Felix Sandman addresses toxic masculinity on new Melodifestivalen entry
Swedish pop star Felix Sandman had his solo breakthrough two years ago when he finished as the runner up of Melodifestivalen 2018 (the immensely popular Swedish Eurovision preselection). In the meantime he released an album and kept dropping new tunes, including two successful duets with Melfest 2018 winner Benjamin Ingrosso and one with Rhys. This year he is back in Melodifestivalen with the track ‘Boys With Emotions’. Last Saturday he performed it live for the first time, but despite being the favourite to win the whole thing, he failed to go straight to the final, but qualified for Andra Chansen (the second chance).
‘Boys With Emotions’ is a very contemporary bop of the understated kind. The production is slick with a swinging little beat and subtle progress. Sandman’s vocal performance is understated too, in an almost rhythmically talking/whispering style (think Billie Eilish). Although the sound of the tune is so subtle, the chorus is still very catchy. It might be too repetitive for some, but it’s hard to get the title out of your head after the tune finishes. In the lyrics, Felix speaks out against toxic masculinity, encouraging guys to open up about their emotions, show their vulnerable side and admit to needing help sometimes.
It seems that all the ingredients for a massive Melodifestivalen success are there, so why is he not in the final yet? The Swedes seem to have opted for more traditional pop songs with a less progressive sound. Although the staging for ‘Boys With Emotions’ looked stylish and slick, it did not necessarily underline the strong message of the song. Felix’s vocals did not really shine either as they were hardly audible in the chorus. Having said that, Sandman qualified for the final through the second chance round in 2018 too, and ‘Boys With Emotions’ might need some more time to get the Swedish audience hooked. Now that the song is out on Spotify too, it has four weeks to impress before fighting for a spot in the final again!