Tim: February’s here, and many countries are well on their way to choosing their entry to Eurovision; as ever, this means that several excellent tracks are being cruelly discarded (along with a whole load of utter tripe), either because they can’t match up to the brilliance of their peers, or because the viewing public are utter morons. Time, I reckon, to start our review of some of them, and this is a fantastic one to start with. It got knocked out of the second heat of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix last week, by three that were absolutely not as brilliant.
Tom: I was in Norway last week, as it happens. It’s a nice country. Do you like mountains?
Tim: On the whole.
Tom: Do you like fjords?
Tom: Do you like being charged a ridiculous amount of money for absolutely everything?
Tim: Erm, not so much.
Tom: Ah, then Norway may not be the country for you.
Tim: Not even with this as music?
Tim: The music is fantastic. The vocal’s got a nice tune to it.
Tom: It is, but I can’t help feeling they’ve not picked the right singer for the job. She’s got a nice, understated voice that occasionally seems a little detuned – which would be good for a calm ballad. This is a Big, Bold, Synth-Heavy track, though: it either needs someone whose voice can soar, or it needs him out of Scooter.
Tim: Perhaps, and I did think something like that when I heard the live version. The studio version, on the other hand, and which I heard first, I think sounds perfect with her voice, and it’s a great shame that didn’t come across on the night.
Tom: It’s good, but I still think it needs a more powerful vocalist. She’s great, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think she fits this track.
Tim: Well, whoever’s doing the vocals, they’re backed up by some great instrumentation – the chorus sounds like the C-music from Tetris (which was totally the best, by the way) – and it’s not remotely difficult to imagine this getting decent airplay over here. The dancing is pretty good – nothing amazing, but that glow in the dark bit when they’re all in a line with their arms is quite cool.
Tom: Of course, that’s frequently more important than the song itself as far as the voting public’s concerned.
Tim: Well, quite, and it’s not alone in that respect. Take the staging, for example, which here is somewhat incredible: the lights are roughly what you’d get if you poured half a ton of sugar into a Dulux factory and then blew it up, and as far as I’m concerned that’s as good as it gets for a song like this. And the costumes are a tad odd, even by Eurovision standards – we’ve got two giant Cornettos on each shoulder, inverse torso clothing for the dancers as well as black knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail on keyboards. Any explanation? None whatsoever, but who cares?
Tom: Because Eurovision. That’s why.
Tim: Really, the only reason I can think of not to put this through above one of the other ones would be the not-quite-Eurovision-grade steadicam shot at 1:40. So, Mr Norway, what’s Norwegian for ‘morons’?
Tom: You know, I didn’t get around to asking that when I was there. I can, however, swear in Finnish now. (No, not Norwegian. Long story.)