Editorials & Opinion

Xtra Review: Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2016

DR conveniently released the DMGP entries today. We immediately plugged in our headphones and decided to give these ten a listen. What do we think of the ten Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2016 entries? Can Denmark repeat history and win in Sweden for the third time? You can listen to all of the songs in this Youtube playlist.
David Jay – Rays of Sunlight
David Jay’s entry isn’t surprising when you read his bio: He’s dedicated to soul, R&B and hiphop. We see literally all of that in this entry, which isn’t half bad. It is loaded with soul and fits right in with the Bruno Mars/Guy Sebastian style Europe enjoys so much nowadays. If his live is as good, he might win Denmark for him, but it lacks a certain ‘oomph’ to make it a frontrunner.
Simone – Heart Shaped Hole
As a true fan favourite, Simone entered DMGP 2013 with Stay Awake. Three years later she’s back and she’s bringing a pop tune with hints of schlager here and there. Her voice needs to be in perfect condition on 13th February as there are some rather high notes in the chorus which she really needs to hit in order to make this a success. No, it’s nothing extraordinary, but it is quite decent.
Muri & Mario – To Stjerner
As the only Danish song of the lot, this is per definition a stand-out. This combination of a Danish Arab singer and an Italian living in Denmark is a clear favourite of mine, although it has to be said that it does feel like a good festival or radio attempt, but I’m not sure it fits for Eurovision. I’m just not sure they can bring it across well in just three minutes…
Sophia Nohr – Blue Horizon
Is it a ballad? Is it midtempo? It’s all of those things without really deciding what it really wants to be. The bridge after 2:20 is just weird and it’s questionable whether this will make any sort of impression. The timing for that bridge just feels all wrong. This 2015 X Factor contestant is making a good start in music, but it could’ve been better.
Veronicas Illusion – The Wrong Kind
Clearly my least favourite of the bunch. In the build-up to the chorus, it’s like we’re listening to a Nicki Minaj impersonator. Veronica Jensen, the lead singer of this group, is quite successful, also leading the group Aycan in both Europe and Asia, but I doubt she’d be successful in DMGP with this. Her voice changing so much before the chorus is inexplicable and unnecessary.
Lighthouse X – Soldiers of Love
Before the plagiarism police appear again: No, this is not a rip-off of Belgium’s 1987 Eurovision entry. It’s just a simple boyband attempt by Lighthouse X, a boyband consisting of Søren Bregendal, Johannes Nymark and Martin Skriver. One Direction has broken up and so Lighthouse X attempt to fill the gap. It’s decent, but there will be bigger fans of this than me.
Kristel Lisberg – Who Needs A Heart
Kristel, first of all, we all need a heart, living would be quite difficult without one. This ballad is nice and Disney, nice and Let It Go. It’s nice and middle of the road, nothing too world changing, but inoffensive and nice to listen to. It has a violin and that’s good. This singer from the Faroe Islands will definitely get some support behind her, but I doubt it’s enough to put her through to a superfinal.
Jessica – Break It Good
We’re off to the Caribbean with this song. If Jessica can do this in a live performance, she’s got herself a decent entry. I just feel this entry is about ten years too late, this sound has been long gone from the worldwide music scene and in this field, this just doesn’t stand out enough. There’s nothing quite there to save it from oblivion, unless she pulls off a massive performance in Horsens.
Bracelet – Breakaway
First of all, I can’t help but wonder why we’re getting a Swedish pop-rock band with one Danish member in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. You could just apply for Melodifestivalen and leave it at that?
That fact alone makes me think Bracelet won’t have much of a chance to win DMGP no matter how good their song may or may not be. Which is quite sad, because the song is quite decent, but, like so many entries this year all over Europe, it just sounds ‘radio’. I can easily imagine radio stations playing this, but how are you going to do this pop rock song live in a televised event where visuals count?
Anja Nissen – Never Alone
All the way from Sidney, Australia, we’ve got the winner of The Voice Australia fighting to represent Denmark. Luckily this girl was born to Danish parents, so she’s got quite the link to Denmark. There’s a true Emmelie de Forest vibe to this and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lise Cabble was behind this song. There’s the ‘nature’ sound Only Teardrops had, but this time it’s topped by a stylished 20 year old singer, not someone who’d go to Eurovision barefoot. This may well be the frontrunner for the DMGP victory and Australia’s 12 points in Stockholm…
With these ten, there are a few clear highlights for me personally. Anja Nissen, Muri & Mario and Simone are my personal favourites. In terms of what to expect, I’d say it’s Anja and Simone who’ll be frontrunners for the ticket to Stockholm. Perhaps there’s an outside chance for David Jay as well.

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