ESC Preview 2014: Sweden (and a bit of Melodifestivalen)

Artist: Sanna Nielsen

Title: “Undo”

After deciding to skip multiple national finals because I didn’t want to be disappointed by the outcome and because I didn’t want to constantly think about entries in the middle of exam season, I decided to watch just one national final. And that one would be Melodifestivalen final.

Before the final the only Melfest entry I had listened to this year was Ellen Benediktson’s “Songbird” (or as a lot of people put it, the song that put Helena Paparizou in Andra Chansen). It wasn’t bad, but the calming nature made the song feel like a lullaby (kind of like Chiara Dubey’s “Bella sera” in Switzerland’s NF last year).

Outside of “Songbird,” the other song outside of the winning entry that caught my attention was Linus Svenning’s “Bröder.” I couldn’t understand the lyrics as the song was written in Swedish, but the song had a lot of power that delivered blow after blow when he sang the refrain. As a lot of people mentioned, there was a clash between what they saw and what they heard/felt: a person looking like a “stereotypical gangster” singing a heartfelt ballad. And even though visuals matter a lot on stage events such as Melfest, it didn’t matter because the song painted the visuals with emotions.

Anyways, the winner: Besides a bit of confusion with the lyrics, I think it’s a pretty good song (though it slightly borders on “stereotypical breakup song”). Overall the song reminds me a little bit of Molly Sanden’s “Why am I Crying” from Melfest 2012: Stripped down to just the singer, I can feel the raw emotions in the song even though the vocals are clear (especially in the refrain).

In a way, “Undo” is a bit like a spirit trapped inside a music box. In the intro and up to the first refrain, the song spirit is still trapped and not yet ready to take the strength of the world. After the first minute the spirit slowly crawls out of the box and shows itself to the world, demonstrating its power. But Sanna doesn’t make it go too far; in the end the song spirit has to return to the music box in order for others to see it later.

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