Melodi Grand Prix (Denmark) 2022 Reviews: All Finalists

The Melodi Grand Prix in Denmark is the smallest of the Scandinavian national selections (Sweden, Norway, Denmark), but it still manages to squeeze in a good selection of genres among its eight entries. I’m reviewing the songs in running order.

Patrick Dorgan — “Vinden suser ind”
Minimalist piano ballad which relies heavily upon Dorgan’s admittedly strong voice. A couple of layers of music are added here and there but it’s mostly one-paced, giving Dorgan’s vocals plenty of space. In the context of the song itself this is a good idea, but I don’t think even a visually stunning stage performance would be enough to put him into contention.

Confessions — “Hallelujah”
Modern-sounding synth-pop with some quirky effects and a breakdown into gospel in the last minute serves to keep the music interesting. The duet between the two vocalists provides some extra variety and their voices work reasonably well together. The big downside here is that the “sing hallelujah” refrain gets overused to the point of monotony — the lyrics are already the weakest point of the track, and that just emphasises it.

Der Var Engang — “En skønne dag”
Guitar ballad duet which is incredibly sappy (yes I had the lyrics translated). While the voices of the older man and younger woman — if that’s who they are on the cover image — sing in unison for the most part: this is the highlight of the song, the rest is just too predictable and twee.

Fuld Effekt — “Rave med de hårde drenge”
This hard-edged electro-pop/hip-hop track grabs you within seconds with its thumping beat and fierce-sounding lyrics. It takes a second or two to adjust, but this is the kind of thing people will love or loathe. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because middle-of-the-road songs so one really cares about tend not to win anything. Given how intense this song is, I actually agree with their decision to end the song at just past 2:30 — there’s a lot to take in, but with some good staging this will really stand out on the night.

Josie Elinor & Jack Warren — “Let Me Go”
Yet another duet: this time we’re back in guitar ballad territory, and I’m afraid it feels as cliched as the one by Der Var Engang, only this time it’s in English so I can’t even give them the benefit of the doubt like I would for songs in languages I don’t speak. The production is clean and I guess the song would be nice on a breezy afternoon in summer, but it’s not a very competitive track.

Morten Fillipsen — “Happy Go Lucky”
Awkward start: the bass tries to remind you of a song like “Another One Bites the Dust” without breaching copyright. The 1980s throwback vibe is all over this, with synth keyboards, bright guitar jangles, and a gentle dance beat. Vocally this is in the realm of deadpan, but I think Fillipsen makes it work. This is the kind of music I tend to favour, but for it to work live Fillipsen is going to need some good stage presence or exciting staging.

Reddi — “The Show”
What seems to be a piano ballad turns into a energetic pop-punk track after a minute, complete with with driving guitars and drum rolls. The vocals switch seamlessly from ballad wistfulness to punk snarl, and it’s certainly a “moment” when it happens. This is arguably the most engaging entry in this line-up. Anything it might lack in technical perfection is compensated by the sheer amount of fun this will be if the band can put on a performance that has everyone dancing along.

Juncker — “Kommet for at blive”
This feels like old-school soft rock with a twinge of country. Comforting, but perhaps not a song to have people reaching for their voting app. I’m enjoying the background guitar that starts up around 40 seconds in and seems to have its own agenda at times. Not so keen on the whistling, but if you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll already know that. Juncker has a warm voice and sounds like he’d be a grounding influence on those around him, which would be useful in a running order with a few high-energy tracks.