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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Silent Exit

This week's post is late because of other commitments, but what a week it was! For the first time in ages, a song got disqualified this close to the actual show. Coincidentally, it's in this week's segment of the rankings.

15. Sweden

Frans - "If I Were Sorry"
Reaction: This is one the most interesting songs this year lyrically. The music is understated and almost minimal, but the lyrics paint an evocative image. It wasn't close to my favorite song in Melodifestivalen, but it's still stronger than most songs this year.
Best Part: "I’d hold my breath until my face turned blue/I’d rob a bank and the post office too"
Related Video:
Rating: 4/5

14. Norway
Agnete - "Icebreaker"
Reaction: The verses are appropriately cool like ice, and the tempo change in the chorus hits hard like the titular icebreaker.  
Best Part: "Every single promise that you ever made/Spinning in my mind like a hurricane/Baby yes I hear your mayday"
Related Video:
Rating: 4/5

13. Australia
Dami Im - "Sound of Silence"
Reaction: Two years in, Australia's efforts keep putting their Commonwealth parent to shame. This is a real, polished song with a big chorus and a passionate delivery. The only downside is the title is taken from an iconic song/
Best Part: Getting away with mentioning FaceTime in the lyrics.   
Related Video:
Rating: 4/5

12. Hungary
Freddie - "Pioneer"
Reaction: Someone online described this as a musical self help book, and that's a not inaccurate description. This song has a unique way of giving a "be yourself/believe in yourself" message and has a really catchy chorus.
Best Part: The "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh" in the chorus 
Related Video: finally a real one!

Rating: 4/5

11. Romania
Ovidiu Anton - "Moment of Silence"
Reaction: I really love this song, so I was heartbroken to see it get disqualified. This is a wonderfully theatrical rock song that is harder than the typical Eurovision fare, refreshing though it's not exactly "current."
Best Part: Bridge
Related Video:
Rating: 4/5

Sunday, April 17, 2016


20. FYR Macedonia
Kaliopi - “Dona”
Reaction: You say “outdated,” I say “timeless.” That repeated refrain is perfectly catchy and passionate.
Rating: 3/5

Barei - “Say Yay!”
Reaction: Though a little unpolished, the chorus and disco-influenced instrumentation is such an uplifting crowd-pleaser.
Best Part: “You keep on climbing over hills!
/Right now you´re following your dreams!
Rating: 3/5

Douwe Bob - “Slow Down”
Reaction: The Netherlands has really found their niche in Eurovision lately, haven't they? Americana and authentic singer-songwriter is the way to go, as long as they don't go too artificial like “You and Me.” Good message and smooth, soothing voice.
Best Part: “Every morning there's another start/every morning hits so hard”
Rating: 3/5

17. Denmark
Lighthouse X - “Soldiers of Love”
Reaction: This is a typically Danish Eurovision entry, mid-tempo and middle-of-the-road. It's oddly named the same as Belgium's 1987 entry, which is a classic and much much better, but another association with another song elevates this. The chorus sounds very similar to German schlager gem “Atemlos durch die Nacht” by Helene Fischer, which somehow the whole Eurovision fan community knows, especially since it was parodied in this year's Melodifestivalen.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 3/5

16. Malta
Ira Losco - “Walk on Water”
Reaction: This basically sounds like Molly Pettersson-Hammar's two Melodifestialen songs, which are completely fabulous and soulful, and so is this. Despite the Swedish roots, it might not make you want to walk on water, but rather walk on a Maltese beach.
Best Part: First part of chorus
Rating: 3/5

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Stopped To Play

There's not too much to say about this week's set of Eurovision songs - they're right in the middle.

25. Azerbaijan
Samra - “Miracle”
Reaction: Azerbaijan brings another Swedish-penned song, this one on the upbeat side, but it falls short through repetitiveness and doesn't connect emotionally.
Best Part: “But the radio stopped to play us long ago” Related Video:
Rating:  3/5

24. Belgium
Laura Tesoro - “What's The Pressure?”
Reaction: This upbeat funk-pop song borrows the bass line from “Another One Bites The Dust” and becomes something way more fun than it should be. It's certainly better than “Love Power” - how time flies!
Best Part: The bass line  
Rating:  3/5

23. Estonia
Juri Pootsmann - “Play”
Reaction: This song has an intense catchy chorus, enough to ordinarily propel it higher up, but the verses are too slow and somewhat too cold for a song about falling in love.
Best Part: Last chorus  
Rating:  3/5

22. Iceland
Greta Salome - “Hear Them Calling”
Reaction: Now here's a song that sounds cold, but it's lyrically appropriate. It has everything you could want from an Icelandic song – low temperatures, spirit voices, folk instruments, and brass hooks. It has a little bit of the feel of “Little Talks” which was a big hit a few years.
Best Part: Last chorus 
Rating:  3/5

21. Armenia
Iveta Mukuchyan - “LoveWave”
Reaction: Like their 2014 song, this is more atmosphere than song, but it also has a lot of soul and sex appeal. The string instruments after the second chorus add a bit of “ethnic” flavor too.
Best Part: When the beat drops at the beginning of the chorus  
Rating:  3/5

Sunday, April 03, 2016

We Are All Made of Stars

It's finally April, so there's only 5 more weeks until Eurovision. It's time for preview parties, fan videos, and of course more overanalysis like the below.

30. Switzerland
Rykka - “The Last of Our Kind”
Reaction: This actually has a really catchy melody, and would be much higher with more polish. However, as it is it's not polished and pretty weak.
Best Part: “Not afraid of our own ghosts”
Rating: 3/5

29. Israel
Hovi Star - “Made of Stars”
Reaction: The original version of this song wasn't bad, although charmingly underproduced. It's jarring to hear the same words but an entirely different melody. Despite that, it's a lovely orchestral ballad.
Best Part: “You ride a black horse in the rain” 
Rating: 3/5

28. Czech Republic
Gabriela Gunčíková - “I Stand”
Reaction: This is such a non-song, but it's fantastically performed and produced. The chorus is an incomplete statement, but who cares when it's a compelling power ballad. The video is definitely part of the hype (ironically, Gabriela is lying down for most of the video).
Best Part: Bridge
Related Video: it's the official music video, but look at the visuals! Projections!
Rating: 3/5

27. Cyprus
Minus One - “Alter Ego”
Reaction: This is a Thomas G:Son song and it sounds like it. It has that combination of hard rock and big pop/schlager choruses that is always appreciated in Nordic preselections, but now from Cyprus.
Best Part: “Howling for you-ou-ou-ou-ou”
Related Video: first proper AMV found of the season, woohoo!
Rating: 3/5

26. Italy
Francesca Michelin - “No Degree of Separation”
Reaction: Very Italian, but not as accessible as last year's super-Italian song. It has a sleepiness that you can only get away with if you understand the lyrics, and the English part is a little awkward.
Best Part: “Siamo una sola direzione in questo universo che si muove”
Rating: 3/5