free web site hit counter

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Eurovision 2018 Preselection Blog Week 8

We lost some gems this last week in February. “Poison” by Tamar Kaprelian in Armenia was a pop smash which is what people call a “bop” nowadays, I guess. It's a little dated but mid 00s pop perfection. “Svatovi” by Biber & DJ Niko Bravo in Serbia was the right mixture of traditional and electronic with a compelling hook. In Ukraine, Vilna had a sweet and mystical “Forest Song” with an interesting visual performance. And Slovenia should have selected BQL's “Ptica” or “Promise” because they had an exceptional slice of fresh teen pop and more charisma than most Slovenian entries combined. There is a chronic deficit of charisma and good staging in EMA and I think they could have gotten one of Slovenia's best results of late.

In Germany, VoXXclub had the very...German “I mog Di so.” Not exactly highbrow but very fun. In Moldova, Anna Timofei had the ethereal and magical “Endlessly” that was Scandinavian-penned but was reminiscent of Kalafina. Leander Kills brought an opposite sound to Hungary with the metal “Nem szól harang.” In Latvia, Edgars Kreillis had the modern, electronic “Younger Days” that would have fit with their entries from the past few years. Jukebox ft. Bella Santiago brought anthemic power pop to Romania with “Auzi cum bate.” In Sweden, Emmi Christensson had the sweet and theatrical “Icarus.” In Portugal, Sequin performed “All over again” had a good stage name and a very atypical song.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Eurovision 2018 Preselection Blog Week 7

It was a busy weekend where the number of selected songs increased by a third. In Belarus, SHUMA gave a cool and avant garde performance for "Chmarki." In Montenegro, "Dišem" by Nina Petković was the most fresh & upbeat of the whole selection.

 For your Latvian consideration, if they really are having a wildcard after last week's voting, "Running Red Lights" by Katrine Lukins. In host country Portugal, Rita Dias charmed with "Com Gosto Amigo". In Iceland, "Svaka stuð" by Stefanía, Agnes og Regína had a precious performance . In Sweden, "Cry" by Dotter was the best of the rest - and this semifinal was better than last year's but overall it's been uncharacteristically weak. In Hungary, “Életre kel” by Nikoletta Szoke, Attila Kökény and Róbert Szakcsi Lakatos was smooth and pleasant the whole time. Greta Zazza was robbed in Lithuania last year and she was this year too with "Broken Shadows." In Romania, Sergiu Bolotă gave "Every Little Thing" a cool, dark performance.

San Marino's preselection this year has been unusual, that's for sure. IROL is the only Sammarinese performer in the selection and his song with Maltese Jessica, "Stuck Without Me," is cheery. Since he's a local, I hope he goes to Eurovision even if he doesn't this year.

And for something different, my top 3 performances of the week:
3. In Ukraine, Illaria performed "Sila" like a sun goddess.
2. In Estonia, Metsakutsu gave "Koplifornia" an exceptionally glitchy stage performance, very hacker aesthetic. It's not Eurovision-friendly at all but I want to listen to it on a highway bus.
1. ManuElla was back in Slovenia with "Glas" which was the best song in the whole thing. I understand why it didn't go through. Slovenia/EMA has a chronic staging and stage presence problem. They frequently send some of the best songs to Eurovision and they fail to connect with the audience. ManuElla sounded great but visually the performance was too stiff and static. If Slovenia want to do well they can't rely on a good song and have to send a performer with charisma, so hopefully they choose BQL next week.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Eurovision 2018 Preselection Blog Week 6

It's sacrilege to say for on season but I haven't had much attention span for following all the Eurovision preselections lately due to the winter Olympics. Last time around we at least had a Eurovision connection and I had way more free time, but deciding to follow figure skating to fill time during the Eurovision off-season creates a difficult choice when both on-seasons collide.

 In the United Kingdom, “Legends” by Asanda was the freshest sounding thing there. It would have been an entry the UK could be proud of, but maybe the silky tracksuit wasn't back in style enough.

Denmark had a 90's throwback song by a 90's throwback artist with “Boys on Girls” by Sannie. I heard that there was rolling around on a bed in the performance but it doesn't seem to be on YouTube.

The Kolors had a ton of style in Italy with “Frida.” The song was super catchy but they deserved an award for their hair too.

I think Lithuania is in the semifinal stage since all the initial heats are over, or is it a quarterfinal? Either way “My Memories” by Benas Malakauskas was a sweet ballad with a simple but stylish staging. 

 Never have I been as uninterested in a Melodifestivalen semifinal than this weekend in Sweden. “Allting som vi sa” by Ida Redig was the best of the rest but the songs that went through weren't all that either.

 In the first Ukrainian semifinal, Serhiy Babkin had an Unravel thing going on in his performance of “Kriz tvoyi ochi”.

For your consideration for the wildcard, from the second Latvian semifinal: “Sunset” by In My Head.

Ham ko ham brought some fun and folk dancing to the second Hungarian semfinal with “Bármerre jársz.” With a little polish it could have been a great entry.

Etnopatsy invited us all into their hypnotic, cold world in Estonia with “Külm.”

 In the first Icelandic semifinal, Þórunn Antonia put on a celestial performance with “Ég mun skina.”

Romania took us to the salt mines this week for one of the most notable locations of a song selection show. “Rekindle the Flame” by Lion's Roar is epic, theatrical metal that would have been a good complement to their 2016 almost-entry.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Eurovision 2018 Preselection Blog Week 5

Things have finally picked up in Eurovision land. There's finally a lot to talk about, with 4 finals in the past 7 days and a couple other heats and semifinals.

Spain's Alfred may be going to Lisbon as part of a duet but his solo song, "Que Nos Sigan Las Luces" was more my taste. In the Czech Republic, the right song was chosen, but "Fly" by Eva Burlesova was my 2nd, a crunchy slow jam. And my favorite in Switzerland was "Compass" by Alejandro Reyes, although it was a little more subdued live than anticipated.

Malta's final was not that bad! Every year there's low expectations but there were a few catchy numbers. "Dai Laga" by Aidan has been stuck in my head for the past few weeks, yes even after the redo. It's so infectious and catchy. My winner pick would have been "Song for Dad" By Richard & Joe. Some of the word choice is a little jarring for a native speaker but it feel so authentic and the familial love just shines through. I didn't like "Coming Home" in 2014 but this is way better. It's cheesy but in a real and honest way.

Apparently in Latvia one of the 15 eliminated songs in the semifinals will get a wildcard to the final. So for your Latvian consideration from semifinal 1, "You Are My World" by Agnese Stengrevics. Also consider bringing back the Riga Beaver who lights up our lives.

In Sweden's Melodifestivalen semifinal 1, my favorite was predictably "Solen lever kvar hos dig" by Kamferdrops. I like her Rina Tennoji decora 90s vintage candy streetwear look and her music just sounds like the soundtrack to a unicorn's party.

Hungary's Nova Project gets me nostalgic for mid-00s rock with "Vigyázó". In Romania, Carolina Gorun's song "Reach Out For The Stars" was nice but the title reminds me of the better "Reach Out To The Sky Someday". Maybe Romania can start entering songs about mobile suits for a twist.