I was left decidedly nonplussed after this year’s Swedish Melodifestivalen. I’ve watched every year for over a quarter of a century and even though it’s not uncommon to have disappointing heats with everything coming together for the final, this year it felt it had run out of rather more steam than usual. I went into the final with my interests only vaguely piqued by one song. And this wasn’t it.
Cornelia, erstwhile of the Red One produced Love Generation, gained instant attention after appearing in the first heat of the marginally revamped 2022 show. The song has strong echoes of current pop sounds in that way that Melfest composers very deliberately write songs to emulate recent hits. This has a lot of Lana del Ray to my ears, particularly as Cornelia sweeps into the admittedly impressive chorus.
I was rather surprised by the affection this got in that early heat. I spent most of my first viewing of it distracted by the fact that it looked like she was missing her camera cues and the director was trying to keep up with her. By the time she performed it again in the final I was forced to acknowledge it was, in fact, a choreographic choice.
The song captures a very specific moment as a relationship ends and she implores her lover – who has broken it off – to stay until the morning holding her for one last moment of intimacy. They acquiesce, although whether this is for reasons of politeness or simply because the Stockholm tunnelbana hasn’t restarted yet and taxis are a hell of a price in Sweden isn’t clear.
Of course, this being a first-person narrative we mustn’t forget to be inquisitive as to the other party’s perspective. Are they breaking it off because, as Cornelia tells us, “You say that you never felt this way for anyone, and that’s why it scares you to death”? Or are they so petrified and still there because she’s physically preventing them from leaving? I’m not saying she’s boiling bunnies, but is this more of a Misery moment? What’s going to come first? The dawn? Or the sledgehammer?
With victory in Melodifestivalen sealed Cornelia is currently riding high with the bookies as a favourite to win the whole thing. Objectively I can’t argue against that, but this isn’t my preference for victory.
My marks: 7 points