Eurovision First Listen: Finland’s “Something Better” by Softengine

Finland may have the first real contender in Copenhagen with their Eurovision Song Contest entry "Something Better" by the rock band Softengine.

Finland completed its selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest this past Saturday, with the rock band Softengine fending off strong competition and achieving an almost perfect score from the judging panel and audience. Here is the band’s performance of their entry “Something Better” from Saturday’s show:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAdz2HKz1PA

 

We’re still early in the selection process phase of this year’s Contest, but this is the first entry to have the gravitas of a contender. The song could exist outside of the context of the competition, it is performed well (both by the band and by the staging), and has an earworm quality about it. This genre can be a wild card in the ESC, but “Something Better” will likely track similarly to A Friend in London’s “New Tomorrow” (Denmark 2011, 4th Place) rather than Litesound’s “We Are the Heroes” (Belarus 2012, Did Not Qualify). I think Finland made the right call by choosing this song.

There are some improvements that can be made. The lyrics to “Something Better” could be a little clearer, particularly in the high/falsetto parts. In fairness to Softengine, there was marked improvement in this area between the first heat and the final performance. Perhaps the group can book some dates on other national finals to help boost their profile and experience. When I heard the first heat version of this song, I immediately thought of Hungary’s entry in the 2012 Semi-Final. The lead singer of Compact Disco worked through his nerves during the performance, causing the song to sound strained through the first half until he got into a groove. The band advanced and delivered a much stronger performance in the Final, but Finland should try to avoid that obstacle.

If Softengine can work on the vocals and deliver a solid music video, “Something Better” could become something better: a potential frontrunner.

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