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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bells and Bagpipes

Now we're getting into the pretty good stuff, with under a month left until the contest!

20. Romania
Mandinga - "Zaleilah"
Reaction: Typical Romanian dance with wannabe Spanish. Surely more indicative of the Romanian music that hits it big internationally than their previous few entries. Though it does drag on a little bit, it's nice and summery.
Best Part: The bagpipes
Rating: 3/5

19. Greece
Eleftheria Eleftheriou - "Aphrodisiac"
Reaction: A very typical Greek ethno-pop dance song. Like "Yiassou Maria", there's nothing particularly memorable and special about it (although voters disagreed with me there). It almost feels a little bland with no feeling behind it. Still, it fulfills its purpose of being fun and danceable.
Best Part: Last chorus
Rating: 3/5

18. France
Anggun - "Echo (You and I)"
Reaction: This is a very dynamic pop song. With so many changes it feels like a few songs in one. It has an interesting whistling gimmick, although it's not as good as Popular's.
Best Part: Intro
Rating: 3/5

17. Croatia
Nina Badric - "Nebo"
Reaction: This is more of a pop ballad than the other ballads from Balkan countries this year. Slow and powerful, in a kind of dated but nice way, and full of emotion. It gains energy and some guitars at the end.
Best Part: Bells during the chorus
Rating: 3/5

16. Belarus
Litesound - "We are the heroes"
Reaction: This song was a lot better in its original more rock form. Now it became unnecessarily poppy, in the way "Hasta la vista" did. Still, it has a great melody and catchy chorus.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 3/5

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Post-EIC Rankings

This is my first EuroSunday post actually posted in Europe, as I am currently on vacation in Amsterdam. I wrote the comments for these songs before I saw 4 out of 5 of these performers. I'll put up a review of Eurovision in Concert later when I can upload some pictures.

25. Austria
Trackshittaz - "Woki mit deim popo"
Reaction: Its not Oida Taunz but it was still the best in the Austrian preselection. It's funny even if you don’t understand the words (popo-shaking is an universal language) with a very catchy chorus.
Best Part: "Noodlesuppen gang"
Rating: 3/5

24. Russia
Buranovski Babushki - "Party for Everybody"
Reaction: It's Verka 2! It does sound not too dissimilar to "Dancing lasha tumbai," although it's hard to find a secret political message in this. Those babushki are so lovable and make you want to be their grandchild. This gets bonus points for having oldest entrants, as well as singing in an endangered language. Its just got internet meme written all over it.
Best Part: Boom boom boom!
Rating: 3/5

23. Moldova
Pasha Parfeny- "Lautar"
Reaction: Interesting ethno. It's a happy clapalong song, maybe trying to do with trumpets what their 2010 entry did to saxaphone, but not doing it. Still, it's fun and catchy.
Best Part: Key change/last chorus
Rating: 3/5

22. Ireland
Jedward - "Waterline"
Reaction: It’s Jedward! It's not as good as Lipstick or some of their other songs from their latest album but I have a weird affinity for them. It’s a standard bouncy pop song by a boy band and at least beats out some of the other contemporary boy band fare.
Best Part: Bridge and last chorus
Rating: 3/5

21. Finland
Pernilla Karlsson - "Nar jag blundar"
Reaction: My early notes had “hipster” so at least it has that as a plus, as strange as it sounds. It's a little boring especially in the verses, but the chorus is memorable. Maybe it wants to be Lana Del Rey, even more than the UK's song does. (How are there more LDR clones than Adele clones here?). It's very Scandinavian too, with a little elven mystery, which also makes it a bit twee, so it gets more hipster points there.
Best Part: Chorus

Sunday, April 15, 2012

But now it’s Goggling ‘round with me!

Time for 5 more songs, getting closer to the halfway point of the Eurovision song ranking.

30. Israel
Izabo - “Time”
Reaction: There are a few songs in this contest that sounds a little hipstery, but I think these guys might be the actual hipsters. It’s fun, with middle eastern touches in the strings. It does drag a bit and the falsetto can be a little annoying.
Best Part: Intro
Rating: 3/5

29. Albania
Rona Nishliu - “Suus”
Reaction: Completely unmistakable. It’s more of a vehicle to show off the singer’s voice, not a song. It is boring some times and at other times shouty. However, the shouty parts are the most bizarrely interesting parts of the song. It’s at least better than “Hear my plea.”
Rating: 3/5

28. Malta
Kurt Calleja - “This is the night”
Reaction: Why do they keep doing this? This is completely unnecessary. It’s the definition of disposable pop; it’s pleasant for those three minutes but afterwards you don’t get the desire to listen again, and it surely doesn’t add anything to the canon of pop music or even Eurovision. Also, the singer’s voice doesn’t mix well with the instrumental and it makes it sound like a demo. =
Best Part: Last chorus
Rating: 3/5

27. Turkey
Can Bonomo - “Love me back”
Reaction: This is very Turkish ethnic pop, although it’s not really close to any of their recent entries. Maybe “Shake it up shekerim” but this is much better. Cute and fairly creative lyrics, despite the reliance on “na-na-na-na” in the chorus.
Best Part: Bridge
Rating: 3/5

26. San Marino
Valentina Monetta - “The Social Network Song (oh oh-uh-oh oh)”
Reaction: Ralph Siegel does a “Friday” about Face book. I was conflicted as where to put this in the rankings. Honestly, I can’t stop listening to this song and it pops into my head every time I read the word “Facebook”. The music is comfortingly dated, like a pop song from the turn of the millennium. But the lyrics are terrible and embarrassing, and bizarrely oversexed. The excessive autotune on the studio version is also unnecessary, though obviously that shouldn’t be an issue in the live version. It deserves to become an internet meme and come at the bottom of the jury votes.
Best Part: “Goodbye, network fans” where the backing vocals are clearly still singing “Facebook”
Rating: 3/5

Sunday, April 08, 2012

No Joker

Happy Easter! It's time for the next five songs in my Eurovision ranking for 2012.

35. Germany
Roman Lob - “Standing Still”
Reaction: A boring contemporary pop ballad similar to other songs that ended up near the bottom of my rankings (Denmark 2009 and Belgium 2010), which probably means it will do quite well. Very fake singer-songwriter earnestness. It wishes it was “Running Scared” or at least a grittier version (it even has the “Verb-ing adverb” title), but doesn’t even come close.
Best Part:
Rating: 2/5

34. Estonia
Ott Lepland - “Kuula”
Reaction: A very slow and boring piano ballad. At least it makes me think of King of Fighters. Then again, so does Ireland and their song is better. As with Spain, the vocal performance is too good for an underwhelming song.
Best Part: Bridge
Rating: 2/5

33. Georgia
Anri Jokhadze - “I’m A Joker”
Reaction: Musical theater meets disco meets rhyming dictionary. This song goes all over the place, never excelling in any part. It is kind of amusing though.
Best Part: Introduction is actually in Georgian
Rating: 2/5

32. Montenegro
Rambo Amadeus - “Euro Neuro”
Reaction: This isn’t much of a song, and it isn’t very listenable. At least it owns it! The lyrics are very “reading the rhyming dictionary” but with more of a message behind it than the other song this year that does that. The chorus is kind of catchy. It’s admirable what it’s doing, but it drags on way too long too.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 2/5

31. Portugal
Filipa Sousa - “Vida minha”
Reaction: The worst Balkan ballad in a surprisingly large field of Balkan ballads doesn’t even come from a Balkan country (though one of the songwriters does). It has the same songwriters as “Senhora do mar” and is a little reminiscent of it, but doesn’t come close to capturing its power.
Best Part: Last chorus
Rating: 2/5

Sunday, April 01, 2012


Happy April Fool's! Today I'm ranking songs 36-40. This is no joke, I did give all of them 1/5.

40. Netherlands
Joan Franka - “You and Me”
Reaction: Very twee but in a more super commercial way, in that it could probably be used in a commercial with models running around in a field advertising clothes. The singer’s accent doesn’t go well with the song and the higher parts are awkward. It’s annoying in a Belgium 2010 way, which probably means it will do just as well.
Best Part: Bridge
Rating: 1/5

39. Spain
Pastora Soler - “Quedate conmigo”
Reaction: Of the two songs this year written by fan fave songwriter Thomas G:Son for countries that start with S and end with N, this is the worse. It’s a sleepy, boring ballad that wants to be a power ballad and achieves it in the last minute, but it’s too late.
Best Part: The part around 2 minutes in when it becomes a power ballad
Rating: 1/5

38. Hungary
Compact Disco - “Sound of our hearts”
Reaction: It’s an okay pop rock song, but okay isn‘t good enough. It has memorable enough chorus, but not strong enough for me to care and want to listen the full 3 minutes.
Best Part: Intro
Rating: 1/5

37. Lithuania
Donny Montell - “Love is Blind”
Reaction: The third song in six contests from Lithuania with “love” in the title. Starts off as a very boring ballad, then abruptly turns into a mediocre disco song. It’s pleasant but unremarkable, and there are other better disco-influenced song in the contest.
Best Part: When it changes style
Rating: 1/5

36. Switzerland
Sinplus - “Unbreakable”
Reaction: That accent! Unintelligible is more like it. The chorus can get stuck in your head but it’s more annoying than good. It’s okay for the first chorus but it gets annoying and repetitive very fast. I can barely make it through the whole thing.
Best Part: First chorus, before it gets overdone
Rating: 1/5