could be a fantastic song.

You're totally welcome, turnaround, and thanks as always for the comment and the Cheiron info.

Damian said...

You know PG, I think Doctor Doctor can be sung also by Marie Serneholt as well. As I remember she prepared her second album with Tony Nilsson but she still didn't release it, she needs successful single to promote it and she needs MF, I think SVT can invite her again as she was involved in some TV-shows on SVT this year like National Day and Eurovision preview.

Aaron said...

Oh gee! That's one HUGE post!

Firstly, Elin needs an album out - Now, regardless of a big single! Love the sound of it, I hope that she comes next!

I love the way this is done and the whole media speculation thing! I'm only running by other songs they've written - Thanks for listing them - So I'm not the best of people here, like somebody (I think it may have been you) said!

So many great numbers - I can't wait for the final list to be released!

Rao! said...

Lena Philipsson: Please be a wildcard!

Anonymous said...

I'm a German girl and "Rising girl" was a hit on the radio here in Germany, excited about "thursdays" I hope it's similar to Rising girl!!
<3 Sandra