Eurovision 2012: Danish Melodi Grand Prix Preview

It’s the turn of Denmark to select their song for the Eurovision Song Contest this year. The Danes are doing the right thing and getting their house in order early on in proceedings. An organised bunch, clearly.

Here’s a quick rundown of what the Danes have to choose from this evening. A respectably strong selection of songs sung by a convincing looking selection of performers. Closer analysis howevers shows there are three contenders for the Danish crown this year.

At the risk of teaching granny to suck eggs, listen to the songs by clicking on the links.

Take Our Heart – Pleasant enough and if the running order for the Danish show is as listed here, it will make for a nice start to the programme. The song definitely has that all important ‘my isn’t life just utterly brilliant’ thing good euphoric Eurovision songs have going on, but it’s going to get tired. Good for montages but for not for 3 minutes of live performance, personally speaking.

Best Thing I Got – Typically perky pop fronted by a girl who sheds her Macy Gray imitation during a soaring retro chorus. Undeniable feelgood song driven by an unequivocal snare drum prominent in the studio recording, a vital requirement for any song if it’s to come off well in a big Eurovision venue. We might want to collectively keep an eye on this one.

Reach for the Sky – Lovely. Just lovely. Well done everyone. Lets forget everyone else and have the final battle between this and …

Overflow – Shameless disco reminiscence with a smattering of Madonna thrown in for good measure. A strong Eurovision contender for sure. I’d be more than happy to listen to this regardless of whether it even wins a place in the Baku running order.

Baby Love Me – A slow, reflective, pensive and at times sweet song which fails to deliver anything other than a fairly dull and unconvincing chorus. The resulting offering has the potential to be irritating after repeat listens. If this gets through, this will be the point in the contest when I either get up to get another beer or nip off to the press centre lavatory *

Forever I B Young – Not the most ingratiating of openings, it has to be said. And while there is a moment of respite in the bridge to the chorus, the remainder of the song leaves me with one overriding thought: I don’t want to hear this again. Nice try though. Within itself it sounds plausible. I just find it annoying.

Universe – The opening credits for a yet-to-be commissioned TV drama about an angst-ridden teenage emo in search of love and anti-dandruff shampoo. Not bad. Not the one I’m rating in this motley line of Danish hopefuls however. No one should feel embarrassed. It just doesn’t quite tick the box.

Should Have Known Better – Pretty damn good, but a song I fear will appear rather uneventful and therefore forgettable in a long running order of competing songs. Not striking enough but a lovely effort nonetheless.

Venter – Pleasant enough but a little two-dimensional (or if you’re being particularly mean – I’m trying not to be – one dimensional). All very guitar strumming and foot stomping. But don’t go for this Denmark because you’ll get forgotten about and some of us lovely people in the UK would really like you to do well. In fact, we just want everyone to do well. No really, we do. We’re lovely over here, regardless of what you might have heard.

And if you’re wondering who I’m backing, it’s Overflow. Because I’m a queen.

Voting in the Danish final is a mixture of jury and telephone votes, with additional international jury votes from Azerbaijan, Germany and Norway contributing to a 10% share of the final scores.

* Depending on whether or not I actually go to Baku this year. 

Eurovision 2011: Denmark

Denmark’s song for 2011 is safe high school bubblegum rock with a cutesy cliche blonde haired teenage boys and girls across the continent to ‘make a new tomorrow’.

On the whole New Tomorrow sung by Friend in London is pleasant enough. Rousing .. almost. But it still feels underwhelming. There’s only one thing worse than a song sung badly. And that’s a dull song. Something Denmark have a proven track record in sending over the past nine years.

And it’s reflected in the final ranking. Aside from last year’s shamelessly derivative In A Moment Like This skidding into a surprising fourth place, Denmark has returned year after year to finish around about middle of the final table with songs which aren’t exactly offensive but aren’t especially overwhelming either.

2009’s Ronan lookalike trundled in at 13th place with Believe Again (written by Ronan as well), only marginally improving their ranking after singer Simon Mathew’s interpretation of what a Danish cockney ‘geezer’ might look like with his modest tub-thumping crowd pleaser All Night Long from 2008.

Drama Queen deserved better than the paltry 19th place it was landed with in 2007 (Mind you, 2007 was a little strange full stop. That was the year the UK divided a nation over Scooch, the same year Serbia won. I was never entirely convinced about either act’s ‘choreography’.)

Their attempt at doing the twist in Twist of Love didn’t do that well in 2006 and despite a polished performance of Talking to You in 2005 Jakob Sveistrup only managed to achieve 9th place. And of course there was that bloke with the roller skates in 2004 and his song Shame on You which failed to get through to the final.

God only knows what happened to Malene singing Tell Me Who You Are for Denmark in 2002 who’s last place was surprising and almost certainly undeserved.

Maybe Europe was still yearning for Denmark’s two breathtaking successes from the first two years of the decade. Maybe the songs that came after just didn’t and couldn’t compare.

First, their winning song Fly On The Wings Of Love from the Olsen Brothers in 2000 (below) – back in the day of relatively modest camera angles and when producers realised that good songs didn’t need dancers leaping all around the stage to keep the audience’s attention.

And second from the 2001 contest, (still a success despite ending up second place to Estonia’s nauseating disco number that year), Rollo & King’s Never Ever Let You Go.

For my money however, I still hanker after Denmark’s winning number from 1963 Dansevise. One classy number. Their best. But of course. I’m living in my own middle-aged dream world. Whatever.

Eurovision 2010: Denmark


It’s not exactly the same by any means – after the consternation amongst Team Cyprus I figured I’d make absolutely clear about saying that – but Denmark’s song In A Moment Like This is reminiscent of Sting’s Every Breath You Take. It’s the opening guitar riff.

On the whole the song is reasonably effective at leaving the listener in no doubt what the chorus melody is, so on that basis alone it gets a tick in terms of melody. And harmonically it’s pretty pleasing too. The stage production seen in the Dane’s national final makes it look like exactly the kind of modest presentation I appreciate.

But you know – I’m long in the tooth and prone to moments of madness. After all, I did actually have a soft spot for the Dane’s 2004 Shame On You. It came crashed out of the 2004 contest in 14th place in the semis. What do I know?

Eurovision 2009: Denmark

READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final

SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES

PERFORMANCE NOTES

SEMI-FINAL

There’s one word for this and that word is no.

REHEARSAL NOTES

SECOND REHEARSAL

Not only is the song bland, the presentation bland but Brinck is blander than bland himself. Those top notes aren’t getting any easier either. I’m prepared to let this slip through the net and fall to the bottom of the ocean at the second semi-final, if only I had the chance to vote. 

SONG REVIEW

 

There is a moment in this rendition of Denmark’s Ronan Keating-written and Ronan Keating-impersonated song Believe Again when my withering dislike of the Boyzone style is offset by the sound of a woman who sounds as though she’s had her wrists slit. Be sure to keep a careful ear out at around 1’28” just as the camera circles the singer for the umpteenth time. It raises a smile.

Overlook another example of how an audience seems prepared to applaud at anything and you’ll hear an OK sort of song.

It’s simple and perky, tub-thumping and pleasant. It’s the squeaky-clean boy from next door who isn’t gay but who women of a certain age adore and men looking for boyfriend material wouldn’t mind showing to their mums if only the boy in question would have that third pint of lager and experiment a bit. Yes, that’s a long way to go without any punctuation, but you get the gist. There’s something there for everyone. 

It’s not my kind of song. But it might be yours.