Denmark will decide their entry for Eurovision 2021 tonight, with the winner of the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix winning the ticket to Rotterdam. But which of tonight’s eight hopefuls is most deserving of the title?
Daniel, James, Melanie and Sean will break down their thoughts on the songs…
Chief 1 & Thomas Buttenschøn – Højt over skyerne
Daniel – 5 – It’s disco fun mania with a little bit of a Danish psychedelic twist. This song is retro and not necessarily in the vogue way. This is a song that I am not sure if it is a joke entry or a legitimate song and that is never really a place you want to be. I think the chorus is perfectly fine, but the verses are quite unamusing. It is also is a bit repetitive in structure and composition. I think this might be the kind of the song that will pop more on a stage but I also fear that it will just be a splash of colors and that is about it. I am not sure, I do not feel particularly excited about this entry.
James – 6 – I did not know the Danes were making their own version of blue-eyed soul, but here you go. I do love the optimism, the sunniness in the lyrics, the floating feeling that a track referencing being high above the clouds should give. Some variation is needed, though, like a solo or a breakdown. Something like the “1… 2… 3…” and the drum fills after the second verse from Fitz & the Tantrums’ “Moneygrabber,” just to break it up and make the overall song more memorable.
Melanie – 7 -Definitely the best song to start the national final this way. Chief 1 & Thomas Buttenschøn are bringing us uplifting song that immediately makes you smile. You really have the feeling that they also have fun singing the song on the studio version. It’s something refreshing in this pool of pop songs, thanks to the old school Motown vibes it brings to stage. I’m just scared that people would think this will be a bit dated an wanted something more modern. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to this fun performance.
Sean – 5.5 – This had me feeling cringe right from the start, but as the song went on it kind of made sense. It’s a happy little track and the production and uplifting vocals are decent enough, but I don’t feel that their vocal gel together all too well and it gets quite old quite fast. I’m sure plenty will find something to love about this though!
Total = 23.5 (avg. 5.88)
Nanna Olivia – Hvileløse hjerter
Daniel – 7 – This is a spunky song that is missing just a few more heavy bass notes to be one of those cool girl attitude songs. I wish it would be a little bit more forceful, and maybe it will do that on the stage, but for now it is more of a good song instead of a homerun. Overall, I like the beat, her voice, and the musical composition, I think they all work well together. Again, I just wished it were just taken to the next level so I would get really excited for it. Still a good job for me.
James – 5 – This is ordinary Scandipop. Basic beat, a little bass, synthesized backing vocals… nothing we have not heard before. This may stand out for being modern in what is sounding like a retro-orientated national selection, but in a larger song pool, this is just be filler. Nanna needs to step forward and do something more memorable than what she does in the choruses. Frankly, her singing of “hjerter” sounds like “whatever,” which is my reaction to this song.
Melanie – 4 – This is more general Scandi-pop if you compare it to Emma’s song. Loved the intro of the song, but it kinda gets flat after the first verse. It’s just nothing special, just a song that’s great as an album filler. Maybe she can convince me with an amazing dance choreography, but I’m not feeling this one at all.
Sean – 8 – Catchy 80s indie synthpop… in Danish? I’m almost sold! This is a really solid effort but I do feel the chorus is underwhelming. Overall though this is a really solid song and something I’d actively listen to, which is more than can be said for many recent DMGP entries! Give this some good staging please!
Total = 24 (avg.6)
The Cosmic Twins – Silver Bullet
Daniel – 7.5 – Oh they really started with saxophone solo followed by a europop beat. My interest is remarkably piqued. I think this will be the most exciting to see on the stage. I do feel that parts of this song have a bit of a passé feel to it, like it reminds me of a 90’s banger. The thing is that it feels more emblematic rather than inspired so that is why I feel like it may seem a bit outdated. The saxophone does it bring back to today so I appreciate it. I think this is still a very interest proposal and my interest remains piqued.
James – 7 – It starts off really promising, like The Cosmic Twins are going to turn the Ahoy into a club. However, as we approach the first chorus, it starts to fizzle out. But then they bring the introductory saxophone back as a solo. As with the backing track, metaphorically this is all over the place. Is Wolf the Danish metaphor used for Bear? Or are the Twins confusing vampires with werewolves, as this song is about an unfaithful lover traipsing off to the nightclub while our protagonist sleeps? Questions aside, this is a fun, daft Eurodance with some throwback to the ‘80s touches.
Melanie – 5.5 – Oh the Twins are bringing us some saxophone from outer space. I’m already loving the whole space theme and 80’s vibe of this song. I’m only not a big fan of the voice from the twins. The beat of the song is full of disco flavor, but their voices are kind of thin to really bring the song alive. It just misses the spark to be a real disco hit and it now sounds as if they try too hard. That’s too bad, because I was seriously loving these saxophones in this song.
Sean – 6 – Ohhh man… You almost had it guys! Almost a really good electropop track with a 00s feel but this falls into a very familiar Danish trap of reverting to a generic chorus after some promising verses. Plus points for the gratuitous sax solo but this needs a meatier production and more passion!
Total = 26 (avg. 6.5)
Claudia Campagnol – Abracadabra
Daniel – 5 – This is a nice ballad, it is cute and simple and traditional. I think that might be my least favorite thing about this song. It is a piano-driven ballad where the most interesting lyric is the title. I think her voice sounds heavenly but I do not thing the song does her justice. It is just one of those easily forgettable tunes. It does build towards the end which I appreciate but I think it might be a little too late at that point to really have that impact.
James – 5 – Ah, great. A ballad about someone watching a sunset alone and wishing someone who has died could join them one last time. There are a few editorial decisions that doom this, though. The use of “Abracadabra,” a word that naff riverboat casino magicians use in their acts, cheapens the “I wish you were here” sentiment. I like the strings, but the pinging of the piano detracts and could do with either being removed or the piano part rewritten entirely. There’s a solid ballad in here, but a rename and a revamp would do help in giving this song emotional punch.
Melanie – 6.5 -Claudia definitely can sing and is maybe the best singer in the whole competition. Abracadabra is bringing us a very theatrical ballad with a little bit of Disney on the side. I think that the Abracadabra is bringing the song a little bit down. It sounds a little bit random, also if you read the lyrics. Couldn’t we think about something else to write there? It just gives too much attention to it. The violin part is magical, but please bring that back more in the song. Great attempt, but just needs some rework to really be a contender.
Sean – 7 – I’m hoping for some decent staging for this one as this could be a real moment if done right. She has a great sounding operatic voice so hopefully she can nail this live and do it some justice. Best to just ignore the lyrics though…
Total = 23.5 (avg. 5.88)
Mike Tramp – Everything Is Alright
Daniel – 5.5 – As I always say, I do not respond particularly well to country music. I think, and I am trying to be objective here, this song is pretty okay. It does not really annoy me, but it does not excite me like a Netherlands 2014 or 2017. I think that this is a very safe choice and might actually perform decently at Eurovision. That said, I think this song is a bit boring and likely one I would not listen to often. I think it sounds like most country songs I have heard for the last twenty years, but hey, at least it is consistent.
James – 10 – If Mike Tramp’s White Lion were heavily influenced by Van Halen, then his solo material is influenced by middle-to-late era country rock Bon Jovi. Tramp is arguably in the Top Ten of Eurovision’s most successful graduates, and comparing “Everything is Alright” to his Eurovision 1978 lead vocals with Mabel shows how far as an artist Tramp has grown and his journey shows what is possible for any Eurovision or national selection entrant. From a callow goofball to an American hair metal god and to an easygoing rocker, “Everything is Alright” is a perfect swansong, a mature artist looking back on the long arc of his career, contemplating, and realizing he’d do the same again if given the chance.
Melanie – 4.5 – Oh I didn’t know Mike Tramp is from the Netherlands. This song is perfectly in line with the Dutch country era at the Eurovision Song Contest. Loving the guitar – especially between the chorus and verses – and his voice. However I think this song would suit perfect during a road trip movie, but it’s just a little bit too middle of the road for me. It just lost my attention after one minute and I have the feeling that I’m listening to the same minute three times over. Happy to have him in the line-up to have some diversity in between the synth songs, but not seeing this one win.
Sean – 5 – Well I have to say this feels like the most authentic actual-US-country-sounding country song I’ve heard in a Eurovision selection so kudos to Mike for that. Unfortunately I generally don’t like country music but I can appreciate the quality in this attempt. Could improve for me if the staging suits.
Total = 25 (avg. 6.25)
Fyr & Flamme – Øve os på hinanden
Daniel – 8 – Oh there really is a confluence of disco and retro beats. This song sounds like a bit from those euro track from the mid 00’s with an extra disco touch. You know usually I am critical of songs sounding a bit out-of-date and this song, while an offender, has so much personality that I am willing to forgive it. I think it is just a fun song that has a lot of energy exuding from beginning to the end. I do not believe this would do particularly well at Eurovision but I think as a song, it is super awesome and I will probably keep on my playlist. I don’t know it reminds me of what ABBA would song like in the 00’s and that is special to me.
James – 8 – Perhaps the more successful of the ‘80s throwbacks at DMGP, this one combines retro Eurodance with schlager effectively. Too effectively, as “Øve os på hinanden” sounds like it could have been performed at a Scandinavian national selection in the 1980s. This is also the track that can be most undone by bad staging, as one “knowing” smirk or other misstep that a bad “ironic” tribute act and the whole enterprise will go down in flames. They have to sell the retro package wholesale and authentically, and if they do, they have a potential high placing entry in Rotterdam on their hands.
Melanie – 5 – This is a very synthy national final, isn’t it? I got a bit surprised by the very 90s intro. The intro is also the best part of this song! The song is giving me a lot of nostalgic vibes. While I like the instrumentals between the singing part, I’m just not as fond about his voice. It’s just not my taste. Also I think this would be too dated to do well at the contest. Nevertheless, happy that we’re getting a real 90s vibing song in this national final.
Sean – 5.5 – Danish 80s rom-com closing credits energy here. The synths, retro vibes and foppishness are almost SO over the top they become cool again but this just feels quite dated and would be quite out of its depth in this year’s Eurovision. Props for committing to the bit though…
Total = 26.5 (avg. 6.63)
Emma Nicoline – Står lige her
Daniel – 9 – I think this is a super cool with a super interesting composition and so much spunk. I can tell that there is a vision, and this will be the 80’s throwback track. That already gets me in your corner and then add upon a great rhythm and easy chorus to learn. It is also would be cool to see a song in the Danish language really leaving its mark. I think that this is a great track and has so many good things going for it. I am a huge fan.
James – 7 – How novel! Some modern electro pop at DMGP. With an empowering message about reaching out to those in trouble from the perspective of the person offering help. That’ll genuinely go down a treat in 2021, even if they retain the Danish and can through clever staging showcase the sentiment. Catchy chorus, and though it lacks fireworks, it is not thematically a song that needs them. I’m not sure this screams song contest “winner,” but it’s a little tonic we could use right here and now.
Melanie – 7.5 – This one has definitely potential. It sounds very Danish to me, next to the fact that the song is of course in Danish. It’s a solid pop song that I expect to be topping the Danish charts, but is something we don’t hear often internationally. That’s why I’m very curious how this would do outside Denmark. Give it a great visual performance and this would be the one for Denmark to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021.
Sean – 6 – Did the 80s revival only just get to Denmark or something? Is someone in the DR panel REALLY into their 80s synthpop? I like the Danish and the general flow of this track but I’m stumped as to how the three or four synthpop tracks can stand out in an 8 song field…
Total = 29.5 (avg. 7.38)
Jean Michel – Beautiful
Daniel – 7 – I think that this is a very standard pop track with an interesting chorus attached to it. I think I wished that the versus were a little bit more unique, particularly because the structure is so expected. But I will say this is a jam and the electro pop beats are appreciated. I think the lyrics are very cute and empowering, if not a bit cliché. I see that this has a lot of staging potential so I am excited to see how that will come to be.
James – 4 – This just screams “generic X Factor winner self-belief banger.” And the chorus kicks in with awful synthesized vocals and fart-like synth. It sounds like the foghorn on the Titanic, and I reckon this song’s chances are about the same as that ship reaching New York.
Melanie – 6.5 – This sounds actually like the song that in the end will win the whole contest. It’s the very predictable pop song that would do well on the radio. It also sound like a Melfest-reject. I love the build and the instrumental after the chorus. It’s very well produced, but it’s very safe. This is how a typical Eurovision song should sound like and therefore it wouldn’t win the Eurovision Song Contest. Please Denmark, don’t go safe and pick another song in this competition!
Sean – 4 – I wish this was in Danish so I wouldn’t have to hear every cliché lyric in one song! This has an incredibly manufactured feel and reeks of ‘songwriting camp’, but at least it’s musically interesting in the chorus breakdowns. Sadly this splash of colour doesn’t make an impression in the large swathes of beige in this track…
Total = 21.5 (avg. 5.38)
Let’s see how our ranking pans out in tonight’s DMGP…
- Emma Nicoline – Står lige her – 29.5
- Fyr & Flamme – Øve os på hinanden – 26.5
- The Cosmic Twins – Silver Bullet – 26
- Mike Tramp – Everything Is Alright – 25
- Nanna Olivia – Hvileløse hjerter – 24
- Chief 1 & Thomas Buttenschøn – Højt over skyerne – 23.5
- Claudia Campagnol – Abracadabra – 23.5
- Jean Michel – Beautiful – 21.5
It seems our team are rooting for Emma Nicoline to take it tonight with “Står lige her”, but will this be the case later this evening?
Do #YOU agree with our thoughts on Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, or have we underrated any entries? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!