Greetings, Euro Friends! Last week on Icelandic TV there was a special show to unveil this years hopefulls in their National Final, and later both Icelandic and English versions of the entries were put up on RUV's website. So I listened to both Icelandic and English versions of the songs, and this is how I feel about them...
Þú og ég/You and I - Kristina and Páll Rósinkrans
A kind of old fashioned country style ballad, with a twanging guitar in the background. Their voices mingle well, and the English version has nice lyrics. The chorus is rather repetitive, though and it's somewhat slow-paced. I'll be interested to see what chemistry they have on stage.
Þú hefur dáleitt mig/Hypnotized - Aron Brink
Aron is the late Sjonni Brink's (ICE 2011) son, and this is a fun pop song with a driving beat. It's very summery-sounding; the only drawback being that Aron has rather a thin voice. But if he can perform this song with charisma and fun, I can see this doing well, and certainly can see it on the Eurovision stage, with either English or Icelandic version.
Treystu á mig/Trust in me - Sólveig
A sweet, light as air song that has slowish verses and quicker choruses, which are very catchy. Sólveig has such a sweet voice too. But I by far prefer the Icelandic version as I find the English lyrics rather simple and a bit ill-fitting to the tune.
Til mín/Again - Rakel and Arnar
They have beautiful voices, but I find the song to be a plodding and heavy ballad. Probably my least favorite song this year in the Icelandic selection. I'm not sure whether this song is supposed to be sad or impassioned, or both.
Skuggamynd/I´ll be gone - Erna Mist
A clinking piano starts off this song and then it all broadens out into a song of real beauty and gathering power, that reminds me of Kate Bush. Erna has a sweet light voice. The English version fits very well, but I still prefer the Icelandic version. Can certainly see this on the Eurovision stage, but have no idea how it would do there.
Nótt/Tonight - Aron Hannes
Very contemporary pop song, fresh and upbeat. Aron Hannes has a good and self-assured voice, and I think it can do well if he’s charming onstage. I find it just a bit too Americanised for my taste, including the English lyrics. Prefer the Icelandic version.
Mér við hlið/Make your way back home - Rúnar Eff
Runar is a hockey player who writes rock ballads, and this one he has dedicated to his wife. This is an anthemic song that builds, then slows and seems to lose its way somewhat in the middle before returning to its rhythm. I like it on first listen. His voice suits the song well. Wouldn't mind seeing this at ESC - it could prove a nice contrast to some of the more pop-orientated entries.
Hvað með það?/Is this love - Davíð Freyr
A funky electro pop sound, and his voice is easy on the ear, but I don't think it's catchy enough to do much in the Icelandic competition unless the stage performance is really something. Prefer the Icelandic version, as I find the English lyrics rather lacklustre.
Heim til þín/Get back home - Júlí Heiðar & Þórdís
A feel-good light and breezy folkish foot-tapper which reminds me of Firelight's song from ESC 2015. Will be interesting to see what chemistry they have on stage. Fun and catchy, and sounds good in both English and Icelandic versions. Would love to see this in Kyiv!
Ég veit það/Paper - Svala
Svala is Bjorgvin Halldorsson's (ICE 1995) daughter. Catchy and upbeat, I can see fans going for this in a big way and is probably the song in the Icelandic Final to beat. I do prefer this song in Icelandic though.
Bammbaramm - Hildur Kristín
Quirky and fun pop song with a good happy beat, albeit a little lightweight, and Hildur sings it well. She has a lovely clear voice and puts the message of the song across well. I prefer the English version - and this is the one that had me singing along in the chorus after only one listen.
Ástfangin/Obvious love - Linda Hartmans
A slow piano ballad, treated very sensitively by Linda's voice, which builds to a throbbing crescendo and then ends very suddenly with more of a whimper than a bang. Prefer it in Icelandic, as I find the English lyrics rather unsatisfying. I can't see this representing Iceland at ESC, but then again, what do I know?