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Sunday, April 27, 2008

DJ (and Singers) Take Me Away

Welcome to another Eurosunday. This week I enter my top 20. Even though these songs are around the middle of my list, they are still all very good. This year’s competing songs keep appearing stronger and stronger, as there has been a lot of movement in my top 20 over the past weeks as final versions get released.

20. Azerbaijan
Elnur Huseynov & Samir Javadzadeh - Day After Day
Reaction: I get the feeling this may be an unpopular choice, as a lot of people online seem to have this at the bottom of their personal rankings. I like the angel/devil theme and the battle between two sides that comes across in the vocals (although I can’t tell what they’re saying, although I know it’s in English). It’s theatrical and over the top in a way that you can‘t tell if they‘re being serious or not, which I can always count on to catch my attention.
Best Part: “Daaaaaay after daaaaay” in the chorus
Rating: 3/5

19. Bulgaria
Deep Zone & Balthazar - DJ Take me away
Reaction: This dance songs is all over the place, starting out with scratching, moving to reggae, and then a combination of the two. The vocal chorus is simple but catchy. This song would sound perfect on a club dance floor.
Best Part: Instrumental chorus about 2 minutes in
Rating: 3/5

18. Albania
Olta Boka - Zemren e lame peng
Reaction: This song starts out with acoustic guitar strumming and by the chorus adds electric instruments, becoming a power ballad. As the song continues, it goes back and forth between the softer verses and the more intense and catchy chorus. The singer has a lovely youthful voice.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 3/5

17. Poland
Isis Gee - For Life
Reaction: This song should be a staple of any party DJ’s wedding selection. The last wedding song in Eurovision, “Tomorrow I Go” from Albania in 2005, although it was one of my favorites from that year, doesn’t have the wedding accessibility as “For life” does. This song is the story of a couple’s love, resulting in their wedding. Usually wedding songs get too sappy and boring for me, but this one has a memorable chorus. It’s also very American-sounding, no doubt due to the homeland of the singer.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 3/5

16. Germany
No Angels - Disappear
Reaction: I was originally more APPREHENSIVE to this song when it was selected, because I really wanted Cinema Bizarre to win the German ticket. However, after I gave this song a chance I found that it was actually very good. This is a modern-sounding girl group pop ballad, in the vein of maybe Girls Aloud’s “Call The Shots”. A good feat by a girl group that has been around since 200.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 3/5

Next week I'll have my top 11-15.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Erano stupende

Welcome to this week's Eurosunday, in which I will count down my top 21-25 songs. This week was especially hard to write because over time I've been revising my rankings and it's been very hard to decide which songs will be in my top 20. Despite all the internet worry over this year being weaker, after repeated listenings to all the songs it seems that this year's group of songs is actually much stronger than it seemed just a month or two ago.

25. Georgia
Diana Gurtskaya - Peace will come
Reaction: I remember Diana from Belarus' preselection last year, with her song "How Long" that I wasn't very fond of (luckily "Work Your Magic" won instead). This song is thankfully much better than her previous try. This one is a rock song with a good melody and positive message
Best part: Bridge
Rating: 3/5

24. Finland
Teraesbetoni - Missae miehet ratsastaa
Reaction: My criteria nowadays for a good rock song is, would it be fun to play in Rock Band? This one definitely passes that test. I guess Finland has found that metal is its "thing" for Eurovision, since their last metal song won it. With lots of guitars and "hoo! hah!" grunting, this is one of the more macho songs in the contest's history.
Best Part: Key change and ending
Rating: 3/5

23. Belgium
Ishtar - O Julissi
Reaction: This song is charming and even a bit magical. It sounds like something you'd hear while skipping through a forest with magical friendly woodland creatures around you, or while playing the Sims (since it is in a fictional language, it wouldn't be out of place on the game's radio stations). The song's ending, with key changes, sounds like the performers are having fun.
Best Part: Ending
Rating: 3/5

22. Netherlands
Hind - Your heart belongs to me
Reaction: This song has a fun bouncy feel with a good drum beat and Middle Eastern-sounding strings. Even though the song's subject matter is less than sunny (getting over a bad relationship), the music makes you want to dance.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 3/5

21. Switzerland
Paolo Meneguzzi - Era Stupendo
Reaction: I admit that the hype has affected me on this one. Along with Norway, I like it and acknowledge that it's a very good song, but it doesn't move me the way it has for others. That said,
Best part: Final choruses
Rating: 3/5

Next week I'll reveal the bottom part of my top 20!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eurosunday: Posting in the night

Welcome to another week of Eurosunday as I enter the top 30. As I like to sleep in on weekends, by the time I end up posting it's usually Monday in most if not all of Europe. However, today I'm close to almost posting on Monday, US Eastern time!

30. Lithuania
Jeronimas Milius - Nomads in the night
Reaction: I have a soft spot for this song as I don’t think it’s as terrible as a lot of people do. It gets off to a rough start, but the final two choruses have a rocky theatrical feel somewhat similar to Iceland’s song last year.
Best Part: Last chorus
Rating: 3/5

29. Cyprus
Evdokia Kadi - Femme Fatale
Reaction: This has a very typically Greek feel. I like the combination of the female soloist with the male backing. I should get on it’s case for lyrically being like a gender-reversed version of Germany’s song last year, but it’s far catchier.
Best Part: Ending, as it gets faster
Rating: 3/5

28. Norway
Maria Haukass StorengX - Hold on be strong
Reaction: This one is a midtempo pop song. It’s catchy with an upbeat message. Along with Andorra, this is another song that seems beloved by the Eurovision fan community that I don’t seem to favor as much. I do like it, but I just don’t feel the it-factor that it seems everyone else thinks it has.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 3/5

27. Romania
Nico & Vlad Mirita - Pe-o margine de lume
Reaction: This is an old-fashioned style ballad. It starts off calm, picks up a modern beat in the middle, and ends with an orchestra. The singers have strong voices and the change in the backing instruments as the song progresses keeps it interesting.
Best Part: Final chorus
Rating: 3/5

26. Israel
Boaz Mauda - The Fire In Your Eyes
Reaction: This has a mellow acoustic feel. The verses aren’t that memorable in my mind but the chorus is strong and adds more instrumentation. Boaz has an unconventional voice but it works well for this song, and has a pure (meaning: young) and soothing sound.
Best Part:Chorus
Rating: 3/5

Next week I'll discuss 21-25. Hopefully I'll post it on time, as I'm very busy with school, and on top of that I'm going to New York Comic Con!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Blogs of the Sea

This week's Eurosunday includes songs 31-35 in my personal ranking. We're starting to get into decent songs but nothing really great yet.

35. United Kingdom
Andy Abraham – Even If
Reaction: This is a pleasant yet not very memorable soul-disco song. It gets boring and repetitive by the end. Still, this is a much better try than the UK’s past two efforts so I’ll say “good job”.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 2/5

34. Croatia
Kraljevi ulice & 75 cents – Romanca
Reaction: This song is cute and charming. It would make perfect background music at a café or a walk through a city square, which makes sense given the band’s day job as street musicians. While it’s a pleasant song and makes me smile, it seems a bit generic and not memorable.
Best Part: The laj-laj-laj part at the ending
Rating: 3/5

33. Latvia
Pirates of the Sea – Wolves of the Sea
Reaction: The song is fairly catchy and hummable, but the lyrics are so silly. These aren’t violent pirates – they’re silly pirates that might not be out of place in a children’s TV show. Even the lyrics referring to stealing treasure sound like they’re skipping away with it. And it’s hard to believe them when they say that they are “scary and bold.” Hopefully this doesn’t lead to some country next year sending a song about ninjas who have tea parties.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 3/5

32. Andorra
Gisela – Casanova
Reaction: I like Gisela – I love her version of “Tu voz se apagara” from the Spanish national finals last year. However, I can’t say the same for this song. It’s bouncy Swedish-style pop, but it doesn’t have the sticking power it needs. It’s just not as memorable as the other songs in this style in this contest.
Best Part: Bridge
Rating: 3/5

31. Ireland
Dustin the Turkey – Ireland douze points
Reaction: This song reeks of desperation – it’s right there in the opening lines. It seems unnecessary from a country who achieved a top 10 place just 2 years ago to sing a song about how they’ve been doing terrible lately, but here one is. When you get to lyrics about gobbling and flapping your wings, you have to worry if the performers selected this song because of their sense of humor or their desire to get a job, any job. The listing of European countries at the end is a blatant plea for votes from anyone who can give them (and even some who can’t, like Austria). However, the tune is catchy, and if you look at it as a good-natured yet desperate effort rather than a parody of the contest itself, it can be pretty funny.
Best Part: “Eastern Europe, we love you/Do you like Irish stew/Or goulash, as it is to you”
Rating: 3/5

Next week I'll have songs 26-30.