Retro Rankings | Melodifestivalen 2014

It’s February, and that means national final season is about to shift into overdrive. THAT means those of us in unfortunate timezones will be having many late nights/early mornings in the weeks to come, while others tune into Dansk MGP or A Dal or *insert NF of choice here* over their cereal bowls. Then there’s those lucky people who get to experience NF season at a totally respectable prime-time, post-dinner slot on TV. I hate those people.

No matter the situation or dress code (2am in mismatched pajamas WOOHOO!) there are fun times ahead, and the funnest (yes, I am aware that’s not a word) time of all, in my inarguably correct opinion, is coming up this Saturday, live from Sweden. Well, more specifically, Göteborg, Sweden.

Yes, that’s right…Melodifestivalen is (almost) upon us again! Having graduated uni (for the second and final time) on the weekend, with the aftermath being a frighteningly unknowable future, Melfest is the bright spot on my horizon at the moment. I cannot wait to watch Her Royal Amazingness Sanna Nielsen and That Guy Who’s Her Co-Host commandeer the festivities. During the first semi final, said festivities will include the comeback of a Mr. Eric Saade, who’s confident he can Sting his competition into submission and represent Sweden in Eurovision once again.

The show is going to be epic, no doubt, and I thought I’d ring it in by revisiting last year’s also-fabulous edition. This post is a timely one, but it doubles as good filler as we wait until we can do a top 10 ranking of the Eurovision 2015 entries (the thought of doing a top 9 irritates me). It’s one of my famed (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) Retro Rankings, but rather than using a past Eurovision as the basis, I’m taking Melodifestivalen 2014 and turning it into a personal top 32. Whether you’ve forgotten what last year’s comp had to offer or you’re listening to the album right now and are 110% ready to fight me if I don’t have Ace Wilder on top (which I don’t, sorrynotsorry) I hope you enjoy the following. Give me your top 32, top 10 or just your favourites of Melfest ’14 in the comments. Please?

Before we begin, a brief, alphabetised recap of the comp:

 

And now…

 

#1 | Hela Natten by Josef Johansson – I fell in love with this on the first listen, and I pretty much haven’t stopped listening to it since. It didn’t even get to Andra Chansen, but the soaring, stadium-anthem quality and weighty lyrics make for a winner by Jaz standards. I’ve also become über-attached to Josef himself over the past twelve months, as he’s proved to be a very versatile artist. Check out his post-Melfest singles Blickar Kan Mörda and Tysta Leken (a cover version that I think outdoes the original) for proof.

Man-bun? Check. Ridiculous jumper? Check. Pleather kilt? Check. Outfit I still want to copy? CHECK.

Man-bun? Check. Ridiculous jumper? Check. Pleather kilt? Check. Outfit I still want to copy? CHECK.

#2 | Undo by Sanna Nielsen – Obviously. There will never be a more golden moment for me than Sanna’s marginal win in last year’s comp, after six previous attempts. I’ve always been of the opinion that Undo is her best Melfest entry, and its success at Eurovision is something of a testament to that. Her voice is both pure and powerful, giving the ballad an air of vulnerability and defiance at the same time. I sing it in the car, the shower, the toile-er, I mean, the kitchen…everywhere, basically. Sanna gave me a sad that I actually don’t want to undo.

#3 | Bedroom by Alvaro Estrella – Man, Sweden let some gems slip through their texting-and-dialling fingers in 2014! In an NF of such high quality though, it’s virtually impossible to send every great song to the final. Some would argue that Bedroom is hardly one of those greats, but filthy lyrics and all, I absolutely LOVE it. So what if you wouldn’t want it as your wedding song for fear of offending your great aunt Mildred (and for many other reasons)? It’s an irresistible slice of dance-pop in the vein of Moves Like Jagger, and I reckon it could easily fill any floor with drunk, shoeless guests. You know, if that’s what you were after.

'I must warn you, my actual bedroom doesn't have strobe lights...'

‘I should warn you, my actual bedroom doesn’t have strobe lights…’

#4 | Echo by Outtrigger – For the second time, Melfest made me love screamy rock, which is something I detest as a rule. Dead By April’s Mystery was my musical crush of 2012, and Echo became its 2014 counterpart. I don’t know exactly why I like this so much, but a lot of the appeal lies in the chorus that was made for headbanging. This can be awkward when you’re hearing the song in the middle of a supermarket as opposed to a mosh pit, but rock music ain’t about avoiding strange looks in public.

#5 | Busy Doin’ Nothin’ by Ace Wilder – I’ll admit, this would have been the more cutting-edge, daring choice for Sweden to send to Copenhagen. Vocally, it would have been less impressive than Undo, but when a song’s this catchy, I for one am too busy fist-pumping and trying not to fall to my death as I dance atop the nearest piece of furniture to pay much attention to the performer’s vocal chops.

Ace at the point of realisation: she wasn't busy doin' nothin'.

‘Wait, what? What do you mean I’m NOT busy doin’ nothin’?’

#6 | Around The World by Dr. Alban & Jessica Folcker
#7 | Survivor by Helena Paparizou
#8 | Red by EKO – If the idea of a lite, 80s synth version of Margaret Berger’s I Feed You My Love is up your alley, then you probably enjoyed this as much as I did. EKO won their way into Melfest via the pre-NF contest for new talent, and while they continued the tradition of those winners failing to qualify from their semi final, they found a fan in me with Red.

#9 | Efter Solsken by Panetoz
#10 | Yes We Can by Oscar Zia – Once upon a time I was obsessed with High School Musical, and as this song has ‘Disney Original Movie soundtrack’ written all over it, I can’t help giving it the thumbs up. Less Disney is the scandalous mention of dancing in underwear and letting the people stare, which sounds a bit like a strip club-type situation. But that’s not a bad thing, since it stops things from getting too sickly sweet.

#11 | Love Trigger by J.E.M
#12 | Natural by Anton Ewald
#13 | Bröder by Linus Svenning – Linus is back this year and singing in English, but I doubt his song will carry as much meaning and emotion as Bröder, which gets me right in the feels every time. As Yoda would most likely say if he were a Melfest fan, lovely song this is.

#14 | Hollow by Janet Leon
#15 | Aleo by Mahan Moin
#16 | Blame It On The Disco by Alcazar – Yes, it was Stay The Night with a different title, but that song did fairly well for them in Melfest, and this one did even better. I guess it’s true that if something isn’t broken, don’t bother to fix it. Here we have classic Alcazar, i.e. cheesy disco-pop with an obligatory key change (or five hundred) and it’s one heck of a guilty pleasure.

Alcazar's motto: peace, love, and a s%#tload of sequins.

The Alcazar motto: peace, love, and a s%#tload of sequins.

#17 | När Änglarna Går Hem by Martin Stenmarck
#18 | Ta Mig by Linda Bengtzing
#19 | Set Yourself Free by Little Great Things
#20 | All We Are by State of Drama – This band brought the standard of the 2013 comp up a little with Falling, but in a stronger year with a weaker song, they couldn’t come back with a bang. All We Are is competent, but pretty bland.

#21 | Burning Alive by Shirley Clamp
#22 | I Am Somebody by Pink Pistols
#23 | Glow by Manda
#24 | Casanova by Elisa Lindström – I really disliked this the first time I heard it, and I’m not about to gush over it now. However, I will compliment how happy, cute and energetic it is. It’s like a quokka in song form.

Any excuse to use a picture of a quokka will do, so here's one I prepared earlier.

Any excuse to use a picture of a quokka will do, so here’s one I prepared earlier.

#25 | To The End by YOHIO
#26 | Fight Me If You Dare by IDA
#27 | Songbird by Ellen Benediktson – This is not my preferred style of music at all, and apparently it wasn’t Ellen’s either since she’s returning with something different and more ‘her’. For me, this is a case of knowing the song is well-written and generally good, but not being able to connect with it.

#28 | En Enkel Sång by CajsaStina Åkerström
#29 | Raise Your Hands by Ammotrack
#30 | En Himmelsk Sång by Ellinore Holmer
#31 | Bygdens Son by Sylvester Schlegel
#32 | Hallelujah by The Refreshments – Can somebody please explain to me Sweden’s preoccupation with rockabilly? Perhaps it’s just SVT’s quest for variety, but every year a track like this sneaks into the lineup and leaves me scratching my head, and more often than not, hitting the Mute button.

 
Well, that’s that, and now I’ve shown you mine, you’re welcome to show me yours! If you’re up for it, also let me know who you’ll be cheering for in Melodifestivalen’s first semi on Saturday night. I’m Team Saade with a little Behrang Miri on the side, but who knows which artists will produce gems that I’ll be fawning over in a year.

 

Until next time…

nsig

 

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 26, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on February 2, 2015, in Melodifestivalen, Retro Rankings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. OMG JAZ, we did *not* just end up with the same winner omg. ❤ "Hela natten" is one of my most favorite songs from all of 2014's NFs and it's my clear MF winner. A quick top 10:
    1. Hela natten
    2. Nar änglarna går hem
    3. Busy Doin Nothin
    4. Red
    5. Glow
    6. Bygdens son
    7. Love Trigger
    8. En enkel sång
    9. Efter solsken
    10. Set Yourself Free
    Hopefully MF 2015 can match last year's edition in terms of quality songs. 🙂

    Like

    • OMG, yaaaassss we did!!!! I thought you would have seen that coming. Perhaps we should partay hela natten to celebrate?? *wink wink nudge nudge* I can’t believe I’m still pained, almost an entire year later, that our beloved Josef didn’t even make Andra. The only consolation is that he wasn’t dead last in his semi.

      So your top 10 gets about 50/50 agreement from me. Very happy to see EKO and Panetoz in there. ‘Efter Solsken’ is a little ray of sunshine, so to speak. I do have more of a fondness for Martin’s song than I did at the time, although I can’t focus entirely on the song when all I can think of is ‘What happened to his HAIR??’. I keep confusing him with Andreas Lundstedt with the baldness, and it’s very upsetting!! Get the Las Vegas hair back, dude.

      And Love Trigger is love ❤

      Melfest '14 was super duper awesome, and I'm with you – this year's had better be up to par. Sweden has no excuse. It's not like they can accidentally-on-purpose let the quality slide because they're hosting Eurovision or anything…*cough2013cough* I'm not actually relying on the "names" to keep the level up. I'm hoping for good things from JTR, Jon Henrik, Samir & Victor (if their MF song is anything like Success it will be AMAYYYZING) and Kalle Johansson. It might be all about the man power this year, as opposed to last year's girl power. Well, girl and Ace Wilder.

      Like

      • Oh, don’t worry about it. I’m pained as well, although by that point in MF, I was used to my favorites failing miserably (see “Bygdens son,” “Set Yourself Free,” and “Red”). Although in that weak semi, I thought Josef had an easy ride; but NO.

        Lovely that it can at least be 50/50. If this had been almost any other NF, I’m pretty sure that ratio would’ve been down the about 30 or 20. xD

        😀 They really don’t have any excuses for badness. Hopefully all the names are good. I’m looking at Neverstore to provide excellence, based on their backcatalogue, genre and use of G:Son (I only looked into them because a friend of mine off-handedly and snidely compared them to MadCraft, so I obviously had to check them out xD). Can’t wait to hear the songs! I never watch MF live because the streams are always perfect, so I just wait for Sunday. 🙂

        Like

  2. Righty oh! i know know that we have some similar and some way different!!! i do love me some cheesy pop though

    #1| Undo by Sanna Nielsen – of course
    #2 | Survivor by Helena Paparizou – would have been equally as happy for it to win
    #3 | Busy Doin’ Nothin’ by Ace Wilder – matts fave
    #4 | Blame It On The Disco by Alcazar – PLEASE, JUST ONCE AT EUROVISION
    #5 | Burning Alive by Shirley Clamp – I really love this
    #6 | Red by EKO – and this
    #7 | Bröder by Linus Svenning – cant wait for him to sing hopefully this year in English (and he like one of my facebook posts
    #8 | I Am Somebody by Pink Pistols – heaven
    #9 | Bedroom by Alvaro Estrella – better recorded than live
    #10 | Yes We Can by Oscar Zia – Great
    #11 | Love Trigger by J.E.M – Great Concept
    #12 | Natural by Anton Ewald – Love
    #13 | Ta Mig by Linda Bengtzing – Its Linda, so love
    #14 | Hollow by Janet Leon – Yeah
    #15 | Aleo by Mahan Moin – Meh
    #16 Hela Natten by Josef Johansson – i forgot everything from here down 🙂
    #17 Around The World by Dr. Alban & Jessica Folcker
    #18 | När Änglarna Går Hem by Martin Stenmarck
    #19 | Set Yourself Free by Little Great Things
    #20 | All We Are by State of Drama
    #21 | Efter Solsken by Panetoz
    #22 | Glow by Manda
    #23 | Casanova by Elisa Lindström
    #24 | To The End by YOHIO
    #25 | Fight Me If You Dare by IDA
    #26 | Songbird by Ellen Benediktson
    #27 | En Enkel Sång by CajsaStina Åkerström
    #28 | Raise Your Hands by Ammotrack
    #29 | En Himmelsk Sång by Ellinore Holmer
    #30 | Bygdens Son by Sylvester Schlegel
    #31 | Hallelujah by The Refreshments
    #32 Echo by Outtrigger

    I cant wait for this years to begin!!!!!!

    Like

    • Four days, Fraser…FOUR DAYS!!! To think there’s people walking around all nonchalant, unaware of the magical festivities about to take place. FOOLS!!

      Clearly, I can’t wait either. *throws back double dose of anti-crazy pills*

      Seeing Undo on top of your 32 has not surprised me, but I’m happyhappyhappy to see it there nonetheless. Let us all (or both?) bow down to Her Royal Majesty of Melodifestivalen.

      I still love Survivor, and it would have been great for Helena to be back at Eurovision (although Greece might not have thought so). I hope if she had won, her stylist would have been replaced ASAP, because both of the outfits she wore during the NF were, shall we say, unfortunate. She’s a stunning lady singing a fierce ballad and they give her a funeral dress/lampshade, then a uniform direct from the Versace prison. Where were the metallics and power shoulders? Gaaaah!! #costumerage

      I suspect you’ll have to be satisfied with Alcazar’s turn announcing Sweden’s votes last year, when it comes to seeing them in the ESC, but never say never I suppose. Now THEY had some banging outfits. I’m still hoping to stumble across an equally fab sequinned catsuit in my local op shop one day.

      Definitely agree re: Bedroom, but I don’t think the live was bad.

      Can we just take a moment to marvel at Linda Bengtzing’s Energiser Bunny-ness? That woman is nonstop manic on stage. It didn’t help her get anywhere on this occasion, but a worthy round of applause is in order anyway, I reckon *claps at warp speed in front of a turbo wind machine for three entire minutes in tribute*

      Like

  3. Nothing beats the divine Helena…

    Like

    • Well, except Sanna Nielsen. And Ace Wilder. And Alcazar. Technically speaking!! But she is amazing. I just wish she’d been given better outfits, as I can’t decide whether the dress or shirt ‘n’ pants combo was worse and less fitting for the song. Any stylist who thinks ‘What’s more suited to a song about survival and empowerment than an old black lampshade?’ needs to be fired ASAP.

      Like

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