Iceland’s Eurovision Skillz Remain “Unbroken”

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (Logo: Eurovision)
Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (Logo: Eurovision)

Over the weekend Iceland selected “Unbroken” by María Ólafsdóttir as its representative at the Eurovision Song Contest. How does it sound?

Iceland is one of the countries I’m usually rooting for in the Eurovision Song Contest. Though the country has been a part of the competition for almost 30 years, it has yet to win, coming closest in 2009 and 1999 as runner-up both years. Although Iceland has been on a good streak recently, qualifying for the final each year from 2008 onward. Will this year’s entry “Unbroken” by María Ólafsdóttir continue that trend? Let’s take a listen:

There are a lot of elements to this song that can work. Although lyrically simple, “Unbroken” doesn’t fall into the Eurovision trap of a simple title such as “Shine”, “Smile”, or “Warrior”. There is a modern pop sensibility about the track, picking a thesis of sorts and meandering around the topic without diving too deeply. This song could appear on the radio and not seem completely out of the place, although not necessarily standing out in the audio landscape.

All hope is not lost for Iceland. This entry is a solid first draft and the country has not shied away from tinkering with entries between selection and the semi-finals. First, Ólafsdóttir will need a different outfit and shoes—she is reading too similarly to Eurovision’s 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest. The lyrics could use another pass, as the wordiness is making some of the sections come off marble-mouthed. Ólafsdóttir’s vocals are pretty solid, and should get stronger once the song takes its final shape.

As it is at the moment, I don’t think Iceland will win the Contest, but the country has one of the stronger entries in the field so far. Here’s hoping they make the right choices between now and May to improve their chances and keep their qualifying streak unbroken.

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About Mike McComb 616 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv