Wiktoria – OMG

“Try to sing along to the chorus, it’s fun!T

Tim: To allay your inevitable initial fear: she doesn’t actually sing OMG as letters in the song, so I’m not entirely sure why it’s like that in the title. Anyway, try to sing along to the chorus, it’s fun!

Tom: I would try to sing along, but I was too busy constantly wondering if Taio Cruz got royalties.

Tim: Wait, I don’t hear that at…oh, yes there it is. Dammit, Tom.

Tom: Apologies for ruining the song for you. Anyway, yes, it’s certainly a tricky chorus for karaoke.

Tim: That chorus annoyed me the first time I heard it, because this is the sort of song I like to be able to sing along to, and this really does present a challenge. But, turns out it’s a fun challenge and once I’m done with that and actually singing along, ish, it’s a pretty good piece of pop. Production, vocal, melody, all good, like we’ve come to expect from Wiktoria, really. All I can really say is, isn’t it time she came over here?

Wiktoria – I Told Santa

“All I Want For Christmas Is You Sodding Right Off”

Tim: It had been FAR too long since we’ve featured new Christmas music, so here’s this, and it’s a bit odd: someone at Sony A&R had the feeling that there aren’t enough new Christmas songs, or some gubbins like that, and so they’ve put together an EP of five tracks from five unrelated artists. Cynics might argue that’s simply an excuse to plug all their upcoming talent at once; I’m just happy that it’s CHRISTMAS.

Tom: I mean, both those things can be true.

Tim: It’s safe to say that “All I Want For Christmas Is You Sodding Right Off”–

Tom: Ha!

Tim: –probably wouldn’t have sold quite as many records for Mariah, but other bands have done it entirely successfully (looking at you, Dragonette), and this pretty much works. Not as well as that Dragonette track, obviously, because that’s a work of art, but well enough.

Tom: Full marks to the producer for that step down from the chorus to the second verse: that steady descent turned what’s usually a dull bit of a track into something that fits really well. You’re right, there’s a lot to like here: the horn section, the big chorus, even the more-interesting-than-usual-for-pop rhythms that show up in the middle eight.

Tim: It’s got all the festive necessities, and while it may not be an all time great, this year we’ve got The Fizz for that, so this’ll do.

Tom: Mate. Well, at least we’ve got her offering from last year.

Wiktoria – Perfect Memory

“This had charmed me by the end of the introduction.”

Tim: Somehow, she’s still getting away with using Wonder Woman’s symbol as a logo; I’m not complaining, though, when the music’s this good.

Tom: Maybe I’m just in a really good mood or something, Tim, but this had charmed me by the end of the introduction.

Tim: Perfect memories are nice things when they come along, aren’t they? Probably aren’t many of them, but you look back every now and again, and you think, “yep, that time was good, and I would change nothing about it.”

I’ve got a few I can think of off the top of my head, and I’m fairly sure that if I had a voice that could even slightly hold a tune, and someone came along and said “I’ve written a song about them, fancy singing it?”, I’d be “hell yeah”, and I’d hope it could sound this great.

Tom: Each bit of this is individually… pleasant, I guess, is the word for it. At least until the first half of the middle eight, which doesn’t work for me, and actually, that “perfect memory” end to the chorus doesn’t work either. Augh. Okay, before I talk myself out of liking this, yes, it’ll do, it’s fun enough. Like you said, it sounds great.

Tim: I mean, it has to sound great, really, because that title’s a lot to live up to. But it does – it’s happy, it’s loud, it’s summery, and basically it’s a bloody brilliant pop song. Nice one.

Wiktoria – As I Lay Me Down

“Occasionally I have a problem with Melodifestivalen…”

Tim: Fourth in this week’s series of “songs Tim thought were considerably better than Robin Bengtsson”, the entry from your favourite last year. This time, the Swedish voters agreed with me, with it coming second to his third (voting was very close this year – lowest ranked got six percent, highest got less than twelve – so the juries held a lot of sway).

Tim: And we keep a small amount of the country stylings, but immediately get off to a much bigger start, with it very quickly approaching banger status.

Tom: It’s not bad, is it? I think it’s my favourite of the ones you’ve sent so far, for the same reasons as last year. Also, full marks to her for being able to manage not just the big shouty bits, but also a whistle-register note — all in the middle of a high-pressure live show.

That bed should absolutely have lifted up off the ground for the final chorus, though. Staging opportunity missed.

Tim: Oh, good call. But here’s the thing: occasionally (but only very occasionally) I have a problem with Melodifestivalen, and it’s exemplified by this. Basically: all the good songs are out at once. As I write this, 16 of the Swedish Spotify top 20 are from there (four of the rest are from one artist, you can guess who), and although that’s a sign of a strong competition, it does get me a little annoyed that the rest of the year suffers slightly as a result. Towards the end of each year, if an artist has an amazing song, why release it then rather than submit it for Melodifestivalen, when they may do much better as a result with all the publicity?

Tom: When it’s being played potentially three times (heat, Andra Chansen, final) in front of an engaged TV audience who are actively interested in the music? It’s a strong argument.

Tim: On the other hand, it’s only very occasionally I think like that. Most of the time, it’s a period to look forward to. Sure, they’re all out in one six week period, but boy, what a six week period.

Wiktoria – Save Me

Tom: Look, I’m a sucker for songs like this, okay? But this was my favourite of the Melodifestivalen final.

Tom: Hell of a voice. Country guitar on a pop song. Jump-around chorus. Amazing projection design. But unfortunately, much as a I like it, I have to say that the Melodifestivalen judges and televoters made the right decision.

Tim: You sure? Because I agree with every single one of those four points, and anyone who’s confident enough to bookend the performance with Wonder Woman’s logo shining bright on her top has got to be worth something. What’s wrong with it?

Tom: Because I don’t think this is a Eurovision winner: top half, maybe, and it’d stand a decent chance of getting my vote. But I’ve never voted for a Eurovision winner, save for Lordi: the public at large generally likes something a little more mainstream.

Tim: Is this not mainstream, though? It’s certainly a hell of a lot closer to current chart hits than the dirge Sweden actually ended up with.

Tom: It’s a great song. It’s just not the right song.