Axel Ehnström aka Paradise Oskar (20) has listened this year's entries with Iltalehti and speaks out with his honest opinions. I have freely translated what he says and I think it's kind of refreshing he does it and doesn't just say nice words about everybody and every song as so many other artists do when asked. So, what does he really think of his competitors when there's a bit over a week before the start of rehearsals in Dusseldorf?
Poland: You can dance to this. She has written the song herself which is a plus. Not very original and had she sung in English it would have been just one of the many.
Norway: This is so good and positive it's hard to say something negative. Happy lyrics and melody, no weird gimmicks that would put you off. But when heard many times becomes a bit irritating and no one understands the chorus in swahili.
Albania: Exciting! Almost like progressive rock sound. And she surely can sing. But I didn't get the song. Eagle and freedom? The bridge to the chorus is the best part but it could be clearler and happier. Tends to stay a bit too gloomy and dark.
Armenia: She's cute. You get the Lena vibe in the beginning but it doesn't matter. But I don't want to hear this till the end. Lyrics are filled with clichés and annoying "I love you boom boom chaka chaka". The chorus is totally different from the rest. Weird song.
Turkey: Nice singing voice and sing-a-long chorus. Not very deep lyrics but still not too shallow. "Life is beautiful, live it up" fits nicely to the pop feeling of the song. Yet the sound is rather heard, 1990's Green Day. Could be a bit fresher.
Serbia: Oh, this sounds nice! Nicely old-fashioned sound that still sounds cool. Happy 1970's colorful performance and gives you good vibes. She sings well. But the song doesn't go anywhere, just keeps going round and round and the chorus isn't so catchy. Or is it just the language I don't understand?
Russia: Let's go out and party. The best part is again the bridge to the chorus that is easy sing-a-long. Generally I'm against all these wow-wow-wows as they say nothing. Lacks personality and is heard so many times before. Not the best from RedOne and Alexey is no Lady Gaga. Easily forgettable.
Switzerland: When Anna starts singing it gives me good mood, this feels happy and autenthic. Anna is so cute... I'm single but here's already another candidate.... On the negative side there's no personal side to the sing, just telling how everybody love everybody and world is a happy place. The melody should be happier to overcome these clichés. A bit boring.
Georgia: Dark and energetic and different from the rest. Some surely will like but not my cup of tea. The new singer is better. I didn't quite want to listen to this all as it's a bit scary. What does it talk about? Hopefully not about something positive. Makes me feel like they blame me of something... Aggressive and confusing.
Malta: The best thing is his voice. It's not beautiful but it is interesting. He surely must have listened a lot Michael Jackson! The modulation in the end is fucking awesome! You don't know where it comes from and where it gos to and it surely wakes you up. The chorus doesn't stand out, the song just go on and on, it could have been bigger. Not my kind of music.
Croatia: Chorus is danceable and it has a nice melody. The song is much better in Croatian. If they will have those DJs jumping out of the desk they get a point from me. But it looks fake, she has no party mood whatsover. Rather bland and sung in English lacks personality.
Iceland: Feels authentic and there are different and interesting voices, nice trumpets. In the end instead of modulation an anti-modulation that is really cool. Makes you wanna hum along, even if not so much as they propably whish for. Not quite as catchy and sing-a-long as it was ment to be.
And what about his own chances: After hearing the songs in first semifinal he hopes he will reach the final. According the musical quality of the entries he thinks he should be there. He also should stand out being the only "guy with a guitar" this year and he is not bothered by the comparison with last year's Tom Dice from Belgium: "He sung about himself and his guitar and I didn't find the subject that interesting. There's no sense standing alone on stage with a guitar if you don't have a melody that people can sing along with you!" Like "da da dam" for example....
To be continued...
To be continued...