Friday, January 25, 2013

A Real Battle In Iceland

Iceland this year are presenting what is generally seen as a strong selection this year and ahead of tonight's first semi-final I take a look that the songs in the competition.

Mangí Ásgeirsson – Ekki Líta Undan
A rather unusual song from Mangí given his song last year – it is more of a pop song with some rock overtones. It is a good piece of music in this national final and does hold the listeners attention for the song. Personally I was never as big a fan of Mangí as many fans are, so I am less convinced by the song but it is still a good entry. Grade: C+

Eyϸór Ingi Gunnlaugsson – Ég Á Lif
Though I am sometimes critical of the number of simple ballads in national finals this song really stands out from the crowd as there are so few similar songs in the Icelandic selection. I love the Celtic overtones in the song, particularly. However I think it lacks original song writing, which is a serious fault. Grade: B

Svavar Knútur Kristinsson & Hreindís Ylva Gardardóttir Holm – Lífio Snyst
This is a really happy song which bounces along and is a nice and pleasant song to listen to. However if this was in a national final with more songs than the Icelandic semi-finals I would be concerned for it as it is not the most memorable song, however it is still a great song to listen to and may surprise a few in the national final, should it get that far. Grade: B+

Birgitta Haukdal – Medal Andanna
Birgitta returns to the national final for the first time since representing the Icelandic nation in 2003 with the song “Open Your Heart”. However I would say that this song is very different to her song in 2003. It is very dramatic and relies on the percussion elements of the song to carry it forward. It could be a success, given Birgitta’s public profile in Iceland. Personally I am less convinced. This is far from the strongest song in this competition and is lacking in creativity. Grade: B

Edda Vidarsdóttir – Sá Sem Laetur Hjartad Ráda For
A slow and gentle song that is similar to many songs we have seen the Icelandic national final before. Personally I think this is the weakest song in this semi-final. It is too simple to be really considered a good song. Grade: C-

Yohanna – Du
After surprisingly returning once again to the national selection Yohanna has a completely different song to the one that brought Iceland to second place in Moscow. It is difficult to say how this pop song will go down in Iceland, though in my opinion, I think that this is far from the best song in this selection process, though it is the best in this semi. This surprises me a lot as I was convinced after 2011, Yohanna would not enter again unless she was certain about a song. Grade: A-

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