Yeah, I know, I’ve been slacking off lately with the reviews. The highlight of it was that today I spent about an hour searching my glasses and not finding them in time I was supposed to review songs. But I promise you that somehow we still make it before Eurovision week. Today’s late episode brings the land of MOR, the land down under and the land of celtic ornaments together. Welcome Denmark, Australia and Ireland.
Denmark: Lighthouse X – Soldiers of Love
Denmark is also known as the country that mostly does well and somettimes extremely well without anyone really knowing why, and occasionally fucks up a lot and everyone does know why. Basically, they’re Eurovision’s average kid doing reasonably well without anyone caring, until he occasionally delivers an embarrassing moment or turns up at the school dance with the school beauty and nobody knows how or when that happened. Of course, Denmark would never select anything weird or so, and they kept to their recipe this year.
Denmark decided that last year’s effort stood out a little too much and found an even blander song. It’s still more or less the same thing – a bunch of boys looking not too bad singing a pop song – but they decided that it was time to use an incredibly average arrangement and production as well and (probably accidentally) turned the whole thing into an English version of a Helene Fischer song. Except that Helene’s work usually has a little more energy in it, but that might be alienating potential voters! I definitely admire the amount of averageness in this song, cause that must have been hard to achieve.
The staging is remarkable by basically being non-existent, so they kept the theme of averageness. Even in the lyrics. “Take my hand and never let go” and “step for step we make a new start”. One must be the most overused line in love songs of all times, the other was likely in their 2011 entry. The only way they could have turned this into a more average Eurovision song would be if the songwriters were Swedish. I can’t even do a proper review on it because there is nothing to say about it – it’s not bad, it’s just been heard a 10’000 times before. And because Denmark is starting to annoy me with that, it gets only 2/10.
Australia: Dami Im – Sound of Silence
Australia is our newest addition to the family, and of course trying to prove they deserve the place in Eurovision. I think they succeeded with that last year, and I had Tonight Again down as a potential winner for some time. It’s still one of my favourites of the 2015 contest, and Australia has changed the style but tried to send another “real world” entry.
I kind of like the low beginning, and the heartbeat-like drums may be a little overused, but always effective. Notice how they suddenly disappear in the buildup to the first chorus? Me likes that. However, the chorus is where it goes wrong for me. I mean, this is totally not my style, but it also gets very big to a point where I can’t really take her serious anymore. Until there, the song is a nice picture of the grief I imagine she feels waking up to silence and apparently alone. But there, her image in my head turns into “total drama queen who wants my pity”, no matter how often she tells me she’s being strong. And vocal showoffs always bore me. Overall, it’s just a well-executed version of something I dislike.
This will obviously depend a lot on the vocal abilities of Dami, and I assume she can sing this song perfectly, cause she’ll need to. And probably should get rid of the video hairstyle, cause it makes her look weird. I fear she won’t keep it open like when she’s wearing the dark dress in the video, so that hope has gone… Lyrically, there’s not much to criticize I think – the English-speaking countries seem to be safe there unless they don’t even try to be. Apart from the endless repetition of “it beats to the sound of silence”, that is. But I assume that’s part of the plan. Well, I am trying to judge something I am just not into by definition, and I can see it’s well done. But I am judging on my taste, so that’s no more than 4/10.
Ireland: Nicky Byrne – Sunlight
Ireland is still the record winner until Sweden takes its next crown, which is somewhat hard to believe if you only know their more recent attempts. The focus on showcasing celtic heritage has somewhat faded (luckily), but there’s still a lot wrong with Ireland’s latest entries. One looked like it was the entry of Egypt, one had a singer never smiling and hiding behind a piano – I can totally see (especially see, actually) while it never worked. And now?
Like in the past year, there’s not really so much wrong with the Irish entry, just also not too much right. Actually it’s a bit a case of Denmark with less quality. In this case, the whole thing also sounds like it comes straight from 2001. A 5-10 year delay is somewhat acceptable in ESC as shown by others, but a throwback to the times of boygroups… I am not sure about that. There’s a weird lack of bass in this song (I think it’s not an issue of my computer as it was fine on Australia and Denmark), which makes it even more weird and forgettable. And a lack of distinction between chorus and verse. In the second part of the song, everything sounds kind of the same to me. It all makes a quite unfinished impression.
Nicky himself fits the boygroup vibe of the thing (not surprising thinking he has been in one) as in he looks like a rather replacable prop rather than the artist of the song. I wonder if they can get him to look like he means the song until May 12th. And then there’s the bad bad decision of making a lyric video to a song with such a weird text. “Touch who you wanna” – that’s called sexual assault, Mister. “Kiss who you gotta” – I doubt kissing was ever as unattractive as this. It sounds like a job. “Dance like you mean it, sing like you feel it” – that’s a piece of advice you should listen to, my dear Nicky. And the fact it ends with a “suuuun” but no “light” disturbs me more than ist should. Well, Ireland did try but failed with this, I guess. I’ll be nice, cause I can see they did probably try, so here’s 4/10.
After this rather low-scoring round of review, we’ll take the last of our kind to an utopian land and show them the real thing. Join us again or Switzerland, Montenegro and Greece!