After weeks of feverish speculation, Sweden has decided on Loreen and “Euphoria”:
With familiar songwriters (Thomas G:son and Peter Boström) and Mortal Kombat beats, “Euphoria” operates well within the parameters of Swedish pop. But unlike a lot of schlager, “Euphoria” is powerful and taps the emotions. Loreen’s voice is a great fit for the song, and her vocal is transcendent. Her performance includes dance movement that seems influenced by martial arts that at first seemed weird to me, but as the performance went on I decided that it was distinctive. Taken together, it adds up to a work with a fair amount of depth and substance. I believe “Euphoria” is one of the best songs to come out of Sweden in a decade.
Another thing I like about this entry is that it should adapt well to the Eurovision stage. In the past, some of Sweden’s larger productions have struggled to adapt Melodifestivalen staging to Eurovision’s 6 person limit and live backing vocals (cough cough Malena). Loreen’s staging is just two people, so it won’t be hard to add a backup singer to mirror her vocal where she uses backing tracks.
“Euphoria” emerges from a particularly boring and predictable Melodifestivalen. There was a real dearth of quality entries this year. We actually turned off two of the Melodifestival semifinals in disgust, and I fell asleep at one point during Globen. The only other song in the running was Danny Saucedo’s “Amazing,” which finished in 2nd place.
A few words about Danny Saucedo. I like him. He’s the consummate showman, a talented dancer and has a real knack for making fun, disposable pop music. And my impression is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. “Amazing” had fantastic production value–a Tron-inspired concept with black lighting and light up costumes, and taking full advantage of Danny’s hip hop dance skills. However, “Amazing” has one of the stupidest lyrics ever. Case in point:
“I’m feelin’ great, I’m feeling awesome
Let me explain
You are the reason I breathe
I think you’re amazing, amazing
That’s what you are”
Seriously, these sound like they were penned by a 10-year-old. Last year “In the Club” and now this. I hope Danny gets the nod one year, I really do. But to do it, he really needs to find a better song.