free web site hit counter

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What happened to Anžej?

-A not-really-a-review-but-more-of-a-rant of the Eurovision Song Contest Semifinal 2006-

How do my #1 and #4 not make it through? While watching I predicted the top 10 and I correctly predicted 6 out of 10 (I thought Slovenia, Belgium, Cyprus, and Iceland would make it - while I did not predict Armenia, Ireland, Russia, Lithuania).

I shouldn't be too disappointed: Slovenia wasn't going to make it anyway, Belgium's performance wasn't the best, people probably didn't get Iceland, and I hated Cyprus anyway. My favorite didn't win last year and I shouldn't have expected it to this year.

At least three out of my top five, and seven out of my top ten are in the final.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

J'adore These Songs

Finally, my top five songs of Eurovision '06. I urge my European readers (if I have any) to vote for these songs, because that would make me happy. All of them get a 5/5 from me and I hope they do well.

5. Macedonia
Elena Risteska - "Ninanajna"
Reaction:It bears a suspicious resemblance to Beyonce's "Naughty Girl", who is in fact mentioned in the song. However, "Ninanajna" has a more infectious chorus. The most unique thing about the song is the 40 second instrumental opening. In the remaining 2 minutes 20 seconds of singing, the song really does its thing, which is to get you up and dancing. I could see this on the radio here in America. I don't know if Europe is willing to have two Elenas in a row win, but I wouldn't mind.
Best Part:"But if you wanna ninanaj with me, I'll tell you what to do"
Rating: 5/5

4. Slovenia
Anzej Dezan - "Mr. Nobody"
Reaction:Anzej is cute, only a year and a half older than me, even though he could use a shave. As for the song. it is much better than the runner up in the Slovenian preselection, "Mandoline", no matter what anyone tells you. It's a pretty camp upbeat pop song with strings and piano in the background, and it has two key changes. The translation from Slovenian to English went well, and the lyrics fit. As seen in the preselection (the only one I actually watched, I admit), he can sing and dance at the same time, and well, but the bad draw could hurt it.
Best Part:"'Cause when you look at me/I'm Mr. Nobody"
Rating: 5/5

3. Norway
Christine Guldbrandsen - "Alvedansen"
Reaction:I am a geek, but you should know that already; it says so on the top left of this page. It is a song about elves. Eves dancing. This song should get the fantasy geek vote (although in reality it'll probably go to Finland). Christine has a great voice and the song is so ethereal and folky. You say "old-fashioned," I say "classic". Did I mention the elves?
Best Part:"Haja... ha haja... haja.../Bli med meg i sommernatten"
Rating: 5/5

2. Romania
Mihai Traistariu - "Tornerò"
Reaction:This song has an Italian chorus, not to get votes from anyone, but because it sounds good, and it does. This is a catchy dance song and even though the English lyrics are a little shaky, the singer puts emotion in it. Mihai also shows off his impressive voice and range throughout the song. Also, I take first-year Italian class and I can understand the chorus, and that makes me feel good about how much I've learned.
Best Part:Key change "Tor-ne-rò"
Rating: 5/5

And...the number one is....

1. Belgium
Kate Ryan - "Je T'adore"
Reaction:Here we are, number one! I've been rooting for this song since January, and it better not let me down now. Performed by the only artist who I was a fan of beforehand (and, uh, the only one whose music I actually paid money for instead of just downloading), it's also the only song with a chance of winning from a country I'm visiting this summer. It's a very catchy Swedish-style upbeat pop song that gets stuck in your head and doesn't get out. It has winner written all over it.
Best Part:"You got me fallen to the floor/Anyway you want I’m yours"
Rating: 5/5

And that's it! I'll see if I can write reviews if the shows themselves, if I can find a way to watch them. Unless that happens, I have nothing to follow until ProRunS3 starts! So that means I'll have to actually work hard and write about other things!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mp3 Monday: Treble!!!!

I got The Sims 2 last week. I suck at it, but it's very fun and so far has consumed my life. As in the first game, all the characters speak in a made-up language (presumably so they don't have to translate and re-record it for each country the game is released in) and the songs on the in-game radio station are in that language too. You know who else sings in a made-up language? That's right, it's Treble!

Treble is the Netherlands' representative in Eurovision this year. Their mission statement is that one doesn't need to understand the language of a song to understand the music, which is a good point, except for the fact that "Amambanda" is partially in English, a real language. Even so, I still like them; the idea is cute and they try so hard. This week's mp3 is one of their two other songs in the Dutch preselection contest, "Lama Gaia" (the other was "Make Your Choice"). It has sort of a Spanish feel to it.
Download Treble - "Lama Gaia"

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Congratulations Good Songs

This week I'll discuss the bottom half of my top ten. I'd be pleased if any of these won, because they only barely failed to make the top five.

10. Germany
Texas Lightning - "No No Never"
Reaction: I'm normally like one of those people who puts under "Music" in their Myspace interests, "everything but country and rap" but for a country song performed by Germans and an Australian, it's actually very good. It has a key change and everything. It's different in a good way, not in a bad way like Daz.
Best Part: "My love gets tougher when the going gets rough"
Rating: 4/5

9. Russia
Dima Bilan - "Never Let You Go"
Reaction: You can accuse me of placing this song so high because he is attractive, but in reality I think his mullet is gross. It'd be better if I understood everything he was saying (I don't think he does) but it's a strong song.
Best Part: "Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone"
Rating: 4/5

8. Iceland
Silvia Night - "Congratulations"
Reaction: When this song won Iceland's preselection in Icelandic, I didn't like it at all. After the song was re-recorded in English, it became one of my favorites. It's kind of like Lithuania's song, but instead of being a jockish cheer it's a fun song from an over-the-top character. Silvia Night is now my hero, and that's probably the way she wants it.
Best Part: "Hello, is it God? What’s up dog?"
Rating: 4/5

7. Croatia
Severina - "Moja Stikla"
Reaction: Most people on the internet seem to think this is just noise, but it's really a funny folk-style song. It has some of the elements of last year's winner. It's about everything and nothing. The great place in the draw combined with her s-s-s-sex tape all over the internet (everyone loves those; see Paris Hilton) this could be a contender. Afrika paprika!
Best Part: Tie! "S-s-s-sex" and "Afrika paprika!"
Rating: 4/5

6. Bosnia & Herzegovina
Hari Mata Hari - "Lejla"
Reaction: The most beautiful, heartfelt ballad this year. Though I don't understand the words, the emotion is strong enough that I can tell what it's about (an unattainable love). The feeling gets across despite the language barrier, and that's what makes this a great song.
Best Part: "Golube, moj golube"
Rating: 4/5

Next Sunday I'll post my top 5, and try to write more about each one - they've earned it.

CONTEST: A little game for my readers, if I have any. You already know which songs are in my top five - they're the ones I haven't mentioned yet. The first person to guess as a comment the exact order of my top 5 will win...something. I don't know yet, but it can't hurt to try!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mp3 Monday: It Came From The Library Book Sale

I went to the used book sale at my local library yesterday. The sale starts on Friday, and by Sunday it is $2 for a large shopping bag of books, so that is the day I went. However, I ended up buying more music than books. I got a few records and two CDs. I have picked one song from each CD to share.

The first CD is "The Sign" by Ace Of Base. This takes me back. I used to listen to "The Sign" all the time when I was like, 5. You would think that I would have moved on but no, I picked this CD up 13 years later! I selected the song "Voulez-vous Danser" because I am going to Paris this summer and need to brush up on my French.
Download: Ace of Base - "Voulez-vouz Danser"

The second CD I found is "Fantasy" by Jay Chou. Jay is a Taiwanese pop singer, and actually wrote three songs for the other Taiwanese group I posted an mp3 from some weeks ago (S.H.E). Most of the songs on the CD are ballads, which unless particularly moving, I prefer to listen to in my own language. The song I selected, "Ren Zhe", translates to "Ninja" and is a departure from the other songs on the album - it is a rap song about a ninja.
Download: Jay Chou - "Ren Zhe"