Another Supersized Serving of Scandipop: My Top 50 Melodifestivalen Entries, 2006-2015! (#30-#11)
Hej there! With a brief break between semi allocation draws, slogan/logo (slogo?) announcements and national finals upon us, there’s finally time for me to continue the countdown of my favourite Melfest entries ever…excluding all editions of the show between 1959 and 2005. As I mentioned in part one, narrowing the possible picks down to those performed within a ten-year period is hard enough – there’s no way I was going to put myself (or you) through the ordeal of compiling an all-time Top 50. So here we are, at the penultimate point of my 2006-2015 version: #30-#11.
Once again, I’ve made a playlist of all the tracks featured below, if you want to check that out. If you just want some method to justify the madness, then read on as I reveal…
#30 | Där Och Då Med Dig by Emelie Irewald (2015) This one flew under the radar at Melodifestivalen 2015, finishing in an unfortunate sixth place in the second semi. That was unsurprising when you consider that the main talking point of the entry, pre-show, was Emelie’s status as ex-girlfriend of Danny Saucedo (perhaps association with him is a bad luck charm? BREAK THE CURSE, MOLLY SANDÉN!). Even I was more interested in that gossip than the possibility that her song could be anything special. But come performance time, failure to qualify and all, Där Och Då Med Dig (There and Then With You) had me hypnotised. Haunting, melancholy in an intriguing manner and refreshingly subdued, it left a real impression on me – even though I was yet to Google Translate the lyrics at that point (if you haven’t, spoiler alert: they’re heartbreaking).
#29 | The Boy Can Dance by Afro-Dite (2012)
#28 | Temple of Love by BWO (2006) Now we’re getting vintage (according to the parameters of this list, at least)! BWO had many a shot at representing Sweden at Eurovision – four, to be exact. But Temple of Love was the song that resulted in their most successful attempt. I’m in total agreement with that stat, because I reckon it was by far their best entry of the lot. It’s not lyrically substantial, á la Emelie’s song, but that’s not what BWO do best. Schlager-influenced dance bangers that get butts moving are their forte, and Temple of Love is nothing if not one of those. It’s up-tempo, infectious and a ton of fun – not to mention epic to sing along to when you may or may not be a teeny bit drunk (don’t ask me how I know that).
#27 | Like Suicide by Christian Walz (2011)
#26 | Alla by Sofia (2009) Melodifestivalen 2012 would bring us traditional Greek sounds combined with Swedish-language lyrics in the form of OPA!’s Allting Blir Bra Igen…but back in ’09, we got Greek on Greek – with some rock thrown in for good measure – from Sofia (who is Swedish, but just has a thing for Greece. As an Australian with a thing for Sweden, I ain’t gonna pass judgment). And, pardon the pun, this song really does rock. I love how high-intensity it is, how much energy it whips up despite being mid-tempo, and how great the Greek (as odd as it was to hear in the Melfest line-up) sounds over music that’s traditional-meets-modern. Sofia comes across as the ultimate power woman when she belts out the anthem that is Alla, and I want to join the army that I assume she started up back then. How does ‘Private Jaz, reporting for duty!’ sound?
#25 | Busy Doin’ Nothin’ by Ace Wilder (2014)
#24 | Baby Goodbye by EMD (2009) You guys know how much I love boy bands – so, when the swarthy Swedish trio known individually as Erik, Mattias and Danny hit up Melfest, I was in my element. Featuring the success guarantee that is whistling, a thumping mid-tempo beat, and a structure that allows each member of the group to have a solo moment, Baby Goodbye sums up everything that was great about Melodifestivalen as the 2000s drew to a close. It’s slick, catchy, a little retro, and boasts the kind of killer chorus that can make you forget you’ve heard plenty of similar songs in the past (because you’re so focused on singing along enthusiastically, you can’t think about anything else).
#23 | Better Or Worse by Julia Alvgard (2011)
#22 | Empty Room by Sanna Nielsen (2008) Six years and two further entries away from FINALLY representing Sweden at Eurovision, Sanna had a crack with what is arguably one of the best ballads ever associated with…well, anyone or anything (yes, I am prone to exaggeration). The Rapunzel-esque hairdo didn’t do our girl many favours, but nobody tackles an emotional, piano-driven, heartstring-tugger like she does. Dressed in the post-breakup colour of choice and relying on nothing but her pipes to impress, Sanna sang her way to second place with a song that is just as dynamic – and just as effective as a vehicle for her voice – as Undo. Do I prefer Empty Room to Undo, then? Well, you’ll have to wait and see. I will say that it is, without doubt, up there with the best of her seven entries.
#21 | Aldrig Aldrig by Andreas Lundstedt (2012)
#20 | Echo by Outtrigger (2014) Yes, you read that right. Hard rock is hard to come by in Melfest, but when it does make an appearance, I tend to gravitate towards it like a moth to an aggressive, head-banging flame. This song allows me to let out all of my frustrations, which include but are not limited to La Voix making it to the ESC in 2009, and people being mad at Sweden for winning the contest last year instead of being mad at the scoring system. But Echo isn’t just three minutes of screaming and general noise – there is a cracking tune that accompanies all of the guitar-shredding. Rock on (a phrase only uttered by people who do not do so on a regular basis)!
#19 | Det Rår Vi Inte För by Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone (2015)
#18 | Efter Solsken by Panetoz (2014) I love Panetoz’ Melfest debut for the same reason I love their first major hit Dansa Pausa – because it’s what sunshine and happiness and rainbows would sound like if they went on a vacation together to a tropical island. Everything about this track makes me smile, from the irresistible beat, to how adorable Swedish sounds layered over it. Sometimes I like my music to be deep and meaningful and angst-ridden; but when I don’t, I turn to stuff like this and think to myself ‘Hakuna matata!’. The fun and escapist nature of this group’s music makes me very excited to hear their entry for 2016.
#17 | Keep On Walking by Salem Al Fakir (2010)
#16 | My Heart Is Refusing Me by Loreen (2011) Record-breaking, game-changing Euphoria has already made it onto this list, which may surprise you whether you’d forgotten or not. That’s right – I have a higher regard for the song that initially introduced us to Loreen (assuming we missed the 2004 season of Idol Sverige) than her Melfest/Eurovision winning one…though I love them both. I think MHIRM is a little more interesting and a little less straightforward (genre-wise) than Euphoria. It seamlessly blends elements of electro, dance and disco music to produce something that is poppy, but has a definite edge. And you’ve got to give props to Loreen for pulling off the ‘I stopped by Sesame Street, skinned a Muppet and am now wearing it as a coat’ trend.
#15 | Try Again by Dilba (2011)
#14 | In The Club by Danny Saucedo (2011) I’ve always thought that Mr. Molly Sandén tried too hard to win on his second solo shot at Melfest – meaning that Amazing, while impressive, didn’t 110% live up to its title. I much prefer Danny’s first foray in the comp without the E and the M of EMD by his side. Not only did In The Club perfectly illustrate how the guy can sing and dance simultaneously without letting one or both skills suffer as a result (not something you can say about his vanquisher Eric Saade) but it also had super crowd-pumping power. Unfortunately, I have never had the pleasure of moonwalking to this in a club (Swedish pop>mindless trance, but too few playlist programmers are aware of that). However, I have done it up and down each hallway in my house, and it was an awesome party for one, let me tell you! #tragicandiknowit
#13 | This Is My Life by Anna Bergendahl (2010)
#12 | Why Am I Crying? by Molly Sandèn (2012) I’ll keep this short and sweet, since I’ve already professed my love for WAIC in a Melfest Monday post. Molly’s one of many returnees to the Swedish NF this year, and she’s going to have to go above and beyond to equal the magnificence of Why Am I Crying? I’m confident she can do it, what with her recent releases being the bomb and all. But I’ll always have a room in my heart rented out to her 2012 entry, due to its display of emotional fragility AND strength, touches of tinkling piano, and steady build to an explosive final chorus well worth waiting for.
#11 | Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw (2015)
The Melodifestivalen/Eurovision reigning champ brings us to the end of this Scanditastic™ episode of the countdown, sadly (or not, depending on the level of enjoyment you derived from reading my ramblings). The most important installment is still to come, and it won’t be immediately – there’s some NF nattering to do first. So, to save all of your fingernails from being bitten off in suspense, I’ll drop some hints about my Top 10. Guess some or all of the featured songs/acts, and I’ll honour you with your own personal round of applause!
- The Top 10 features Melfest entries from 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. More specifically, two from 2010; four from 2012; one from 2013; and three from 2014.
- Two bands are included – one all male, the other all female. They’ve got VERY different sounds, but they’re both instrumentally inclined. My top 3, however, is made up purely of soloists.
- Two Melfest winners – and therefore, Eurovision entries – made the final cut.
- How my Top 10 placed (if they made it to their respective finals): #10 = 9th, #9 = 7th, #8 = 1st, #7 = DNQ, #6 = DNQ, #5 = 1st, #4 = 5th, #3 = 3rd, #2 = DNQ, #1 = 4th
Now’s the time for you to prep your own Melfest Top 10, if you’re keen on counting down with me. If you’re extra, EXTRA keen, I välkommen your #30-#11 lists in the comments below. Do we have any picks in common, or am I the only one with decent taste in music?
JK. I have terrible taste in music. And I’m totally okay with that.
See you sometime before Spain make their selection for Stockholm!
4 Responses to “Another Supersized Serving of Scandipop: My Top 50 Melodifestivalen Entries, 2006-2015! (#30-#11)”
[…] And if you want to revisit rather than recap, you can check out #50-#31 in detail here, and #30-#11 here. […]
Hello from the other side (of the world), Jaz!
At least I can say … I did the next part of my homework.
Today it’s time for my top 30 (up to #11) of the Melfest countdown, after I’ve enjoyed yours a lot, and without further ado here it is:
#30 Emilia – You’re my world (2009):
Okay, I can’t deny it! I loved Emilia from the moment I heard “Big, big world” for the first time, much to the chagrin of all of my friends and family! I guess nobody ever liked her much which made me feel loving her even more. Her single and album went to #1 on the German charts in 1998, so somebody must’ve bought them, right? I must confess I was among them! (No, I don’t apologize for my very bad musical taste in the 90’s! ;))
And I was very delighted to see her back in the business in 2009, and this time at Melodifestivalen final on Globen stage. What a great surprise! And of course I also liked her Melfest entry “You’re my world” much. It was a catchy song, and Emilia’s performance was lovely as always. Sometimes you’re just a prisoner of your own memories, and guess who I would’ve voted for, if I had had the Swedish voting power. Her 9th place in the Melfest final would’ve turned into a 5th place (at least), alone by my votings, I guess! 😉
#29 Magnus Carlsson – Möt mig I Gamla Stan (2015):
Another one I agree on! I think Magnus’ 2015 song was his best entry at Melodifestivalen, although I also liked “Lev livet!” from 2006 which he won his semi 2 with and ended 8th in the final. I also liked him with ‘Alcazar’ and “Not a sinner nor a saint” which did a 3rd place in the Melfest final of 2003. Now it seems that this song could become the ‘signature sing-along’ of the Eurovision 2016, since everything Eurovision-related will happen in and around Gamla Stan. And I hope we’ll sing it together in Stockholm, on maximum voice volume! 🙂
#28 Sonja Aldén – För att du Finns (2007):
This is one of the classic Eurovision ballads on Melfest stage that I liked much. I liked this simple song and its beautiful lyrics, and Sonja’s performance was a pleasure to watch. That was one of the moments in Melodifestivalen history where the wind-machine could do a little magic to her flawless vocal performance. Sonja Aldén is also no stranger at Melfest, she already has written or co-written numerous Melfest entries in the past, and at least I would like to see her on Eurovision stage one day, if she came with such a lovely ballad again.
#27 Love Generation – Dance alone (2011):
Are you ready for the Melfest party? YES, good! Then this is the ideal song to start with! In the beginning you can “dance alone” to this very catchy earworm, but be sure: the dancefloor will be filled right after the first chorus of this song, and all of the party people will sing along to it. 😉 Or maybe, that’s just me with my incredibly bad musical taste. Well, in that case I would “dance alone” to it?!
#26 Alcazar – Stay the night (2009):
Ja Ja Ja! Agree by 100%! That was the best approach by Alcazar in the past ten years, although I would have chosen “Not a sinner nor a saint” of all of their entries from a few years earlier, and my favourite song of course would be “Crying at the discotheque” (because of the “Spacer” sample from Sheila B.), their biggest success, I guess! It’s so crazy to see them always qualifying to the Melfest final and always ending up top 5, but never winning. If there would ever be a wild card for Eurovision to pick for Sweden, I would definitely give it to Alcazar for trying so hard to win Melfest in so many attempts and for so many years now. They would really deserve it! But then again, they should come with a new sound next time and something more original, IMO!
#25 Jessica Andersson – I did it for love (2010):
That’s the perfect song for “Kuschelrock”, although it never appeared on any of their current editions. Although there is a strong resemblance to Faith Hill’s “There you’ll be” from the early 00’s, I also like Jessica’s voice and this classic ballad much. I love how it builds up to its climax, formed by a beautiful melody. I think this song was Jessica’s best attempt at Melfest, apart from the “Fame” entry. It probably would be the perfect “love theme” on a dated Hollywood romantic comedy soundtrack?!
#24 Sebastian Karlsson – When the night comes falling (2007):
This is one of my Melfest favourites when it comes up to singing. To be honest, I always find myself singing along to it in the car. This is so catchy and an absolute earworm that is stuck in your head after just one listen. And it is still one of my favourite songs from 2007, and I would’ve loved to see this one winning over “The Ark”, which belongs to my least favourite Swedish entries. Such a shame Sebastian only came 7th in the final of 2007!
#23 Josef Johansson – Hela natten (2014):
I already predicted a top 10 placement of Josef in your Mello top 50, and that would be well deserved, since it’s a great song. I was really surprised to see him not qualifying to the final two years ago. The least I expected was him to go to ‘Andra Chansen’, as he was much better than Anton, Ellinore and Ammotrack in his semi. Plus he gets my award for ‘coolest outfit’ at Melfest 2014, if not ever?! Great choice, if it hits your top 10!
#22 Julia Alvgard – Better or worse (2011):
YEEESSS, agree again, and we almost chose the same place in our “Playing with numbers”! It’s a great pop song with very good vocals by Julia. Unfortunately her performance was a bit too static and the stage looked much too dark, a little more light would’ve helped here to put Julia into the ‘right light’. The chorus sounds so familiar and always reminds me of another song, but I can’t say which one it is. Help!?
#21 Jon Henrik Fjällgren – Jag är fri (Manne leam frije) (2015):
Your #50 is my #21! That was an outstanding song and performance by Jon, and totally different to what Sweden normally sends to Eurovision. Of course, it strongly resembles to “The return of innocence” by Enigma, but since I was a fan of that kind of ethno pop in the 90’s, it’s no surprise that I like “Jag är fri” much too. That would have been a pretty good choice for Eurovision 2015 too. Unfortunately it lacked a bit of an exciting stage show!
#20 Danny Saucedo –Amazing (2012):
And here he is (for the first time): Sweden’s top singer, dancer and performer, all in one, IMO! I agree, his second solo attempt on Melfest stage was #2 out of 2, but still ‘Amazing’ enough to hit my top 20! I think Danny is an awesome artist and my favourite singer from all Swedish artists.
How hard must it be to end up 2nd in two consecutive Melfest finals, so close to a victory and his first Eurovision performance?! I guess he must’ve been very disappointed about that.
But as we all know it was the right decision of the international juries and the Swedish televoters to send Loreen to Baku.
#19 Shirley Clamp – Burning alive (2014):
I loved that song the first time I heard it, and it is still one of my personal favourites from 2014. “Burning alive” and the sound of Shirley’s voice remind me much of former Eurovision star Lara Fabian and her greatest hit “I will love again”. Both songs start ballad-esque and transform into a mid-tempo/ upbeat song in their chorus. That is what I like most about these two. On the other hand it maybe sounded too much 90’s/ early 00’s which could be the reason why it did not qualify. BTW, I also like her 2004 entry “Min kärlek”, which came 2nd in the final, and thought it would’ve been a much better song for Eurovision, compared to “Det gör ont” by Lena Philipsson.
#18 Andreas Johnson – Sing for me (2006):
I actually think that the Swedes did everything right by choosing ‘Invincible’ by Carola for Athens in 2006. But apart from Carola SFM by Andreas Johnson is my second favourite from the line-up of all Mello songs from 2006. I find it a catchy song that always gets me into a good mood, and the chorus is just perfect to sing along to. IMO, it was Andreas’ best song and approach at Melodifestivalen and it was also his best result in a Melfest final.
#17 Ulrik Munther – Tell the world I’m here (2013):
You already pointed out that 2013 was a ‘lowlight’ year concerning Melodifestivalen. Almost none of the songs in the line-up were that strong that it could have hit the Eurovision top 10 on the scoreboard, EXCEPT FOR: David Lindgren AND Ulrik Munther, IMO. It was just a little song, but with the right staging and the focus on Ulrik this could’ve been quite successful on home soil, at least I believe that. It could have been another little ‘Paradise Oskar’ with a much better “Da Da Dam”. BTW, I expect Ulrik to be in your Melfest top 10, only with a different song.
#16 Panetoz – Efter solsken (2014):
Absolute agreement on that! That song is awesome, it is like a breath of fresh air and the sun coming out on a dull day. And the four gentlemen had a great performance during their first time on Mello stage. This is so damn catchy that it’s practically not possible not to move your feet to it. If Sweden is about to choose something against the mainstream this year, then it can only be Panetoz with hopefully an equally great song. We will see?!
#15 Kristin Amparo – I see you (2015):
I’m still not over it! How could this beautiful ‘pearl’ of a song lose against that totally awful Carnival schlager by Hasse Andersson in Andra Chansen last year??? That was my personal shocking moment in Melodifestivalen 2015. Kristin has such a fantastic and powerful soul voice that gives me goosebumps every time in a way that the wonderful Rebecca Ferguson does too. The verses remind a bit on the great classic “A whiter shade of pale”, while the chorus is absolutely stunning. And “I see you” is not only my strongest grower from all entries last year, but also one of my favourite ballads of the year. It often happens that songs come and go really fast, but this is one that will stay with me for quite a while. It’s absolutely beautiful, IMO!
#14 Helena Paparizou – Survivor (2014):
I know you expected that, not? Whenever I have the chance to mention my favourite female Eurovision artist, it happens automatically. Helena simply is an unbelievably talented live performer. She always nails it with her voice, and it always looks so easy, although she mostly has some difficult parts in her songs. I would have loved to see her back on Eurovision stage in Copenhagen, but I understand that it was not her Swedish year in Melfest 2014, although her song sounded pretty Swedish.
[Side note: Helena is also one of my fave female names, not just because of Miss Paparizou, but also because of my beloved favourite female actress of all-time, that is Miss Bonham Carter, plus that beautiful song called “Hélène” from the late 80’s, which is always in my head, impressed me much. Personal facts that the world hasn’t waited for! ;-)]
#13 Lisa Miskovsky – Why start a fire (2012):
A brilliant song sung by a beautiful voice, that’s what I think about this entry. I am a fan of Lisa for many years now, ever since her great breakthrough album “Fallingwater” from 2004, which was amazing. I loved her songs “Lady Stardust”, “Sing to me” and “You dance just like me” from that year, which were a bit country-like. But she sounds equally amazing with electronic music. Her new sound resembles a bit to the fabulous Maggie Reilly on her Mike Oldfield classics.
That song is up to come in your top 10, I am very confident that it will! And that will get a big round of applause by moi. 😉
#12 Salem Al Fakir – Keep on walking (2010):
As much as I liked Anna Bergendahl, but I personally had chosen Salem Al Fakir for Eurovision in 2010. That song’s my favourite from that year, and I simply always want my fave song to win. I also thought that Salem would have been a secure qualifier, because his song and vocal performance stood out from all the other entries. Well, we won’t find out, but I would like to have Salem back at Mello for a second chance win. Maybe a good suggestion for next year, Christer Björkman!
#11 Sara Varga – Spring för livet (2011):
Just outside my top 10 another wonderful song that was beautifully performed by Sara. This one sounds quite “easy listening” and very laid back, but if you take a closer look at its lyrics, you will find out that it’s almost the opposite of “sweet and gentle”. This surprising contrast of the music on the one hand and the lyrics on the other hand gives a special note to this song. Apart from that it was perfectly sung by Sara and well staged. For me it is a little but great song and belongs to the best songs of Melodifestivalen ever.
From those mentioned songs in your second part of the countdown, that did not hit my top 50, I also like Christian Walz, Sofia and the 2012 Andreas Lundstedt. 😉 They are really good choices as well.
Now I am absolutely curious about your big 10, and how many of them I guessed right?! CAN’T WAIT to see them!
And we’re just 5 days away from MELODIFESTIVALEN 2016!!! Time’s running sooo fast!
Bye for now from Germany and see you then,
P.S. I’ve got to get that job, that would be the first time ever I really loved my job!
Quote: We have great taste in music!!! 😉
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Great choice, Jaz!
I love this countdown, because it shows all of the musical variety that Sweden has to offer.
For that alone they would deserve to win the Eurovision every year (although that would be very boring!). Melodifestivalen is always known for its very entertaining shows, great Swedish artists and its perfect songs for Eurovision. I always think one could do a whole Eurovision just with Melfest songs and you wouldn’t notice that it’s all Swedish because of its variety!
I am not ready yet with the next part of my countdown, my #30 to #11 will come in a few days, but I can already tell this:
Then AGAIN, we share TEN! 😉 (O.K., I am not the greatest poet of all-time!!!)
Today I just want to talk about your last paragraphs of your post that refer to your top 10 entries. That is probably your check if somebody’s reading it, not? So I can tell you: YES, I did!
And I had big fun last night solving your Melfest logical a.k.a. the TOP 10 PUZZLE (and BTW, I LOVE puzzles!).Well, the 3 DNQ’s were the hardest part of it!
Now I did my maths, plus a lot of Melfest research and this is my solution:
#10 Lisa Miskovsky – Why start a fire (9th in 2012)
# 9 Dead by April – Mystery (7th in 2012) [I would never have guessed that!]
# 8 Robin Stjernberg – You (1st in 2013)
# 7 Alvaro Estrella – Bedroom (DNQ in 2014)
# 6 Mattias Andréasson – Förlat mig (DNQ in 2012)
# 5 Sanna Nielsen – Undo (1st in 2014)
# 4 Timoteij – Kom (5th in 2010)
# 3 Ulrik Munther – Soldiers (3rd in 2012)
# 2 Josef Johansson – Hela natten (DNQ in 2014)
# 1 Darin – You’re out of my life (4th in 2010)
But now I’m asking you (with Elaiza): Is it right or is it wrong? Did I pass the Melfest test?
Is it enough for applying for the EBJ back office job in Eurovision / Melfest research? 🙂
At least I hope for a little round of applause for just a few correct guesses?! I am very confident about your ‘numero uno’! 😉
That was a great fun riddle, loved it!
Will be back in a few days with my next part of the Melfest countdown.
So until then, have some happy Eurovisiony days!
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“I always think one could do a whole Eurovision just with Melfest songs and you wouldn’t notice that it’s all Swedish because of its variety!”. You’re probably right – and sometimes it seems like Eurovision has the quota of Swedish songwriters to be its own version of Melfest anyway 😉 But just in case Christer is hanging around, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING TO TAKE OVER EUROVISION, MISTER!
Well, I’m happy my incredibly cryptic (HA HA) clues were put to good use, testing your limits. In the interests of maintaining the maximum level of suspense, I won’t tell you if you’re right or wrong…or in this case, how right you are. A few more days and all will be revealed! I’m looking forward to the second part of your countdown in the meantime. If we do have ten in common then I won’t have too much to complain about, will I?
Oh, and by the way – if I’m ever popular/in demand enough to require office staff, you will of course be my first pick for personnel.
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