Friday, March 24, 2006

Eurovision - my vedict on the semi-final

01. Armenia
This doesn't do much for me. Style-wise its very much in the ethnic/Turkish mode, I can imagine it in the background at Manchester's Armenian Taverna. Its pleasant enough but all too formulaic and predictable. If you like this sort of music it may appealp, but I don't.

02. Bulgaria
I loved Bulgaria's debut last year and this is also impressive. Its an intense ballad which builds and builds, with a singer who really 'lets go'. The more I hear this, the more I like it. But it certainly isn't very immediate, although musically,its a cut above the rest - very classy

03. Slovenia
A pretty boy singing a very inconsequential piece of disco fluff. Harmless enough, but wouldn't bother me if I never heard it again

04. Andorra
Reminding me of Sam Brown, this is a bluesy and soulful ballad with balls. Catalan is not, sadly, the prettiest language in the world but this remains a a good song

05. Belarus
Ohdear. Iloved the first Belarussian entry, quirky as it was. This is aimply a tuneless noise. Horrible

06. Albania
Certainly ethnic in flavour,with much the same in the way of backing instrumentation as Armenia, but this does have a certain charm, largely because of the singer and chorus

07. Belgium
The sort of song that simply wouldn't be heard outside the contest - this epitomises what outsiders think ESC is all about. Thankfully, it isn't. Its bland, tedious stuff sung by a bottle blonde with a weak, reedy voice. Dire.

08. Ireland
This is one of the songs which I remembered after one listen, and the new version has improved it considerably. Its a sweet, wistful ballad, professionally sung by a real singer.

09. Cyprus
Broadway calling. I remember a musical called Dreamgirls, about the Supremes, which featured a singer called Jennifer Holliday. This one could have come from the soundtrack. Its a real show tune, and I think most people will either love it or hate it. Of course, I love it, largely because divas singing histrionic overblown ballads will always have a place in my heart...

10. Monaco
This is so uplifting! Its nothing special, a cheery little calypso song, with a cute vocal, but it does have a sense of optimism and fun in a way that none of the supposedly uplifting schlagers ever could have.

11. FYR Macedonia
See Armenia - only I just don'tlike this one. Last year FYROM's entry was a real grower, but I can't see this one ever appealing more than it does now - which is, not a lot.

12. Poland
I still haven't seen the NF performance which I gather was poor. This group delivered the best performance of 2003,and whilst this is a very different style of song,I think its very good pop music, with the mix of voices working effectively

13. Russia
I've only just listened to adecent quality copy of this one, and yes,its very strong indeed. A contemporary ballad, its a pity that the accent is a bit too heavily Eastern European for what is a very 'American' song

Back to the ethnic beats, and again, much the same comments apply. The problem is that I really don't like this sort of music much. This one is curiously dated, mixing what sounds like late 70's disco with the more ethnic sound, but I don't think it works.

15. Ukraine
Very fast, loud, tuneless. Again, not something I would ever choose to listen to. Horrible

16. Finland
A heavy metal loving work colleague of mine was raving to me about this today. I can't give a reasoned opinion because this is just the sort of music I hate. It may be very good of its genre, but...

17. Netherlands
The Dutch final was the only one I watched where I didn't really like anything at all on offer, but that doesn't explain how such a tuneless mess ended up being selected.

18. Lithuania
The most obviously 'joke' emtry of the night - this isn't really a song at all. After the last four entries it comes as something of a light relief but its not really very funny.

19. Portugal
I should hate this. Its a sort of Motown-meets-Abba (in terms of the song, not the style) which wasn't sung very well in the Portuguese NF. But that chorus IS catchy. Personally, I think it needs to be more of the Motown, and more obviously retro, I do like it, but goodness knows why!

20. Sweden
Entirely without any redeeming features,this tired, predictable, dirge epitomises the blandness of Swedisn music. For once, something actually got to the MF final that was worth listening to, but they chose the Poison Dwarf again.

21. Estonia
Ordinary. Its still better than the predecessor, but its very much in that sub-Abba, schlager mould.

22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
At last, something good. This is a classy, ethereal ballad which will come as something of a relief after so many upbeat songs.

23. Iceland
I just don;t get this. Its not in the least funny, and whilst she may think she looks like Cyndi Lauper, the difference was that she had a voice worth listening to, unlike Cheese Grater Silv. A dire end to a generally poor qualifier.

So. if I had to choose the qualifiers it would be:

1 comment:

Karin said...

Hope you had a good Easter, Mike.