Review Part XII: Israel, Georgia and Azerbaijan

Hello everyone, and welcome to the 12th part of the MfE review! Keeping up the current pace, we’ll finish sometimes next week, which will clash with rehearsals. I wouldn’t necessarily mind that, but if you’d do, please tell me in the comments. I could probably do some extra reviewing on the weekend then. Now let’s move on to Israel, Georgia and Azerbaijan!

Israel: Hovi Star – Made Of Stars

After the adventures with Armenia last time, we move on to a classic Eurovision nation that has preserved a little ethnic stuff in most of their entries. Israel has ensured this homegrown touch for a long time by mandating at least partially Hebrew lyrics, which often caused their songs to be overly aggressive (2014) or extremely emotional (2013/2010), because the language doesn’t really sound too suitable for other things. Ditching it last year seems to have helped their results.

Not only a classic Eurovision nation, a classic genre too apparently. A little bit of soft yet powerful emotional male ballad for you. For my taste, this drags way too much cheese strings, to keep that wonderfully Swiss image. Only after about two minutes this gets going, and it is actually quite beautiful in its overblown emotionality. Basically, it’s an English and male version of Rak Bishvilo to me. Not that the two sound so similar, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a common slow start that goes into a crazily emotional ending. It’s more positive here though.

But what is it with Israel’s Eurovision entries and Tel Aviv? I bet if they’d win they’d even hold it in Jerusalem, but reference Tel Aviv in the song again. And weirdly, we see the guy who is not Hovi finish the graffiti, then applying it, and then taking the form away when Hovi walks across the picture. Someone failed at cutting here or what? The video is incredibly generic for a song called Made Of Stars, but it looks beautiful. And I like the drones, looking like a XCOM Gremlin. There’s not really much to say about this song except that I am wondering if Hovi can pull it off on stage, but I assume he can, so I’ll rate it as the solid average it is, with 5/10.

Azerbaijan: Samra – Miracle

Azerbaijan is a rare case of a nation that had it’s best days after its debut and has recently been thrown off track (or rather didn’t bother as much anymore after their victory). So, what about Samra? Will she make Azerbaijan the Land Of Eurovision again? As keen on hosting every little event as they are, they surely should have a will to win.

Given that their glory days are over, it kinda makes sense that Azerbaijan turns to the past for this song. Unfortunately, they turned to a time where they didn’t even exist except as a Socialist Soviet Republic. Their song is surprisingly 80’s in the chorus, given that it seems to start out as a pretty average boring pop song. Well, it becomes a beefed up average boring 80’s pop song, so no big difference. It’s becoming pretty obvious now that they seem to have run out of options of Farid Mammadov or Safura level that they were always only good at selling mediocre songs (and buying Maltese televotes).

At least they keep finding good looking singers, cause that’s probably the only thing keeping part of the audience interested during their songs. Just that the target group’s gonna be smaller this year. Also, the skirt Samra is wearing in the video is pretty surely the longest she ever wore during a performance of that song? For a three minute song, this contains awfully few lyrics, and that shows. It feels incredibly long. And I wonder how horrible your date was if it takes a miracle to save you? Well, I’d probably need more than one to save my date if this was playing. Sorry, but this is uninspired, repetitive and feels as if someone got tired of their job halfway through – 2/10.

Georgia: Nika Kocherov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold

I think it’s interesting how different the approaches of the three Caucasian countries are recently. Armenia and Azerbaijan started out pretty conformist with a little hint of ethno, until the former sat one out and came back more alternative and the latter declined in quality but never changed its approach. Well, Georgia always was the odd one out, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. This year?

Starting out with a good bit of indie rock is a key to my heart, guys. I’m even gonna forgive you for the unnecessary long band name. Especially as they keep going that way. I am really torn about the electronic way this takes in the second half, which makes it feel kind of disconnected and not very coherent. Also it blends all together, I can hardly make out any instruments which gives it a very dirty unfinished sound. Recognizable, and I love it, but probably alienating the average Eurovision viewer on first listen?

This would probably better be called Lyrical Gold. “When I came to your smell on my skin”. From a band called Young Georgian Lolitaz. Should I be scared? It’s at least the first time I’ve seen such a open description of… acts that can lead to children in a Eurovision song. And it just gets better. Stealing your date’s cigarettes? Clever move, Nika… saves you some money.”Ten hours are missing from memory, I vaguely can recall pain and pleasure mixing in one bowl” – heavy hangover or a really weird BDSM practice? My Slowianie was a children’s show compared to this! Well, Eurovision is aired past 9pm after all. No harm done, quite the opposite. With the electro part I can’t give this what Georgia deserves for it, but it remains a strong 8/10!

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