Tonight, Denmark will become one of the last countries to decide their entry for Rotterdam, as the latest installment of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix takes place in Copenhagen, albeit to an empty arena due to Coronavirus concerns.

But no matter, as it’s the music that we want to focus on! And that’s just what we’re about to do, with Daniel, David, James, Roy and Sean reviewing the finalists. Who did we think should win DMGP 2020? Read on…

Isam B – Bølger

Daniel – 7 – “This is a truly dynamic song, it begins super atmospheric and relaxed and then adds a deeper bass to make it more rhythmic. He has a quality of his voice, along with the Danish language, that makes the song even more unique. I really like the piano in this song and the snare drums, actually the entire instrumentation. I did think that the song was going to reach for a more epic peak and it slightly plateaued but it still is a commendable song.”

David – 10 – “Let me say it like this, if this wins, then my trust in the Danish people will be completely restored! Absolutely wonderful song, which we really need in Denmark today, where being yourself is what should really matter, and not your religion, skin color or anything else. For a Danish citizen like myself, then this really matters, it hits the heart. Today’s Denmark is full of hate and discrimination, this is a message to the people, which then needs to come from the people!”

James – 3 – “Isam B brought an acoustic guitar. Smash it! An exceptionally dull acoustic indie-folk number that goes nowhere. I have no idea what the lyrics are about – something about waves of light. But these songs are supposed to be about the feels, man, and not the vocals (quite a grating style) or the musicianship (a basic soft pop track). Is sleepy an emotion? If so, that’s all I get out of this. There may be a market for this basic coffee shop tinkle, but it’s not me.”

Roy – 3 – “This song is very odd, it has nothing too memorable and it doesn’t really have a distinctive hook either. Isam has a lovely voice, but I needed something more to happen throughout the entirety of the song. Right now it is just a bit of a boring slow ballad without a memorable moment or melody.”

Sean – 5 – “I mean, this is pleasant, this is nice… and I appreciate the fact that Isam is singing in Danish. There’s a slight raspy rock vocal quality that only comes out at the end, I wished he brought this into the song more. As it is, this is pleasant but little else, and would be massively overwhelmed by the songs we already have in Rotterdam.”

Total = 28 (avg. 5.6)

Ben & Tan – Yes

Daniel – 6 – “I think is one of those feel good songs that does a great job at creating a positive vibe to all who is listening. Their voices and harmonies are pretty good and really help make you feel comfortable to the song. My critique is that the song is rather repetitive and a little bit safe. I think this song will struggle to find its place in Rotterdam, especially coming after such a saccharine song as was last year. It is cute and nice but it is not the oomph I was looking for.”

David – 9 – “A simple and yet very effective little melody, it has all those simple pieces that you want in a song, a catchy song, a great rhythm, a hook that sticks immediately, easy sing along song, you pretty much have anything you need for a great song here. Maybe it’s a bit too simple, but if it works, then it works. However, I doubt that hook can last long enough.”

James – 8 – “A sweet up-tempo indie pop song. An extra point for the strangely violent imagery for a love song in the chorus (“my heart is beating me to death, I have an arrow through my chest”). Another extra point for what sounds like a mob yelling at the duo to fall in love with “Say yes! Say yes! Say yes!” With the violent lyrics, the chanting and the indie-folk backing track, it’s like a couple falling in love at a Leeds United game. This song is also a grower, as I increased it by one point since its debut during the regional rounds.”

Roy – 8 – “I mean there is only really one choice in Denmark. By a landslide this is the best song of the selection. I was a bit cautious in the pre-preselection, but more listens made me enjoy this piece more and more. It is a nice innocent pop-song that could do well at Eurovision and on radio-stations. If Denmark is wise, they choose this song, it is the safest and probably also the best option!”

Sean – 7 – “This was a deserved qualifier from the ‘semi-final’ stage of DMGP this year, with the Lumineers vibe and the catchy call and response chorus. Now that Ireland’s entry is out and Drängarna didn’t make it to the Melfest final, there’s space for some Celtic vibes in 2020. So why not this?”

Total = 38 (avg. 7.6)

Maja & De Sarte Sjæle – Den eneste goth i Vejle

Daniel – 10 – “I love this more alternative sound and it works so well with the Danish language. This is the kind of music I listen to personally and to it see done in such a melodically impressive manner and with great production value. That makes me happy. I feel like this song is just so awesome and captivating. The instrumentation is so modern and her voice is so soothing. They add English in such a refined manner and this song is just all-around super unique and cool. It is a vibe that I fully stand behind.”

David – 2 – “The title of the song is “The Only Goth In Vejle”. In case you wonder, Vejle is a city in Jylland(In English: Jutland), and I’m kinda getting those goth vibes from this song. Very deep tones and just overall depressing in the sound. I’m happy that we have a few Danish songs this year, but this is to me, a very unsettling song. Denmark is in general, a very dark and rainy country, so maybe it goes much better with the local Danes, but just not with me who have roots from outside of Denmark.”

James – 1 – “A ‘90s American college radio style indie rock tribute to The Smiths and Joy Division! Blech. Their teenage years gazing at their shoes and listening to dodgy Northern English rock is pointless, cliched nostalgia we’ve heard a thousand times before. That it is done by two Danish singers is not novel. The Goths have got to be the least-liked group of music fans outside of the obviously atrocious subgroups like neo-Nazi punks, so this song will have very limited appeal. And those this type of music doesn’t appeal to, will loathe it with the fire of a thousand suns.”

Roy – 2 – “I will always be a fan of people singing in their own language. It just gives some extra flair and magic to an entry, but somehow the start of this song makes the Danish sound worse than it is. I can see what they were trying to go for, but I think that they completely missed the mark on this. This is that type of song that you don’t necessarily mind, but once the next song starts playing you already forgot this one.”

Sean – 8 – “Wow! Something interesting in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix! This has a brilliant shoegaze, lo-fi indie feel and reminds me of Wild Nothing or Cocteau Twins – plus it’s in Danish! After so many years of beige, forgettable entries, Denmark would be greatly appreciated by me in Rotterdam if they picked this and brought another genre to the contest!”

Total = 23 (avg. 4.6)

Benjamin Kissi – Faith

Daniel – 6 – “Oh I love all this soul and R’n’B vibes, it really adds a different vibe to the song contest. The lyrics: well the verses are pretty good, but the chorus is rather basic in its lyrical content. The song is of a very standard composition verse-chorus-verse-chorus-slow down-oomph chorus but it works well with the song. I did think this song would be a tad more unique from the beginning, it did seem a bit simple. I still think it is a good song!”

David – 4 – “I hope that Benjamin has some “faith” in this song, because I just don’t. It’s something else, which you honestly would never hear from a Danish artist, but the song is going into very unknown territory. I honestly don’t what to call this, other than an interesting experiment, which I respect, but nothing that I can fully enjoy.”

James – 8 – “A self-belief hip hop ballad with a guitar solo unexpectedly leading us into the outro. The positive lyrics are spot on in this time when the media are falling over themselves to paint the world in doom and gloom. Kissi says no. We’ve seen this all before. If we have faith in each other, we’ll get through this current phase. For a competition where folks of different strokes assemble to sing and party together, this sentiment should sell as a counterpoint to the divisive populism being thrust on everyone.”

Roy – 4 – “The concept is quite cool. His voice is really good and enjoyable too, but this song is way too repetitive. The lyrics aren’t the best either, they are a bit too straightforward for my liking. Melodically there are some cool things happening. Especially in the final minute where the guitars come flying in to give a more pleasant experience. I just can’t get past the repetitiveness of the song.”

Sean – 7 – “Another unexpected entry! This is bang up to date and yet also keeps a retro vibe, with a soulful vocal and generous guitar licks throughout. I hope this has a captivating performance as this could be a surprise package.”

Total = 29 (avg. 5.8)

Emil – Ville ønske jeg havde kendt dig

Daniel – 5 – “Danish, how refreshing. This song is such a sweet composition and cute melody. It reminds me of a faster-paced Finland 2011. Critically speaking, it also one of those very standard boy with guitar songs that tend to do middling on the scoreboard. I really do not see what makes this song too different from its predecessors, I still think it is rather cute but not necessarily good.”

David – 3 – “Very sweet lyrics, but let’s be honest, how often haven’t we heard these kind of songs. A charming guy with a touching melody and his guitar. At least this easily works much better in Danish, than it would in English, because there is something very Danish over this song. We have a special word in Denmark which is “hygge” and that applies so much to this song, but I’m just personally very tired of these kind of songs.”

James – 5 – “The A Friend in London guys (Denmark’s 5th place at Eurovision 2011 with “New Tomorrow”) have crafted another boring acoustic song. Emil’s voice sounds more mature and less whiny than the three lads in the Southern Denmark group. But the track is too gentle, almost too lullaby-ish, to leave a lasting impact. And is A Friend in London’s brand of soft rock relevant in 2020? I doubt it, and at least “New Tomorrow” had a memorable chorus, of sorts.”

Roy – 6 – “A bit of a feel-good ballad. This is not necessarily bad, but it isn’t amazing in any sense either. There is a lot of room for an epic live performance. Vocally he is good to diversify the song and they could create some magic on the stage if they find the right staging and camera shots. It isn’t really memorable and at Eurovision it could struggle, but we’ve had uplifting small songs doing well before. The staging will be the determining factor here!”

Sean – 4 – “Ahh, this is a twee little track. It came through the ‘semi-final’ round… apparently because I really don’t remember it. This might be the song’s biggest obstacle – it’s pleasant to listen to and enjoyable enough, but does it really stay with the listener long enough to even make it past the next song?”

Total = 23 (avg. 4.6)

Sys Bjerre – Honestly

Daniel – 9 – “I love the lyrics here, it has equal parts of cool factor and social messaging. This is one of those baroque pop songs with a little bit of an anti-pop twist. I think it is very unique and exudes personality. Those strings are everything and more, it is such a great contrast between them and the modern beats. I think this song is rather cool and could be a smash-hit with the right scenography. This song does key change much better than most other songs in the other national selections (it felt warranted). I don’t know, this is like Regina Spektor meets Alizée for a coffee in Copenhagen.”

David – 1 – “There is one thing that REALLY bothers me about this song, and that is how it’s pretty much the “Rockabye”(By Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie) rip-off! It is LITERALLY, the only thing I hear when I listen to the song. Because of that, the song becomes absolutely meaningless to me. I’m not paying proper attention to Sys’s song and then it’s just over. How am I supposed to like one song, if that song only makes me think of another song, and it happens every single time I try.”

James – 3 – “A climate change can be cured by love ditty. Or is it? The “honestly” line and the way Bjerre sings it suggests the opposite is the true agenda, and the “what have we got to lose?” line sounds like a Marxist dog whistle. The love part is fundamentally undermined by this. I do not trust the singer’s intent. We are being bombarded with dishonesty from deniers and activists alike, and this song does nothing to unify. Climate change is an issue and one that needs to be solved by cool heads. Everyone sane knows this by now. But how is climate change fighting / adaptation / resolution / impact mitigation served by this type of song?”

Roy – 4 – “I feel like this entry is trying to be a bit like last year’s winner in Denmark. It is trying to be cute and innocent, but does an infinite worse job than what Leonora gave us last year. The strings are lovely, but I would have preferred them to be a bit more prevalent throughout the song. The message is current, but could have been conveyed a bit better. I would be surprised if this stood out in this Saturday’s show or at Eurovision.”

Sean – 5 – “Eeeh, we had enough of saccharine Denmark with “Love is Forever” last year. This is nice enough and the violins are a nice touch, but I’d hate to see “Honestly” chosen as it feels like it would be a retreading of old ground. Perhaps the well known name could help this out come voting time?”

Total = 22 (avg. 4.4)

Jamie Talbot – Bye Bye Heaven

Daniel – 7 – “This is real cool song with a lot of attitude and a modern beat. Like a lot of the songs in this national selection, there is not a lot of musical experimentation but what they do is of good quality. This song in particular goes to the beat of its own drum. I think he has a great voice and this staging will probably be charming. I do think it is slightly basic at times, but sometimes that works to its favor as a more pared back song choice. I think overall a cool option.”

David – 1 – “Slow and chilling song, it’s not exactly something new and unique, but it’s just there. I don’t feel I can find a proper hook, and the song is maybe too simple for my liking, not much is happening in general throughout the song. I’m getting quite bored while waiting, but remember, not all music is made for one person to like it all, and this one really doesn’t hit me.”

James – 3 – “What trouble is this soppy guy going to find himself in? He’s going to switch out quinoa for chick peas in his lunchtime salad bowls? This song is a simpering acoustic guitar pop take on the “taming the wild mustang” trope of relationships. Unless she’s a sociopath, no “wild girl” is going to put a boring guy like this through the ringer for the sake of it. He’s a singer I’d like to hear move in a more funk or soul direction, though, instead of this sterile dud. Maybe his girl trouble will throw his acoustic guitar out the car window and we’ll get our wish.”

Roy – 4 – “This is just a tad too slow and predictable. It is also a bit too boring and does basically nothing with me. It’s a vibe, it’s a fine listen, but I would not recommend this to anyone nor would I play it on repeat myself. Jamie could have and maybe should have make it a bit more diverse. It would make the song a bit more memorable.”

Sean – 7 – “This has grown on me since I heard it previously, it’s well-produced and I think it could be one that comes to life on stage. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear something like this on radio, although perhaps that is a potential issue with the entry – would it stand out enough in Rotterdam?”

Total = 22 (avg. 4.4)

Sander Sanchez – Screens

Daniel – 8 – “I love his aesthetic, I will start with that. And these lyrics, they are already so impactful, a boy and girl meets a 21st century world kind of song. There is good rhythm and the song is pretty upbeat without being too much. It is definitely a more reflective pop song with a message of social commentary which I highly appreciate. I will say, I wished there was a bigger climax, but maybe his high notes will be super impactful on the main stage and a bit more present than the soundtrack. Overall a great song.”

David – 7 – “This song has a very promising message which I love, I personally miss those days when our everyday life wasn’t dictated by a pocket screen. The song has a very nice build to it and I like how it takes off from there. Maybe I would’ve loved some more power, considering it’s a powerful message, but it’s a great effort. Sadly, I think the “screens” will take over afterwards once again.”

James – 3 – “Oh God, that nasally warble with forced accentuations of random syllables. I presume “staring at the screens” is a reference to people letting life go by while they stare at their phones. I say presume because his warbling hides most of his lyrics (in English). And I have a question, hot shot: how are people going to research who you are, listen to your song, and vote for you if they’re not staring at the screens? And the “staring at the screens” trope is lazy and makes Sander sound out of touch. People have rambled on about radio addition in the ‘30s, TV addiction in the ‘70s, video games since the ‘80s, cellphones since the ‘00s, etc.”

Roy – 5 – “This song didn’t fully do it for me when it was just the pre-preselection and it still doesn’t really move me in any way. The song is very low-energy and I feel like using the phrase “Staring at the screens” isn’t the best thing they could have done either. I do think this could be good live, but I don’t think that this should win.”

Sean – 5 – “A little irritating, a little repetitive, but I appreciate the sentiment behind this song. I just feel it runs out of ideas after about… one minute, and doesn’t really pick up from there. I think I preferred it on first impression earlier in the year, so not an improvement since then for me.”

Total = 28 (avg. 5.6)

Kenny Duerlund – Forget It All

Daniel – 8 – “This is much more reminiscent of the scandi-pop we love for Eurovision. I will not deny that there is automatic charm to this kind of music, despite not being the most unique song in the world. I just think he does the song well and when quality is there then we can more easily forgive the more standard composition. I think this song is cool, fun and impactful. There are multiple peaks to keep you entertained and there is no doubt in my mind that this song will be staged well. I think overall a great song.”

David – 9 – “Awesome song! Love the tune of the song completely! Kenny has an awesome voice that goes with the song as well. This song does literally make me “forget it all”, which is what I want in a great song. The power, the feelings, the sounds, it’s all that I hear. I simply “forget it all” and enjoy a great song, and it’s just the perfect mix in general, everything within 3 minutes. If there was more soul into, so that I could completely feel it all as well, then I would’ve been sold.”

James – 3 – “The sentiments expressed in this song are very cliched and the mumblings of a very clingy “nice” guy. The vocals at the bridge are a huge misfire. Without the backing guitar and pianos his “all” sounds like “uh.” I did have to listen to this again after the regional rounds as I had, appropriately, forgotten all these three minutes. I still won’t remember should this somehow win MGP and I have to review it again for the finals.”

Roy – 6 – “I am curious to see if Kenny can perform this song live or not. Ever since this came out it kind of grew on me. It sounds like a lovely tune that would fit perfectly on the radio. Biggest issue is that you can’t really do something super special with the staging very easily and the song isn’t very “out there” to begin with. Making it a bit faster would have made this even better in my eyes, playing it on 1.25 is a recommendation (although the lyrics suffer a little). It definitely grew on me and I hope Kenny gets a good placement.”

Sean – 4 – “Missing a trick for me. This almost escalates into a drum and bass chorus but it’s not there yet, and I feel this would improve this entry massively. In fact, the song is missing a real excitement factor overall that could elevate it to the next level. It’s just a bit bland when it doesn’t have to be.”

Total = 30 (avg. 6)

Jasmin Rose ft. RoxorLoops – Human

Daniel – 9 – “This song has a point of view, it has a unique approach to the delivery and the mystique surrounding the verses and the bridge is totally released in the chorus. I see this song having a total moment on the stage. While also rather similar to some of the other songs in the other national selections, it has a certain ethnic spunk to it that I appreciate. The key change, not necessarily essential, but ok. My only really confusion was about the role of RoxorLoops, I am not sure if I even heard his role. We shall see on the main stage.”

David – 10 – “To think, that Lise Cabble was part of writing this. Going from “Love Is Forever” to this?! It’s a complete 180 right there. Dark and mysterious tones, which slowly opens up an entire world, this is what I think when listening to this song. Straight on repeat it goes, exactly what I what from an outstanding song!”

James – 7 – “It’s a little hard to pick out RoxorLoops on the mix for this one. I get Jasmin would not want to be too obvious with the Witloof Bay beat boxer, and I think I get where he comes in at the bridge and before the key change. It is novel on what initially sounds like a cold dance track to bring in a human boxer on a song about losing touch with our emotions to the point where we ask if we’re still human. And are there a couple of Persian musical touches here and there to add to that point, as well? I suspect she’ll probably need the staging to truly bring her point home, and could be a grower if both the beat box and the “Middle Eastern” touches are done well live.”

Roy – 6 – “I did not know that RoxorLoops had performed at Eurovision before. The Belgian was part of the a capella group Witloof Bay and represented Belgium in 2011. He is a beatbox champion as well and this time around he tries out for Denmark with his girlfriend Jasmin Rose. This song, although cool, is a bit dated. The type of EDM used was all the rage some years ago, but faded in popularity. They produced it quite well and it is cool to hear more and more EDM-stuff come through to try for a Eurovision ticket. I enjoy it for what it is, but I wouldn’t want to listen to this 100 times, so for Eurovision it’s a no for me.”

Sean – 7 – “So, RoxorLoops from Witloof Bay (Belgium 2011) turning up in a Danish national selection nine years later is one of the more random Eurovision returns. Sadly, it feels like his influence on this song is minimal (unless he somehow is the entire beat) so will wait and see what the performance is like. The key change works surprisingly well to elevate the song though and this is perhaps the most current pure pop song in the selection.”

Total = 39 (avg. 7.8)

So, what did our team make of the Danish songs? Here are our rankings…

  1. Jasmin Rose ft. RoxorLoops – Human – 39
  2. Ben & Tan – Yes – 38
  3. Kenny Duerlund – Forget It All – 30
  4. Benjamin Kissi – Faith – 29
  5. Isam B – Bølger – 28
  6. Sander Sanchez – Screens – 28
  7. Maja & De Sarte Sjæle – Den eneste goth i Vejle – 23
  8. Emil – Ville ønske jeg havde kendt dig – 23
  9. Sys Bjerre – Honestly – 22
  10. Jamie Talbot – Bye Bye Heaven – 22

It looks like a two-horse race, but in the end Jasmin Rose and RoxorLoops with “Human” won over our team, one point ahead of Ben & Tan with “Yes”. Who will prevail in tonight’s selection show though?

What do #YOU think of Denmark’s selection this year? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Sean Tarbuck
Load More In 2020

Leave a Reply

Check Also

BBC confirm collaboration with TaP Music for Eurovision 2022

The United Kingdom’s national broadcaster, the BBC, has outlined their plans for Eur…