Saturday Flashback: Måns Zelmerlöw – Hope & Glory

Tim: Item two in the current collection of “oh, I forgot all about this one”: Måns’s entry for Melodifestivalen 2009. Topped the final with the juries but only came fifth with the voters, leaving to a final fourth place.

Tom: Okay, just take a moment here, because I want to talk about a technical thing that speaks of the professionalism of both Måns and the production crew. The second shot: the one that cuts straight to his finger. It looks really simple, but that’s a perfectly framed and focused shot. That means Måns had to hit his mark exactly, raised his finger to the planned position exactly, and then the camera op had to make any final adjustments in under a second so the director could cut to it.

That one shot sums up Melodifestivalen’s tech for me: they didn’t need to do that, barely anyone will have cared about it, but artistically they wanted to so they made it happen.

Tim: Yeah – and that is, genuinely, one of my favourite things about Melodifestivalen, and frequently Eurovision as well – the creativity and expertise with the camerawork, like the other example we had last month, with dancers coming out of nowhere. It’s something you rarely get anywhere else, yet it’s such an art form.

ANYWAY. The song.

Now I don’t want to say it was the outfit that killed it, but I will say that while I think the song’s fantastic, and the backing graphics are good as well, there’s no way I’d pick up the phone for someone wearing that jacket/shirt/bow tie combination. Too harsh? I don’t know, but like I said, I do think that song’s brilliant.

Tom: Really? It almost sounds off-key during the verses. I don’t think that’s accidental, because Måns has proved that he can reliably hit live notes; I think that’s down to the composition. I’ll grant you that’s a decent chorus and a fantastic middle eight, though.

Tim: Right – and indeed that part right after the middle eight, though it’s funny: it uses almost the exact same trick that Cara Mia did two years previously of going slightly euphoric, albeit a tad less enthusiastically. It works well here just as well, but it could be argued that maybe it got some people being less impressed? I don’t know – almost a decade on it’s hard to know anything, except simply that this is a damn good track.

1 thought on “Saturday Flashback: Måns Zelmerlöw – Hope & Glory”

  1. Oh! I like the melody of this one! With the backing stuff in a proper studio balance I could honestly see it being something I like enough to put into a playlist… the mix in this version leaves a bit to be desired but that happens with live performances, I’m not super bothered by it. I can hear enough of each part to tell it would be pretty decent properly mixed, and great with a fuller orchestration that maybe brought in some strings.

    Regarding Tom’s comment about the tuning in the verse – there is a slip at the beginning of the song, on the second “it’s gonna be the one”, but I think that was the backup singer’s fault, not his? After that it’s pretty ok… there’s some weird bendy stuff on a very small number of the vowels but it’s probably got more to do with his accent making him chew diphthongs than actually being out of tune.

    I think this may be the first time in the six-ish months I’ve been reading that I’ve been introduced to a song here and decided I actually genuinely like it (the abba/cher stuff does not count, because I already knew every song on that album by heart) so I guess that’s good news!

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