Wednesday, January 01, 2014

UMK 2014: JURY PERFORMANCES - PART 2

Time recap what the judges thought about the remaining six artists based on their very first stage performance of their demo tracks. What kind of advice they gave, what was good and what was not and who impressed, who didn't.... As an added bonus this blogger's views :-). Watch the show online here. Or on YLE2 next Saturday. Here you go:

MIAU - GOD/DRUG
The girls hoped in the insert that the judges would start arguing about their song, have a fight over it and indeed it nearly happened. General madness is one of the band's strenghts according them... They won't let anyone cold, everyone has an opinion of them!
Toni: Well now, good boogie, I liked it a lot! It was fun, good song. I should analyze this performance somehow but... I'm simply sold. Surely you divide people, even among us judges, and surely this isn't for everyone. You've only got to gain here.
Aija: One can see that you have been already so many gigs that you got it together on stage, I have also been spying on you on your gigs. Cool stuff, I dig this kind of marginal stuff.
Tomi: I have to say you were really good! You look like your music, it's nicely put together, you don't only have talent as music makers but also handle the visual part. These acts easily look like art school projects but you don't, you have your thing, you know it and do it. And most of all, it was fun! You're on the edge in this contest, if you manage to get the social media support you you can go far.
Redrama: I expected you to come on stage with an attitude, being serious and all that. Instead you did it with joy and that's a huge plus. All fine except I have one problem: I don't like this song..... but it was much better live!
Ilkar: Well, what to say?  Really wasn't looking forward to this one but after all it was rather entertaining 3 minutes. They made it look interesting and captured my attention against all odds. And I also realized this is kind of music I used to listen when teenager... Curiously waiting for the polished version....
DENNIS FAGERSTRÖM - MY LITTLE HONEY BEE
Dennis says his a natural performer. His stage pesonality is funnier and flirtier than his private person. He loves to see people having good time, singing along and enjoying themselves. That's a feeling one can only get on stage. He wants to show he has more to himself that just being a pretty charmer singing ballads. 
Toni: This is very safe and soft and listener is very close to soaking, bring in a bit of a danger. Otherwise good.
Aija: I like the song and bringing in the band on stage is good, otherwise it's easily too sweet and safe. You are a strong singer, look good and this is a good start, very positive surprise.
Redrama: I think you have a good thing going on, of course more styling and stuff is needed, but.... the only risk is that it all becomes too safe.
Tomi: The Finnish Michael Bublé, that's what I was thinking and that's not a bad thing at all! It works. What if we for once don't take the risk, add the danger... go for the safe? If it works well. Very positive start!
Ilkar: I think Dennis and his boys were kinda static on stage. He sings very well and has lovely velvety voice but his choice of trousers ws a bit distracting, to say something to improve..... Safe, sweet and sugary yes, but like Tomi said, why change it if it works? 
SOFTENGINE - SOMETHING BETTER
The boybands in Finland are more like for kids, say the guys of Softengine (who are between 17 and 19 themselves, lol) but they are more mature! They admit they need more security on stage and taking contact with the public isn't always so easy yet. 
Redrama: I'm so happy you decided to take part and we have such a Band in the line up! I can only praise you! Awesome! Fantastic song. And your singing sound - whoa... Awesome! 
Tomi: I'm with Redrama. Superamazing. The arrangements, you're very talented. Good feeling. 
Toni: Great little tricks in playing... and I raise my hat for the bassist. You are the only one so far of all artists who has been sweating on stage! You gave it all and that's what you are supposed to do here! Singing is great but towards the end when you get to the screaming part: Scream more! 
Aija: You have a very mature voice, full of feeling and emotion. You have arranged this song so everyone gets to give his best, great job!
Ilkar: The guys admitted of being so nervous they nearly fainted before going on stage, and you could see when receiving the feedback they were almost shy. Not sure if this would be the right card for Eurovision but definately a good addition for UMK and propably a start for a succesful career, they seem very motivated and oriented despite young age. Let's see. 
MIKKO POHJOLA - SÄNGYN REUNALLA
Mikko has been playing live for seven years already and even if he has scored a couple of radiohits people don't know his face. They know the songs but not who sings them. He hopes to change all that now. 
Tomi: You are convincing, touching. When I heard this for the first time I thought this is a demo base and something will be build on it. It has amazing story, don't you dare changing it a bit. But something to make it grow towards the end... Or does it need it after all?
Redrama: I agree. The sensitivity of the story disappears if you add too much. I'm touched, I'm such a cry baby. I like this.
Toni: I feel like shit. But it's good, it's a feeling. Actually I'd like to come up and kick your ass, if that story happened at the edge of my bed.... Anyways, I was the one who was at least in favor to put you into top-12, maybe because the story is a bit disturbing... ;-p It is very rare lyrics have that effect....
Aija: The arrangement is very fragile and so is your singing but it all works very well, you can't add stronger elements to it. I wouldn't add strings, they'd be too sugary. It lacks nothing. It's stunningly beautiful. 
After that the judges were left wondering what to do with the song arrangement wise. A story of broken people doing wrong things while the arrangements now is perfectly played, it needs something "broken" also in the arrangements. What it is, remains to be seen...
Ilkar: More I hear this, more I like it. A simple diamond. Sharp and shiny. Like the judges said maybe too perfect, if they can go back a bit and add some roughess in the corners it'll shine even more....
LILI LAMBERT - LET ME TAKE YOU THERE
Lili says she's a soulful singer. Feeling comes when you feel what you sing that very moment. The song tells about a crush and how to make it known to the other one. Not maybe the deepest lyrics in the world, but maybe some flirting will make up to it?
Aija: I've been a bit sceptical about this but it was great to hear it gets better on stage thanks to your singing. You glue it all together very well. You're talented and experienced singer, nice to hear you do variations with your vocals. You have  been singing a lot of covers, now you have to find your own style and way of singing.
Redrama: You have to forget all your collegues, vocal couches and singing friends and dig in deeper to find your own voice. 
Tomi: I made a drawing of the same thing: the tringle of artist-song-live performance, and the listener in the middle. You have to be able to get these 3 things together so that the listener won't get out. You have to find out the Artist in yourself.
Toni: Ok, let's talk about the song, after all this is a song contest. Unfortunately the parts of the song aren't all as good. The chorus isn't the strongest, you carry it with your vocals but it could be better.
Afterwards Lili admits she has been doing backing vocals so long that it's a bit difficult to get on the spotlight and be the leading singer, but little by little... Hopefully before the final she finds the diva in herself and let's it out!
Ilkar: I cannot but think of Iina Salin last year. Fine vocalist, groovy song. What disturbed me was her look, way too casual after seeing some fancy promo shots. And were her shoes glued to the floor or what? This song needs a bit more movement! I don't mean she has to dance around like crazy but some, please! But I like it, bits of the song are awesome, can't wait for the final version!
HUKKA JA MAMA - SELJA
Hukka says their strenght is the song, it's good. He confesses of being a bit shy on stage but Mama makes up to it being more outgoing. Considering Eurovision singing in Finnish could be a handicap but their song is not written for Eurovision....
Toni: I'm very happy that we have finally in UMK Music. This is Music. You have a great song, I fell in love with it ever since it came out under that massive mountain of demos like a saving ray of sunlight. I can't wait for your album!
Aija: The song has warmth, and you managed to create the same warmth on stage. Your band harmony comes across. I dig your style, be faithful to it, don't change. That's what I fell in love with.
Redrama: This is maybe the strongest song we have here. I'm totally taken by it and in love wit it. I'm a huge fan!
Tomi: Only praise from the others and they're absolutely right. It's all about humanity and warmth this your thing. So glad you are here!
Ilkar: Well, what to say? The judges are in love and despite all odds so am I. Fantastic little song from artists that have personality and come across very likable. This can become huge in domestic market or then it won't go anywhere, I doubt it will have any middle of the road success. Fans haven't taken this to their hearts and indeed it may not be the most obvious choice for Eurovision. Should it get that far, it could pull out a Portugal 2009 kind of results, or maybe 1996? Why this makes me think of Portugal anyways. for some reason..?






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