They’re dead good at sailing, the Danes. Which is dead handy because their entry for Eurovision 2018 sounds dead nautical.
It’s a long time since we’ve heard an entry for the Contest like this. At first listen, it harks back to the ’90s when the competing nations dug deep into their melody archives to find the closest thing they could to a Celtic sing-song. In that regard, Higher Ground works brilliantly, it’s like a sea shanty from Les Miserables that’s ripping in Scandinavian melancholy.
And that’s one way to describe it. The other, less polite, way of doing so is to call this a bit of an anachronism. Is anyone really listening to stuff like this any more? The kindest comparison it’s possible to make is that – by squinting your ears – this could have a passing resemblance to an Avicii album track (does Avicii even do albums? It’s so tricky to keep up these days).
It’s at this point you have to pull yourself back from the gangplank and remember that this is a song for Eurovision. Over-analysis will curry no parsnips here. If Rasmussen can give this the optimum welly level in Lisbon – and there’s nothing in his bellowing lungs which suggests he can’t – the there’s no reason why this can’t take the sneaky strait into Saturday night. I’d also like it on the record that I didn’t write ‘this is sailing into the final’ there. It was an open goal but… no, I still couldn’t bring myself to say it.
So what if Higher Ground gets to the final and does rather well when it gets there? It’s not an unthinkable prospect but you can’t help thinking it would be such a retrograde step after the way the Eurovision tree has been blossoming in recent years.
This is a nice one to yo-yo between the left and right side of the scoreboard as things re-arrange themselves on the big night but if it finishes anywhere farther north, you can take my parsnips, dip them in chicken korma and make me eat them until I’m ill.
Here’s hoping it retains its mediocre shape for a few more weeks then.