1. Annica Milán & Kimmo Blom – “Good Enough”
This is a pretty typical power pop duet, but it’s very enjoyable. It took me a couple listens for it to grow on me, but it’s towards the top of my list now. I honestly would not mind this being sent to Eurovision.
2. Attention 2 – “Ready For the Show”
With a juvenile composition and cringe worthy video, this screams Junior Eurovision. That said, if it was in the JESC it would be a strong entry. Attention 2 have said they would have liked to participate in the JESC, but Finland doesn’t compete in that contest. Shame, as I think this would have fit better in that contest than UMK. It’s still quite catchy though.
3. Barbe-Q-Barbies – “Let Me Out”
The token Finnish rock number, it’s not a stand out. Most of the songs competing this year are at the very least pleasant to listen to, but this one is a bomb. Pass.
4. Clemso – “Thief”
This song has a mid-2000’s American R&B style production, so based on that alone is stands out from the rest. It’s a pretty decent song, but the melody could use a revamp. It doesn’t go as hard as I would’ve liked it to.
5. Cristal Snow – “Love is Blind”
Cristal Snow is the only artist in this years lineup I had heard of prior to this contestants being announced. He made budget Lady Gaga-esque dance-pop with a RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant style image, which was fun for what it is, but this new make over of his is a major improvement. That isn’t to say “Love Is Blind” is phenomenal. It is pretty middle of the road in terms of synth pop ballads, but it’s a pretty solid track that I have no problem enjoying. It’s paired with a cute LGBT friendly music video as well, so no real complaints here.
6. Eini – “Draamaa”
This is the run of the mill synth’d out schlager number. It’s catchy in the way all schlager is, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Once again, solid but unremarkable.
7. Gušani Brothers – “Poom Poom”
This is actually my favorite song of the bunch. It is a big Eastern European style EDM song, very similar to something Inna or Alexandra Stan would’ve released a few years ago. This could easily be a club hit throughout Europe, but it’s most likely not right for Eurovision.
8. Lieminen – “Pehmeiden arvojen vaalijat”
This wannabe Daft Punk track is a dud. One of the least interesting and least listenable tracks among the 2016 entries.
9. Mikael Saari – “On it Goes”
This is a really unremarkable ballad. It sounds very similar to Norway’s 2010 Eurovision entry “My Heart Is Yours,” but worse. It doesn’t build the way that song did.
10. Mikko Herranen – “Evil Tone”
A really out-of-date rocker ballad, but it’s kind of catchy. Hopefully this gets eliminated sooner rather than later.
11. Pää-Äijät – “Shamppanjataivas”
This is that typical up-tempo comedy/novelty act Scandinavians will find hilarious. That said, I usually mildly enjoy those entries, and this is no exception. Don’t get it twisted though, I do not want this to win.
12. Pietarin Spektaakkeli – “Liian kuuma”
I can’t quite tell if I absolutely loath this, or kind of like it. It’s a swing track, which is horrible genre to send to Eurovision. Throw back genre’s genrally don’t do well at the contest – unless the throw back is a big 80s style power ballad.
13. Rafaela Truda – “Rise Up”
This song sounds exactly like Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s also not a particularly good thing either. The similarities are glaring, but the track overall is pretty solid. It has a nice Latin style production and a catchy chorus. This would be a fine UMK winner, but it may not do too well at Eurovision as voters would likely be turned off by it’s similarities to “Problem.”
14. Saara Aalto – “No Fear”
I can’t help but think this will win UMK. It’s a very odd song, with strange vocals and a really unorthodox productions in terms of how Eurovision ballads sound, with very minimal percussion being drowned out by a sitar loop. Towards the end it picks up a bit, and overall it’s a decent track that stands out from the rest. I have a feeling this is both standard and bizarre enough to win over the Finnish public.
15. Sandhja – “Sing it Away”
Very generic Eurovision-y sounding song, it is still enjoyable. I quite like this song, though it isn’t anything special.
16. Stella Christine – “Ain’t Got Time for Boys”
I really do not enjoy listening to this song. It sounds like filler.
17. Tuuli Okkonen – “Don’t Wake Me Up”
The verses of this song could use a lot of work, as they drag a bit, but the chorus is super catchy. Desperately in need of a revamp, but there is a lot of potential here.
18. Ylona – “Blazing Fire”
This song could be a fierce EDM smash, but it never quite goes all the way. It rests on just being really bland electro pop.