Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix kicks off this weekend. It’ll be the first of three heats, which will  be followed by the grand final – the winner of which will go on to represent Norway at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

All 24 songs were released last night on iTunes (worldwide, we believe). And so we’ve been listening to the lot this morning.

Our thoughts?….

Good, overall. There’s a lot of tripe in there of course. And a few songs that are probably quite good, but that were never going to appeal to us anyway. However, there’s plenty in there for us to enjoy. From trashy dance tracks, to cheesy schlager tunes, to pretty ballads. And there’s also a bit of electropop too. So the whole line-up is certainly diverse.

The names of the artists competing were actually announced some time ago. But there really wasn’t much in there to get us excited. Out of 24 acts, we’d only written about 2 of them before on this website – Lise Karlsnes and Rikke Lie. In fact, the list of songwriters was far more newsworthy, with the inclusion of lots of names that have composed and produced songs that we’ve loved before. Thomas G:son, Niclas Lundin, Maria Marcus, Thomas Eriksen, Peter Boström, Figge Boström, Hanne Sørvaag, and Christian Ingebrigtsen (of boyband a1) to name a few.

So then – here are the songs. We’ve highlighted in pink the ones that we’re enamored with after one listen. Which oddly enough equals 12 out of the 24 – 50%. Well done, NRK!

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Heat 1: Ørland 21 januari
Irresistible feat. Carl Pritt – Elevator
Writers: Anne Judith Wik, Nermin Harambasic, Ronny Svendsen, Robin Jenssen, Carl Pritt

Kim André Rysstad – Så Vidunderleg
Writers: Elin Nygård

Reidun Sæther – High On Love
Writers: Thomas G:son, Tommy Berre, Ovidou Jacobsen
(Rousing mid-tempo schlager from G:son. Chorus + key change = euphoria!)

Rudi Myntevik – You Break It You Own It
Writers: Rune Berg, Asbjørn Ribe

Lisa Stokke – With Love
Writers: Lisa Stokke, Johanna Demker, Anita Lixel, Tommy Berre
(Slightly bizarre number with lyrics that read like a spoof. But oh so charming with it. Unfortunately though it will probably suffer from being in the same heat as ‘High On Love’ – which is a much better version of what this is trying to be. We still love it though.)

United – Little Bobbi
Writers: John Lundvik, Philip Halloun, Thomas Felberg

Nora Foss Al-Jabri – Somewhere Beautiful
Writers: Christian Ingebrigtsen, Eivind Rølles
(Ballad that sounds like it could have come from a musical. This is a good thing!)

The Carburetors – Don’t Touch the Flame
Writers: Stian Krogh, Christopher Lindahl, Per Gunnar Lund-Vang

Heat 2: Larvik 28 januari
Cocktail Slippers – Keeps on Dancing
Writers: Cocktail Slippers

Isabel Ødegård – I’ve Got You
Writers: Thomas Helland, Isabel Ødegård

Tommy Fredvang – Make It Better
Writers: Tommy Fredvang, Hanne Sørvaag, Tommy Berre
(Male vocalled rock – so what are we doing liking it?! Ah, that’ll be the strong Sørvaag melody. This guy sounds uncannily like Ola Svensson in the vocal department.)

Rikke Lie – Another Heartache
Writers: Rikke Lie, Maria Marcus, Niclas Lundin
(Beautiful ballad with some delightfully large instrumentation. The strings! The melody! This should breeze through to the final easily.)

Malin – Crush
Writers: Marcus Ulstad Nilsen, Andreas Sjo Engen, Kjetil Helgesen
(Ridiculously cheesy electro/schlager/pop/whatever-it-is. We were always gonna be on board with this one, weren’t we?)

Plumbo – Ola Nordmann
Writers: Lars Erik Blokkhus, Glenn Hauger
(This sounds like TIMOTEIJ! If they were really old men.)

Minnie-Oh – You and I
Writers: Monica Johansen
(See our notes on Malin’s ‘Crush’)

Rikke Normann – Shapeshifter
Writers: Silya Nymoen, Rikke Normann
(See our notes on Malin’s ‘Crush’ and Minnie-Oh’s ‘You and I’. What on EARTH are NRK doing putting all three hot mess entries in the same heat?! Anyone would think they didn’t want them in the final……..)

Heat 3: Florø 4 februari
Tooji – Stay
Writers: Tooji, Peter Boström, Figge Boström
(This is quite brilliant. A club track with slight Arab-esque influences. And very catchy.)

Marthe Valle – Si
Writers: Marthe Valle
(Very soft, very inoffensive ballad. Pretty though. With a good staging, this should easily progress to the final. There’s a lot of dross in this heat.)

Petter Øien (with a secret duet partner) – Things Change
Writers: ???

Yaseen och Julie Maria – Sammen
Writers: Sigve Bull, El Axel

Håvard Lothe Band – The Greatest Day
Writers: Håvard Lothe

Silya – Euphoria
Writers: Silya Nymoen

The Canoes – Seemed like a good idea
Writers: Arne Hovda, Erik Norvald Røe, Christopher Barron Gross, Hans Petter Aaserud

Lise Karlsnes – Sailors
Writers: Lise Karlsnes, Thomas Eriksen
(The contest’s big name and with a song that’s been written by the man behind a lot of the hits by The Saturdays. Dreamy electropop. We really like this one.)

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And that’s it!

Heat 1 is this Saturday. And every Sunday we’ll be updating this site with the results and the performances that are worth a look.

Three songs from each heat will progress straight to the final.

 

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