Loreen returns to Melodifestivalen with intense track ‘Statements’
Exactly five years after her victory with ‘Euphoria’, Swedish pop star Loreen decided to have another go at representing her country in the Eurovision Song Contest. Back in 2012 she had a huge hit with her winning song, single-handedly helping the image of the contest around the continent. Ever since, Loreen has not really had a hit in Sweden, let alone in the European charts, although she has been consistently releasing great singles like ‘I’m In It With You’ and ‘Paper Light (Higher)’. With her team she then decided she might use Melodifestivalen, the Swedish Eurovision preselection, once more to get more exposure for her music, more specifically the single ‘Statements’.
Last Saturday’s show made clear that this was not a move without any risks as Loreen failed to qualify directly for the final and will have to try again next Saturday in the second chance round. So what went wrong? Well, to be fair, Loreen gave the best performance of the night and of the whole Melodifestivalen season. However, both the track and the performance are a lot to take in. ‘Statements’ has zero things in common with the dance pop sound of ‘Euphoria’. It starts out with a cry and guitar and then builds into a loud and industrial beat, combined with some intense vocal work.
The song does have a proper chorus with a captivating melody and enough drama to keep you on the edge of your seat, but it takes a few listens to fully click. You need to hear the ‘words cut but I don’t care how much it hurts’ a couple of times before it hits and that is exactly the time we don’t really have in Melodifestivalen and Eurovision. It is a daring and risky move to send such a thing to a song contest and I applaud her for that. At the same time, Loreen is carrying out a strong message about our society and how words can be meaningless when we need action. It is a shame her diction is so poor as she sings, which makes it hard to understand anything she is saying, which is simply not acceptable when you have a song and performance built on the message of the track.
Let us hope that it took the Swedish public a little longer to get used to this track as well, because it deserves to at least get a good result in the Melodifestivalen final. However, I am not entirely sure if I actually want her to win and go to Eurovision, as there seems to be a lot to lose and not very much to gain. Having said that, any international exposure for her music is welcome at this stage, because we desperately need that second album!