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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 12

Overrated: Serbia 2011
It's sweet, but sweet isn't enough to put it just outside the top 10. The verses in  particular just underwhelm. They lack passion or soul/

Underrated: Finland 2006
Who would have thought this would win? It was shocking at the time, but after time passed this became an Eurovision icon. It has a classic melody and unconventional, almost deep lyrics.

Trivia: This is Portugal's highest placing (2008) and that powerful ballad definitely deserves this spot.

Other Songs: France 2007, Spain 2009, Croatia 2010, United Kingdom 2012, Switzerland 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 13

Overrated: Netherlands 2011
I must have just been desperate to put the Netherlands in a good position, as it was their highest position until 2013, when I actually loved their song. It's got a pleasant melody, but the soft rock production doesn't separate it too far ahead of other similar songs.

Underrated: Russia 2007
Back at rank 16 I talked about the new standard for girl groups. This one still meets that standard. An aggressively sexy well-constructed pop song.

Trivia: This is the highest ranking for Albania (2009), Italy (2012), and Poland (2006). Poland definitely deserves this spot, but I think I overrated Albania's song a bit, and I'd put their 2012 higher than this one. 

Other Songs: Poland 2006, Armenia 2008, Albania 2009, Finland 2010, France 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 14

Overrated: Belarus 2008
This was fabulous in its original version, but the Eurovision version was dragged down a lot. This is closer in quality to their 2009 song and I would re-rate it as such.

Underrated: Sweden 2006
It was a close decision between this and Montenegro 2013, as both are underrated and excellent but in different ways. “Igranka” is vibrant and contemporary and was robbed in competition. “Invincible” did much better in competition. Clearly I should have put it in my top 10 but underrated it because of my first taste of bitterness at my favorite in Melodifestivalen losing, and I had not yet learned to accept the result and passionately back the song that eventually won. However, as much as I enjoy “Igranka” more in the present dubstep cultural moment, I have enjoyed “Invincible” a lot more over the years as it's become a modern schlager classic. I can't rationalize “Igranka” going higher than maybe 10th place in my ranking, but I could put “Invincible” just outside the top 5.

Trivia: Belarus appeared twice at 14th place, in 2008 and 2011. This is the highest ranking for both Lithuania (2010) and Montenegro (2013). I don't think this is Lithuania's best song in the past 8 years, but this is Montenegro's best by far.

Other Songs: Denmark 2007, Moldova 2009, Bosnia & Herzegovina 2012

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 15

Overrated: Malta 2008
The carnival music is grating, and we have a much better drinking anthem in Greece's song from this year, so this is irrelevant.

Underrated: Finland 2007
This song came at what turned out to be the perfect time: post-Lordi win but before this kind of music fell out of popularity. This pop-rock song is still solid and shimmering.

Trivia: Finland appeared twice at 15th place (2007 and 2011). This is also Sweden's (2013) lowest placing, and it's the highest lowest placing for any country. Isn't it crazy-y?

Other Songs: Netherlands 2006, Bulgaria 2009, Albania 2010, Azerbaijan 2012

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 16

Overrated: Germany 2008
It might have been fine at the time, but the standard for girl groups has gone up since then thanks to the massive popularity of Korean girl groups. It's pleasant but it's nothing special.

Underrated: Ukraine 2013
It may not be perfect – it's got some awkward pauses – but it's dramatic and fabulous. More theatrical and polished than the other songs at its rank.

Trivia: Croatia appeared twice at 16th place, in 2009 and 2011. This is also Andorra's highest placing (2006).

Other Songs: Malta 2007, Bulgaria 2010, Belarus 2012

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 17

Overrated: Croatia 2012
I do like this song a lot, but it just doesn't meet the standard of the other songs in the group. It has a lovely melody but it's a little tired and weak.

Underrated: Iceland 2009
Yeah, this also came 2nd and it wasn't just because of an excellent peformance. This song is so good I got distracted while listening to it and got a minor injury.

Trivia: Azerbaijan 2011 is the lowest placed winner. This ranking has both a 1st and 2nd place, as well as a second-to-last (Poland 2008) and last place in the final (Ireland 2013).

Other Songs: Armenia 2006, Norway 2007, Bosnia & Herzegovina 2010

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 18

Overrated: Switzerland 2010
Compared to the other songs, it's slow and muddled. I do like the German version of the song.

Underrated: Netherlands 2007
This Eurovision-y pop song is catchier and smoother than I remember. Edsilia has a great voice.

Trivia: France appeared twice at 18th place, in 2011 and 2013.

Other Songs: Ukraine 2006, Albania 2008, Ireland 2009, Croatia 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 19

Overrated: Greece 2007
It's Greece's cliche type of entry. It's supposed to make you dance, but it's a little underenthused and tired, especially when held in contrast to their 2012 song that also appears at this rank. I'm not convinced he really cares about that mythical Maria.

Underrated: Russia 2010
It's still secretly and weirdly brilliant. Folky in a retro way but not horribly dated. The live performance, too, was great.

Trivia: Greece appears twice at 19th place (2007 and 2012).

On Bulgaria 2008: This song was a little ahead of its time, predating the recent influx of dance songs. Compare it to 2013, it's simpler. Less complicated can be good, but it's also less polished.

Other Songs: France 2006, Montenegro 2009, Iceland 2011, Slovenia 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 20

Overrated: Austria 2011
The other songs in this group are strong and (mostly) polished. Even though the singer is belting by the end of it, it still comes across as too timid and weak.

Underrated: Bosnia & Herzegovina 2007
This soaring Balkan ballad is a lot closer in style and quality to "Lejla" than I remember. Greece 2006 and Israel 2010 were a very close second and third to this title.

Trivia: Israel appears twice (2010 and 2013) at 20th place, with really similar songs. Also, this is Austria's highest and Bosnia & Herzegovina's (2007) lowest placing.

Other Songs: Greece 2006, Azerbaijan 2008, United Kingdom 2009, Romania 2012

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 21

Overrated: Switzerland 2008
This was overrated by a lot of people at the time. It's a double-edged sword. The first part with the simpler piano backing feels more right but it's a little dull. After the first chorus, the beat picks up certainly has more energy but it feels forced and loses any gravitas it might have had.

Underrated: Estonia 2006
It's a fun and twangy schlager, simple yet effective. I've definitely become more of a schlager believer since then.

Trivia: The run of songs from 2008 to 2011 kind of sound alike, don't they?

Other Songs: Belgium 2007, Malta 2009, Cyprus 2010, Denmark 2011, Finland 2012, FYR Macedonia 2013

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 22

Overrated: Romania 2007
See comments on the previous overrated song. This one's awkward and obnoxious too. The change in tempo and language doesn't work.

Underrated: Azerbaijan 2013
This came 2nd (no matter how legitimately), and thus it makes me realize that there was something I missed. The live performance really helped the warmth come across, and it had a little of that Dima Bilan quality.

Trivia: This is Azerbaijan's lowest placing.

Other Songs: Turkey 2006, Netherlands 2008, Andorra 2009, Greece 2010, Switzerland 2011, Ireland 2012

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 23

Overrated: Latvia 2006
The chorus isn't half bad, but the first 40 seconds are just unbearably obnoxious. A capella just turns me off.

Underrated: Turkey 2010
Pretty much every song so far that came 2nd place I marked as my underrated song of that rank, and this one is no exception. This rock song is very cool and bouncy. "Crno i belo" (FYR Macedonia 2012) reminded me of this, which made me appreciate it a lot more.

Trivia: Today is the 4th of July and....none of the songwriters or performers are American. Also, all the "other songs" below are arranged from west to east by year, if you go by their eastern-most border.

Other Songs: Ireland 2007, Belgium 2008,  Hungary 2009, Poland 2011, Moldova 2012, Georgia 2013

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Revisiting the Rankings: 24

Overrated: Finland 2008
It got points then for uniqueness of genre, but musically it's on par with several other rock songs from other years that deservedly ranked lower.

Underrated: Russia 2012
Can I say all of them? Half of these songs I underrated, but the one underrated by the most is definitely this one. Memorable and iconic. I played it at a party – not an Eurovision party – like, a regular party – and people loved it!

Trivia: This is Iceland's lowest position (2007). Also, Lithuania appeared twice at 24th place (2009 and 2011)

Other Songs: Ireland 2006, Denmark 2010, Italy 2013