1. Molly Pettersson Hammar – “I’ll Be Fine” ~Rating: 7/10~
This isn’t bad. Not blown away by it as a song, but those vocals are killer. It’s catchy and builds pretty nicely as it goes along. It’s a shame it did so poorly.
2. Daniel Gildenlöw – “Pappa” ~Rating: sashay away/10~
Not only is this the most boring song of the week, it’s also the most uncomfortable. The way Daniel stares at the camera for long periods of time while hardly moving gives me major creeper vibes. I am not feeling anything about this.
3. Rickard Söderberg & Elize Ryd – “One By One” ~Rating: 4/10~
Totally bizarre. Not really into this, but the crowd seems to like it. A heavy metal/opera hybrid isn’t exactly my thing, and Rickard serves some crazy eyes that honestly scare the shit out of me. It’s leagues better than “Pappa” though.
4. Dolly Style -“Hello Hi” ~Rating: 8/10~
So this is a tough one. I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing a female Yohio, but this ended up being nothing like Yohio. Sure, it’s J-pop influenced visually, among other things like Polly Pocket and Monster High dolls – seriously can they even get away with having the Monster High skullete on stage? Why is nobody suing them? – but the song itself is not inspired by J-pop at all. The song is a straight forward europop novelty song, the type that was all the rage in the 80’s and 90’s. Think Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” for reference. It’s actually pretty darn spot on for a Eurotrash girl, too. The girls all sing on key and their overall dancing ability is fluid and energetic.
They should have ditched the cultural appropriation angle and simply gone for a straight forward doll concept instead, and it would be way less offensive. The Japanese cultural appropriation is rather unneeded. I know that late 90’s/early 00’s europop novelty acts really loved dressing up as Asians; Rollergirls “Geisha Dreams” and Froggy Mix’s “No More Nagging” are perfect examples of this, and “Hello Hi” feels sort of like a ode to that time. Hell, that trend wasn’t even limited to novelty acts. TLC and Madonna both dressed up as Asian women and Gwen Stefani famously had a posse of Japanese girls following her around. But the world has changed, and playing dress up is just plain tacky. Lame brained euro trash is fine, but leave other ethnicities out of it.
5. Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone – “Det rår vi inte för” ~Rating: 4/10~
I want to like this song if only for the fact that Måns Zelmerlöw wrote it, but it’s pretty average to be perfectly honest. It’s the type of rap/pop ballad that we’ve heard a million times before. I feel less guilty for not loving this track though because Måns is competing in heat 4 this year, so I can just go crazy for that song instead and call it even.
6. Jessica Andersson – “Can’t Hurt Me Now” ~Rating: 6/10~
Not the most memorable song but it’s quite elegant. It’s a classic Melfest ballad that goes largely unnoticed due to it being something we’ve all seen 10,000 times before, but I rather enjoyed it.
7. Eric Saade – “Sting” ~Rating: 6/10~
So it’s pretty easy to just write this one off as trash for many reasons, as many already have. The first reason is the most petty reason which is Eric himself. He’s always had the personality of a piece of white printer paper laying on a white linoleum floor: practically invisible from afar – does it even exist? – but the moment you come into contact with it, BOOM! Instant pain in the ass and you’re down for the count. Another reason one may write this song off is because of a more legitimate reason: Saade’s lack of singing ability. Saade has always been the king of distracting gimmickry. Can’t sing? Well just lock yourself up in a glass cage while gallons of water rain down upon the stage as strobe lights mimic lightning and nobody will ever notice those sour notes! I mean, this is the guy who released two volumes of basically the same concept-less album simply because it was a decent marketing gimmick. The third reason is because of the Saade + Kempe pairing. This pairing is becoming the Swedish equivalent of the J.Lo feat. Pitbull. Been there, done that.
But not counting any of that preconceived bias, how is the song itself? It’s pretty average to be quote honest. It was obviously heavily inspired by Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” except with a lower budget production and absolutely no vocal talent. I can see it doing well mainly due to Eric being popular among teenage girls, but he’s definitely had better songs than this one in the past.