This Saturday, Norway will be choosing its entry for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
10 songs compete. And while it’s normally quite a mixed bag, this year the bad songs actually outweigh the good songs unfortunately – with a lot of them bordering on unlistenable. A very poor selection of songs by any country’s standards, but their shortcomings are all the more glaring when you take into consideration what Norway’s national finals have produced before.
Thankfully though, there are a few highlights worth checking out, and we’ve done a quick round-up of all ten below, including streams (or you can play them on NRK’s website if some of the songs aren’t available on Spotify in your country).
Agnete – Icebreaker
(Agnete Johnsen, Gabriel Alares, Ian Curnow)
A song which starts off sounding like ‘EUPHORIA’, so we were on board with it pretty quickly. The chorus you’re expecting doesn’t ever arrive though, and instead we get something that sounds like it’s from a completely different song. It’s not a bad chorus though, and actually stands strong on its own without those initial expectations. However, we just can’t get away from the fact that it sounds like two (albeit very good) songs spliced together somewhat awkwardly. And it might end up being a bit too jarring in only three minutes, for voters at home.
Elouiz – History
(André Lindahl, Jeanette Olsson, Michael Jay)
We’ve featured Elouiz on here before, and so wanted to like this. In truth though, it’s a pretty unremarkable mid-tempo pop track that doesn’t really go anywhere. You’ve heard this song a thousand times before in many different guises. Especially if you’re a Eurovision fan who has trudged through their fair share of national finals.
Freddy Kalas – Feel Da Rush
(Fredrik Auke, Simen Auke, Mikkel Christiansen, Trond Opsahl, Christoffer Huse)
Novelty trash which the Norwegians are going to EAT. RIGHT. UP. This is the sort of song that always finishes in the top three of a Norwegian national selection, but that we normally hate. The fact that even WE quite like this though, makes us fear an overdue MGP win for the annual novelty entry. Summer flavoured and supremely catchy. Of all then songs, it’s this one which has been performing the best on Spotify and iTunes.
Laila Samuels – Afterglow
(Laila Samuelsen, The Beatgees, Jan Weigel)
We really like this. A dramatic Scandi ethno ballad, performed to vocal perfection by Laila Samuels. Could quite easily get Norway into the Eurovision final this year, especially with a performance that plays up to the icy Scandi tones.
Makeda – Stand Up
(Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss, Thomas Thörnholm)
Retro flavoured kitsch pop, in the style of a 60s girlband. It’s fun, and has its charms, but is unfortunately nothing special. Certainly not special enough to stand out here as as a winner – however dire some of the other songs here are.
Pegasus – Anyway
(Tommy Nilsen, Ronny Nilsen)
Super cheesy rock ballad. We know it’s a bit of a moot point using the word ‘cheesy’ as a negative when describing something from a Eurovision national final. But Christ this is awful. A painful embarrassment to a country that produces such incredible pop music. Not that you’d know it listening to this selection.
Stage Dolls – Into the Fire
(Torstein Flakne, Anne Judith Wik, Mark Spiro, Hallgeir Rustan)
Three old men perform a pop/rock song that wouldn’t sound out of place on album by five young guys. They look like generic Dad rock, they sound like generic boyband pop.
Stine Hole Ulla – Traces
(Stine Hole Ulla, Ingrid Skretting, Trude Kristin Klæboe)
Young girl with sweet voice sings Disney ballad. Unfortunately for us, it’s a really REALLY bad Disney ballad. From a film which should never have been made.
Suite 16 – Anna Lee
(David Bjoerk, Andreas Moe, David Eriksen, Alexander Austheim)
We’ve featured this boyband quite a lot here on Scandipop, so they should be quite familiar to readers. ‘Anna Lee’ is a hugely enjoyable cross between typical boyband, typical dansband (!!!), and the kind of folkpop that has been getting its fair share of radio airplay around the world over the past couple of years. We have a feeling NRK want these lot to win. No other act has been put into the final ten to take away their teenage girl vote.
The Hungry Hearts feat. Lisa Dillan – Laika
Starts off a bit WTF in a bad way, pretty quickly reveals itself to be WTF in a VERY good way. It’s basically a lesbian Pay TV. Ridiculous electropop that commands you to chant “THE STREETS OF MOSCOW! WITH MY GIRLFRIEND!”. Ends all too abruptly, but only cos we could listen to it for ages. This is going to be a complete and utter HOT MESS on stage in Oslo. Perhaps even in Stockholm too, if the Norwegians are feeling cheeky enough?…
We’ll take the dansband boyband or the eccentric lesbians please! With Laila Samuels and Agnete our only other two worthy winners. But NRK really need to sort their shit out for 2017. Too many of these songs should never even have been submitted, never mind selected.