11 April 2016

Eurovision 2016: Review: Norway: Agnete: Icebreaker

It was nothing less than a complete slam dunk when the results were announced at the Melodi Grand Prix in Norway; Agnete had won by a two to one margin over the runner-up with her electropop entry, Icebreaker.

The 21-year-old singer/songwriter is no stranger to the limelight though, having led the teen band The BlackSheeps: the group's CV including a Number 1 song in their homeland and a runners-up berth at the 2011 MGP.

Not long after this appearance the band split, leaving Agnete to dabble in a few reality TV shows before her selection as one of the ten acts at this year's MGP.

She joins Swede Gabriel Alares and Brit Ian Curnow as a co-composer of Icebreaker, both seasoned (and successful) writers in their own right. In fact, Curnow has written for and produced a long list of well-known names, including Boyzone, Take That and Roxette as well as performing with the band Talk Talk and a variety of Stock, Aitken and Waterman artists.

So, there is some pedigree behind Norway's entry which mixes tempo and rhythm in a very contemporary package. The fragmented nature of the song has not been to everyone's taste, though. Some feel that it's a confused mess - a mash-up of two songs, while others applaud the unconventional flow of the track.

Still, some of its influences are quite obvious. Listen to any of Sia's recent output for confirmation. Even the staging at the national final appeared to be an idea poached from a previous outing by the Australian.

For all its apparent connections, though - count previous Eurovision entries from Sweden, Germany and Norway among them - Icebreaker sounds like nothing else in this year's competition. Yes, it has a disjointed feel about it, but the chorus is instantly captivating and the pretty Agnete carries off the whole package with a strong vocal, particularly in her higher register.

She'll also be aiming to maintain Norway's recent sequence of Top 10 finishes. Having secured a plum second half draw in the second semi-final, she's well on her way to achieving this.

Icebreaker may be something of a Marmite entry for some, but it should appeal to enough people to see it 'break' into a prominent position on the left-hand side of the scoreboard.

What do you think?

Image by Ernst Vikne (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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