Eurovision 2018 Reviews: Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2018

Denmark already know that their Eurovision fate is at least half sealed, sitting in the deadly first half of a fully loaded Semi Final 2. So, in that spirit let’s look at the songs in DMGP in two terms – who would have the best (albeit narrow) chance of qualification and who would best broaden the terms of the musical debate in that wild, complicated Semi 2.

You can listen to all the songs here on this handy-dandy YouTube playlist if you’re outside Denmark.

Lasse Melling – Unfound

One of the songs where you could play the ‘You Decide or DMGP’? game and genuinely not know. Contains the weird line ‘get up off your filthy knees’. While it doesn’t have a lot of melodic interest, it has a nice progression of backing track to give the song a bit of a build. Ultimately, it’s not in with a chance of qualifying unless Lasse is very very handsome indeed (he falls short somewhat). Won’t really add anything in terms of genre representation. Oh well. On to the next!

Rasmussen – Higher Ground

Many countries follow the trends of the music charts in selecting their Eurovision song. Here, Denmark have realised that Eurovision is a TV show and so they’ve picked this song by looking at the TV charts. Rasmussen looks like a Vikings/Game of Thrones minor character and the song sounds like the theme tune to some Vikings rip off that was pitched in a bit of a hurry. (Beards? Swords? Arrows? Sexy druids? Leather? I like it). This has the best chance of qualification, and also will bring some Early Medieval realness to the Lisbon stage. Talk sagas to me.

Ditte Marie – Riot

Encouraging civil unrest is a serious thing, and shouldn’t sound as beige and chart friendly as this. This is the one that would most step on the toes of the UK’s newly selected Storm. Ditte Marie is known to Eurofans, but I don’t think that will actually translate into a result for her? This doesn’t stand a good chance of qualification and also doesn’t add anything musically that we haven’t already got.

Anna Ritsmar – Starlight

A cute, Songvakeppni style song where I can almost taste the ukelele even though I can’t hear it. A song so wispy it’s almost not there. She’s was on X Factor 18 months ago, so the reality TV priming effect means she’s likely to pick up votes. It is too unsubstantial to qualify but…. [reader, she trailed off mid-sentence]

Sannie – Boys on Girls

Can you picture my astonished face when I heard that Whigfield was doing DMGP? Can you picture my even more astonished face when I heard the song and it turns out to be a slinky, queer, cool Royksoppian reinvention of Blur’s Girls and Boys. It doesn’t really build, and so I think it would be entirely reliant on stage show to create a call to voting action, so it’s not a Grand Final qualifier. But I am so glad that it is here. Also, if we have Sannie in Lisbon, imagine doing Saturday Night in Euroclub?

Sandra – Angels To My Battlefield

So dull that while I was listening to it, I forgot I was reviewing it and consequently had to listen to it again. Do not send this, Denmark. Even though it’s going to have a big sentimental vocal and it’s got a sort of keychange thing for the last chorus, don’t do it. Wouldn’t qualify, wouldn’t add anything we don’t already have.

CARLSEN – Standing Up For Love

Motivational female trio alert! It worked for the Netherlands last year? Kinda? This is incredibly middle of the road. You could slot it into Radio 2 without anyone even noticing it was on. Probably not a qualifier, probably not going to Lisbon either. No need to worry about it.

Karui – Signals

Now this was one that made me prick my ears up. A low slung, sexy beat. Breathy FKA Twigs-style vocals. Genuine groove. A bassline that does things. And you’re telling me this is DENMARK? If she can do it live, this would be a really classy addition to our Lisbon party. Potentially too genre to qualify, but it would almost certainly stick out as something authentically sexy in a semi full of highly polished CNC-laser cut pop.

And now I’m going to have to take a break because it’s going to get a bit more beige from now on.

Rikke Ganer-Tolse – Holder fast i igenting

Sweetly melodic Danish language pop. Sort of Carly-Rae Jepsen, but with less oomph. I like it, it’s precisely the kind of pop I go for, but I think it would be way too slight to stand up against potential bangers from Romania, Australia, Moldova & maybe even Serbia. I like it better than Malta’s song, though, so even though it wouldn’t add much to the genre buffet, it would add a bit of quality.

Albin Fredy – Music For The Road

It can’t decide whether it wants to rip off Heroes ripping off Aviici or if it wants to be an actual country song. It is stuck in the dread hinterland between the two, which makes it all sorts of lowest common denominator awful. It’s not something that I care to be listening to. Also, we’ll probably have some actual country in Semi 2 in the form of Waylon for the Netherlands, so this plasticky, whistly nonsense is not required.

So that’s your Danish lot. There are songs in there that I actually enjoyed.

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