Danish Week: Christopher Brandt – Emma

Definitely one to play your grandparents

Tim: Here’s one that for some reason doesn’t have a performance on YouTube, and it’s definitely one to play your grandparents, making sure they pay attention at the seventeen second mark.

Tom: Wait, is he actually swearing in English there, or is it just a Danish word that sounds amusingly similar?

Tim: Well, while most of the song is in Danish, that bit actually isn’t – he broke into English just so he could be a bit offensive. As for the other lyrics, I’m not really sure what they mean – the only lyrics I could find for it were on YouTube, and Google didn’t like them. From what I can tell it’s basically ‘I’m a shit boyfriend but I do love you, honest’, with the chorus going about about forgetting to cooking her brunch on Sunday.

Tom: Top work by the lyricist there. It’s nice to know that even in other languages, sometimes our old Anglo-Saxon profanities are still necessary.

Tim: Musically there’s not really a lot going on (as with the performance, which just had him standing on stage in a suit if my memory serves me correctly) – the instrumentation’s fairly low key throughout, although there’s a slight beat that comes in for the choruses. I don’t mind that, though – the guy’s voice seems strong enough to hold it on its own, and I think this was a very worthy contender.

Danish Week: Lee Hutton – Hollywood Girl

Tom’s required to take an irrational dislike to him.

Tim: ‘Lee Hutton? Doesn’t sound very Danish to me.’ No; he is in fact from Chesterfield.

Tom: I believe that, as I’m originally from Chesterfield’s traditional rival town Mansfield, I’m required to take an irrational dislike to him.

Tim: He does appreciate Danish beer and women, however, so he reckons he’s qualified to represent them; the Danes disagreed.

Tom: Good. He’s a — excuse me while I Google the appropriate insult — “Spireite traitor”.

Tim: This is one I really like, even though it’s actually a bit crap and something that The Wanted could probably put out without much effort. There’s a lot of energy, with the lights all over the place, it’s a decent tune.

Tom: It’s terrible and uninspiring, the energy seems forced, and he should — er, let me check — “go back to his crooked bloody church”.

Tim: The girls with the anti-gravity skirts seem a bit odd, though – the way they’re trying incredibly hard to keep them pushed them down gives me the impression that either the fan below them was far far stronger than anyone intended, or they just didn’t know it was going to be there at all and it was a nice surprise for everyone except them on the evening.

Tom: Now I’ve got nothing against those girls, nor those skirts. I believe they’re trying to emulate the Marilyn Monroe subway-grate skirt-scene from “The Seven Year Itch”, but the reference does seem to have been lost somewhere or other…

Danish Week: Sine – You’ll Get Me Through

Obviously we can’t have every Eurovision song being like this.

Tim: At the risk of repeating a discussion we had a few months back with Yohanna, I present something calming.

Tim: Obviously we can’t have every Eurovision song being like this, but decent ballads here and there are nice, and this could have provided a bit of relaxation after the excitement of something like Popular, perhaps. It’s a good tune, it’s a great singer, the lyrics are lovely and uplifting; add in the wonderfully executed key change, and it’s great.

Tom: Is it really a Eurovision song, though? It’s a lovely track, and ballads have won the contest before: but even Alexander Rybak had energy and jumping about the stage.

Tim: As for the performance here: I love it. It does seem a bit odd when the bloke first appears and just stands there, like he might be some creepy stalker, but when you realise what’s going on though, and that he’s the bloke she’s singing to, there’s a sort of ‘awww’ feeling that appears. Innit nice?

Tom: Are you kidding me? That reveal shot is like something from a horror movie – and the camera angles that make him seem to appear and disappear just make it worse. He’s like Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Only much creepier.

Danish Week: Jenny Berggren – Let Your Heart Be Mine

A shame she doesn’t move much

Tim: Another that didn’t make the top four, from the former Ace of Base singer turned soloist.

Tim: Dancey and rhythmic, this is a tune that forces my knee to jiggle, which is why it seems a bit of a shame she doesn’t move much at all, really.

Tom: It’s almost as if that pounding beat has overpowered her voice: I don’t think she could have put more into it, but somehow it seems like she should have done.

Tim: Right – and I don’t quite know what’s with the weakest-prison-ever thing at the start of the performance, but once they’ve got rid of that there’s no excuse not to put a bit of energy into it.

Tom: Even the wind machine seems a bit half-assed. There’s plenty of energy in it – it just can’t be heard over the THUMP THUMP THUMP.

Tim: As for the key change: it comes when expected, but is it just me or does it seem wrong? I get the feeling it might have been better going a couple of notches higher.

Danish Week: Kat & Justin Hopkins – Black & Blue

It’s constantly threatening to burst out

Tim: There’s a (slight) chance the first line or two of the chorus may remind you of something; it did me and I felt a great sense of satisfaction when I worked out what it was.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLtNGmCe8QY

Tom: Bloody hell, I’ve never heard audience clapping die out that anticlimactically before. “Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!… oh, wait, it’s a slow song. Never mind.”

Tim: It is a bit odd, isn’t it? Musically, though, it’s great (aside from the occasional duff note in the performance).

Tom: He does appBZZZ to be sZZZng a bit close to tZZZ micrZZZZZT at times, doesn’t he?

Tim: Brilliant tune – like, really brilliant, I think – and it’s definitely one of my favourites from the night. Denmark didn’t agree, unfortunately, and it didn’t make it through to the semi-final stage*.

* 10 songs, four go through to a knock-out competition.

Tom: And I don’t agree either: it’s constantly threatening to burst out, but it never quite does – even when they’re actually pumping their fists in the air and jumping around the stage, it dies back down again. It’s a bit Gollum and Smeagol, really; it’s like someone keeps crossfading between two different but similar-sounding songs.

Tim: You think? I reckon it’s fantastic. Past the music, though, as a love song it’s slightly odd, consisting as it does of a guy and a girl singing to each other about how the relationship is bad for them; if you both feel that way, just break up.

Tom: Or at least take the microphone away from your mouth.

Danish Week: Le Freak – 25 Hours A Day

The lead singer looks suitably insane.

Tim: Now, with less than two weeks to go, we’ve almost filled up our Saturday Reject slots, but somehow we’ve completely forgotten about any Danish entries. This is a great shame, because this year’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix was an absolute triumph. Let’s make up for that with a week of the stuff.

Tim: These guys are pretty much the closest DMGP —

Tom: (That’s “Dansk Melodi Grand Prix”, fact fans.)

Tim: — got to Le Kid, and it really is a good track, isn’t it?

Tom: I’m geeky enough that the “25 hours a day” thing annoys me, just as it would if someone said they were “giving 110%”. The bridge and key change redeemed it, though.

Tim: Good, because yes, it’s annoying, but it’s also as poppy as they come, the lead singer looks suitably insane (with suitably short legwear) and the lighting is just all over the place, which suits the tone of the song no end.

Tom: That’s a proper seventies-hippie getup she’s wearing, and while I do appreciate the short legwear I can’t help but note they’re pulled up so high they look a bit like some kind of schlager-based surgical truss.

Tim: My only slight disappointment comes at the closing part, when they could (and basically should) have got a bit more use out of the oohh-ohh singer that comes in for a couple of notes and then sort of fades away again.

Tom: It does go on a bit too much – but then, it looks like it came out the 70s. That fits it well.

Saturday Reject: Linda Pritchard – Alive

The message is simple: listen to Linda.

Tim: Here’s a song that could be straight out of the Avatar soundtrack, but is actually straight out of Melodifestivalen’s Second Chance round.

Tom: Is it sung in Na’vi? No? Damn.

Tim: No staging, no other people, the message is simple: listen to Linda. Listen to her deliver these inspiring vocals superbly, and watch as we bathe her in heavenly light. First see her as an angel with this halo we’ve started her off with, who has descended to Earth to fill humanity with beautiful music and happy thoughts. Now hear the emotion in her voice as she describes how the pain of a near break-up can turn to something that brings a couple closer than ever. And then see the sparks raining down and the stage fill with light, brought on solely by her perfectly executed key change. Finally, hear her thanks and divine giggle at the end, and take that as a signal to take down the number and vote for her later.

Tom: I couldn’t interrupt a beautiful paragraph like that. In summary: I thought it took a long while to get going, but you’re right – the ending was worth it.

Sanna Nielsen – I’m in Love (SoundFactory Mix)

So remixed that it’s almost a different song,

Tim: The original version of this would belong on the Saturday Rejects pile; this remix is so remixed that it’s almost a different song, though, so it’s going here. Problem with that? Tough.

Tom: This is one extremely danceable chorus. Not so sure about the verses, but it’s got enough of a beat to keep the floor moving, I reckon.

Tim: All the good bits of the original are still there – the chorus melody, the apparent desperation in her vocals to get her message across and the fairly strong dance beat – but added on top is a load of great swooshy stuff and a completely different feel to the verses, which I love.

Tom: That said, the chorus does sound like it’s had a lot of stuff added on top rather than mixed in – the volume crashes upwards, the new things are almost drowning out the old. That said: still excellent.

Tim: It’s gone from being a good dance track to a great dance track. Top marks.

Sarah – Min Øjesten

Who’s for an X Factor winner’s single?

Tim: Who’s for an X Factor winner’s single? From Denmark, that is.

Tom: Now, that’s someone you wouldn’t expect to win a UK X Factor. 15 years old and lesbian? I think I’m right in saying all the British winners are significantly more middle-of-the-road. And it’s not often I really appreciate a Beatles cover, let alone one off a reality show, but she can belt out ‘Come Together’ incredibly well.

Tim: The lyrics are of the ‘how can you be with her, have you forgotten me already?’ variety, but fortunately the music’s nowhere near as bland. It been composed by a rather good Danish bloke who calls himself Xander (and whose music we’ll hopefully get around to discussing on here at some point), and it’s pretty much on the other side of the world from the usual British X Factor fare.

Tom: And it’s so much the better for it.

Tim: Interesting, original – basically it’s not trying to be like everything else out there, and it is, as you say, much the better for it. This is an X Factor winner I would be very happy with.

Tom: Damn right.

Zekes – Vi Lyfter Igen

Quick little dansband number for you.

Tim: Quick little number for you now from Zekes, a Swedish dansband.

Tom: Ooh, I’m going to enjoy this. For the uninitiated, Wikipedia has an excellent summary of dansband: yes, it wouldn’t work in Britain, and I doubt I could listen to an whole album of it, but it still cheers me up no end.

Tim: I’m not normally a fan of the whole dansband thing, but this I like a lot. It’s cheery, energetic, happy, fun – I could go on, but I’d rather just bounce up and down in my chair, really.

Tom: That’s what it’s all about, though! I want these guys to play at a wedding, and I want to be a guest at that wedding. Additionally, I’d like that wedding to have several attractive and single bridesmaids, but that’s just me.

Tim: I like that it doesn’t really bother with setting the scene with much of an introduction or warm-up – it’s just right in there from the get-go: let’s have a good time. Nice key change, as well.

Tom: I started clicking my fingers along at that point. Apparently I’d actually be playing the part of the drunken uncle at that wedding. Never mind then.