Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman – Look Away

“I like to think he’s just texting and necking a beer.”

Tom: Darude! I’m still surprised they got Darude!

Tim: Me too, kind of. As previously mentioned on these pages, Finland did this year with Darude what they did last year with Saara Aalto – namely, he provided three tracks, the Finns chose between them, and here’s the winner.

Tim: Why is Darude in a box, pretending to play a keyboard that is not even pretending to be wired up to anything? No idea. Does it matter? Probably not, if they’re going for star power and all that, because otherwise there’d be no point whatsoever in even having him on stage.

Tom: And that’s before we even start to mention the dancer on top of the box. I wonder what Darude’s doing while he’s not in shot? I like to think he’s just texting and necking a beer.

Tim: Either that or quickly…actually, no, I won’t go there. Musically, it strikes me a being very similar to Russia’s 2016 entry, perhaps best remembered for its incredible staging. That came third, in the year when the winner was the Ukrainian anti-Russia protest song; with no political baggage this year it might do alright, as long as they improve the staging a bit.

Tom: Middle of the table, I reckon. It’s not bad by any means, it’s just a bit forgettable.

Tim: Yeah. So let Darude out of his box, see what he can do.

Darude feat. AI AM – Beautiful Alien

“I question whether that’s a ‘new’ tune.”

Tim: Yes, Darude, of Sandstorm and Feel The Beat megafame, back with a new tune. He had a few more recent hits in his native Finland back around 2007, but now this is getting a multinational push, presumably hoping for the same level of success.

Tom: I question whether that’s a “new” tune.

Tim: First for me, a wondering: for someone whose two biggest hits have had either no vocal at all or just a single line, the amount of vocals seems a bit weird. There’s next to no focus at all on the dance bit, despite the multiple builds up to an a cappella “beautiful alien” that almost yearns to be followed by a good thirty seconds or so of massive dance stuff.

Tom: I suppose that’s a side effect of Avicii and his farm-house style: you’re expected to have Big Vocals now.

Tim: Admittedly it’s nowhere short on big beats, but the vocal focus seems surprising. Second, a complaint of sorts: all the Darude-sounding stuff that we enjoyed fifteen years ago is there, but nearly almost entirely recycled. The part beneath the intro is identical to Sandstorm, as the the underlying part that surrounds the two minute mark.

Tom: Yep, agreed: this is the same thing Sash tried with Encore Une Fois: add a new vocal, keep some of the instrumentation, see if people will buy it. It’ll probably do about as well.

Tim: I suppose the argument might be that he wants to keep a similar sound but bring it up to date, which is technically correct, but ideally it’d be by combining two, rather than having half identical and half largely unlike the previous, almost more or a mashup of two tracks than a whole new one. I don’t know, I quite like it; it’s just not remotely what I wanted a Darude comeback track to be.