I listened to all the entries for this year’s Eurovision so you don’t have to. Here’s the final part of the songs reviewed ahead of the grand final this weekend (22nd May).
Norway: TIX – Fallen Angel
Modestly declaring “I’m a fallen angel”, it’s true TIX’s song itself doesn’t possess many divine qualities; it’s a Simple Plan-esque cheesy pop song, but worth watching for the performance with the angel wings alone.
Poland: Rafał – The Ride
Suit up and “Hold on for the ride of your life” – Rafał and his guy gang in snazzy white turtlenecks and black blazers are in town with this 80s synth pop banger.
Portugal: The Black Mamba – Love Is on My Side
Bluesy soul song crooners, The Black Mamba take their name from the sub-Saharan poisonous snake and told Wiwibloggs “We […] spread our good venom around the globe”. It does sound different to the other entries, but that doesn’t make it better. Love may be on your side, guys, but my vote is not.
Romania: Roxen – Amnesia
A downtempo and emotive pop song about “Self love amnesia”, there’s an interesting progression to new electronica dance beat in the bridge but it returns to the same familiar territory as the rest of the song for the final chorus. It’s not the worst but it’s not going to change the course of music history.
Russia: Manizha – Russian Woman
This quirky song is a witty and self-assured feminist anthem written in response to stereotypes about Russian women, but the chorus (in English) “You’re strong enough, you’re gonna break the wall” and closing chant “Don’t be afraid” has global resonances.
San Marino: Senhit – Adrenalina
Possibly the biggest reveal of this year’s Eurovision line up: Flo Rida features on this track. What motivated this multi-platinum international superstar to throw his weight behind San Marino? Has he ever actually watched Eurovsion? Most importantly, will he be performing on May 22nd? As for the song, well, just imagine classic Europop with a sprinkling of a Flo Rida international appeal. It’s not his best song, but it does the job.
Serbia: Hurricane – Loco Loco
Serbian Sugababes deliver a high-energy pop number about women taking the lead, instead of waiting to be rescued. There are a lot of up-tempo Europop songs this year and while this song is fun, the weak melody and unoriginal instrumentation means that Loco Loco will struggle to stand out from the crowd.
Slovenia: Ana Soklič – Amen
Slovenia gives us another second big ballad called Amen, even including a key change in the final chorus just like Austria’s version. In terms of which is better, it’s a draw as I’d say they’re on the same level of generic forgettable.
Spain: Blas Cantó – Voy a quedarme
Blas Cantó auditioned for the Junior Eurovsion song contest back in 2004 as part of the band Auryn but came 3rd and thus didn’t qualify. Fast forward to 2021 and now is his chance to shine, but poor Blas has been burdened with this dire ballad. What’s that? He’s co-producer and co-writer? Oh, well, never mind. It does pick up in the second chorus though.
Sweden: Tusse – Voices
A stadium-ready chorus, key change and lyrics like “Can’t stop us now, forget the haters / Get up and live and make it matter”, it’s fairly a textbook entry. That being said, Tusse gives a convincing and powerful performance and that chorus is very catchy.
Switzerland: Gjon’s Tears – Tout l’univers
Tout l’univers (The Whole Universe) moves at gentle pace as the lyrics contemplate the perseverance of love and hope in the face of loss and heartache. There’s a strong melodic chorus with soaring vocal and the ballad is rescued from dragging as the drums carry it forward towards a better future.
Ukraine: Go_A – SHUM
Electro-folk band Go_A have crafted a riveting number that will certainly keep the party atmosphere rolling. It features the eerie melodies of the Ukranian sopilka flute and a powerful vocal performance from Kateryna Pavlenko (lead singer), driving the song’s descent into a frantic dance crescendo. It’s also the first song to ever be performed at Eurovision entirely in Ukranian.
United Kingdom: James Newman – Embers
Despite an impressive resume as songwriter for Rudimental, Jess Glynne and Sigala, Embers, unfortunately, lacks any originality. Big brass, synth and an Ibiza-style backbeat: catchy, but pretty generic. Doomed to the list of forgotten UK Eurovision entries, it would work well as a filler between dance floor classics on your party playlist, but will be forgotten as quickly as the closing chords fade.
Which acts are you most looking forward to seeing this weekend? Let me know if in the comments!