Happy Easter! Welcome, welcome, to the first batch of Eurovision 2017 song reviews. In my announcement post, I’ve said that I haven’t decided how to group the songs. I didn’t look far and decided that I will be using the six draw pots (read about them here) plus the automatic qualifiers for a more organized review. I will also try to share more tidbits in the next reviews.
We’ll begin the reviews with Pot 1: this pot consists of countries known to be part of what was once Yugoslavia; the pot also includes Balkan neighbor Albania and Switzerland, one with a huge Balkan diaspora.
Let the music egg hunting begin!
Lindita – World
You might happen to know her if you saw the last season of American Idol, and Eurovision is what Lindita will try to conquer next. I honestly loved the Albanian version of this because it sounded fluid and magical for me. This English version sounded more cheesy and flat with the lyrics and new instrumentation, but comparing to last year’s entry, this is much better. Also, Lindita is one of the best vocalists this year, and she shows capability of lifting the song higher. Just watch her slay the long notes!
Jacques Houdek – My Friend
He’s a known singer in Croatia and has even coached last year’s representative on The Voice. It’s a case of a duet song done by one, or two songs mashed into one, whichever way you want to see it. The lyrics about friendship are cheesy but genuine. Instrumentation especially the string solo is amazing. His voice is where the question mark lies – I appreciate them separately and even as a duet, but it feels awkward knowing they came from one person. The normal singing voice even reminds me of Conchita Wurst’s voice. I just wonder how he’ll pull off a powerful performance (to the second power) live.
Jana Burčeska – Dance Alone
My favorite upbeat this year! It sounded eerily familiar the first time I heard it and couldn’t place my finger to what it sounded like. Regardless, it has catchy lyrics and production, people even compared this to Kylie Minogue and Tove Lo. Vocals were a concern when she got selected, but live performances proved she can *somehow* pull this off live. (Well, it really depends on the person, but I still love this no matter what.) It’s one of a few entries I replay heavily on YouTube and I hope it qualifies at least. Also: the music video is so trendy and spot-on, definitely one of my faves this year.
Slavko Kalezić – Space
Montenegro boasts of the most flamboyant entry this year with the sassiest entrant, with a seductive composition drenched in disco liquid. The voice is okay-ish and can lift the song, but I feel that the overall energy is 50-50 for a song that’s supposed to get you dancing and do nasty things *tee hee*. The video has Dothraki-meets-Beyoncé teas with the braid and all that dancing, and they are probably ready to launch a crazy rocket of a staging in May.
Tijana Bogićević – In Too Deep
When they released a snippet for this, I have to admit I was extremely hyped, and this didn’t disappoint me when it got released. It may sound like some Naughty Boy track with the beat and lyrics, but a hint of Balkan has made this go on its own. Tijana’s credible vocals suit the song, though it’s what she needs to nail in May especially if they plan to recreate the simple yet ethereal music video as their staging.
Omar Naber – On My Way
This is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me – it isn’t out of place in a new album from a late 90s balladeer. The lyrics are just the usual cheese, and I think the revamped production did the song favors as the key change avoided it to be completely flat, but the orchestra also took out the extra cheese I wanted. His voice, however, is solid and complements the song. Funny that the 2017 contest is his second shot to qualify in Kiev. Will this song finally let him experience a Eurovision final?
Timebelle – Apollo
They missed out representing Switzerland in 2015, and this year they ended up successful. This is well-sung and lyrics ain’t shabby either, and the production is elevated to enhance the flow of the song. However, it’s possible it sounded like some song. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t end up like the previous two Swiss entries that crashed at the bottom of the semis. The qualification load is still for Apollo to try carrying.
There you go! Looks like I still need to flex my reviewing muscles on these songs, and since there are more to go, I’ll be able to do it. Anyways, share your thoughts about the Pot 1 songs and tell me who your favorite is! Healthy discussions are welcome here.
Stay tuned for the next reviews! Till then, continue listening! 😀