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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Eurovision 2017 Song Ranking Part 7: Spoopy Skeletons

Can you believe that Eurovision is here already? The first day of rehearsals was today. In the interest of fairness I haven't read any feedback from the rehearsals, as some of my top 10 rehearsed today, but my top 10 has been pretty firmly ordered for the past few weeks. Do I hope that any of these songs win? Honestly no, but I hope they all do well.

10. Azerbaijan
Dihaj - "Skeletons"
Reaction: I might be the only native English speaker on the internet who doesn't have a problem with the lyrics. Partly because the singer's accent is heavy enough that the lyrics aren't always comprehensible, but partly because some of the lyrics go for sounds over meaning, almost in a poetic way. Unnatural grammar is much more irritating than unusual vocabulary choice, which is just that, a stylistic choice. Which is to say "surrounded by thorn jeans" is fine by me, especially when set to that melody and instrumentation. The dark, intense, and heavy synthpop is so good it nullifies any question about lyrics.
Related Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDHEX9JfNV4
Rating: 4/5

9. Croatia
Jacques Houdek - "My Friend"
Reaction: I feel like Lisa Ajax about this song. It starts off with an inspirational quote of disputed origin and turns into "For Life" meets "Let It Go" in a bilingual self-duet. It is a true guilty pleasure slice of cheese and I am living for it. Where else would this be but not for Eurovision. I am biased though and might not enjoy it as much if it was coming from, say, Malta. Jacques sings with an excellent English accent too. 
Related Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sPeu04AdjU
Rating: 4/5

8. Netherlands
O'G3NE - "Lights and Shadows" 
Reaction: It's "Hold On" for 2017. The star is the tight harmony between the three vocalists. Even though the melody is uplifting, the lyrics are the most morbid in the contest since last year's winner. I actually take more issue with these lyrics than with Azerbaijan's for their grammatical choices ("strongly fight", "walk that road that everybody goes", "double feeling", even "lights and shadows."). Definitely an uncommon subject for an Eurovision song with a strong vocal performance to back it up.
Related Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp-BfilyMfA
Rating: 4/5

7. Estonia
Laura & Koit Toome - "Verona"
Reaction: If Estonia had picked Kerli they would have been in my top 3, but here we are in Verona. This duet feels a little like "Don't You Want Me" meets"Goodbye to Yesterday" with a disco instrumentation to please any Eurovision fan. The pre-chorus ("we are lost/lost in the crowd of the street") is one of my favorite parts of any of the songs this year, and it would definitely be lower ranked without it.
Related Video: https://www.facebook.com/rafa.gumielmartinez/videos/10208883251300065/
Rating: 4/5

6. Sweden
Robin Bengtsson - "I Can't Go On" 
Reaction: It wouldn't be Eurovision if Sweden didn't have a slickly produced pop song that's an instant earworm, and this year they have one of the catchier songs. It's funkier than usual - especially in that bassline that is the star during the bridge and the last chorus. The lyric is definitely more thirsty than creepy so no issues there, with some sidestepping of profanity (the original lyric was fine). Also, the opening beat sounds a little like "I Wonder If I Take You Home".
Related Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zTORiD5Dgg 
Rating: 4/5