Sunday, 15 April 2018

Eurovision: First Impressions #2

Hello lovelies! It has been soooo long since I said that I was going to share a series of posts all about what I think of each of the songs that have been chosen to represent their countries at the Eurovision Song Contest this year, which will be take place in the capital city of Portugal on Saturday 12th May. If you're a regular follower of my blog, you'll probably know something about the things that I've been dealing with so far this year, the reasons why there's been so few posts on here lately. I wish that I'd been able to blog more, but my mind has just been all over the place, and for that I'm sorry guys! However, here is the long awaited Part 2 of my Eurovision impressions posts. If you didn't know it already from my twitter, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ESC, and I have not shut up about it for the last couple of months! We only have a month to go now, and I am super excited. You can check out my first Eurovision 2018 post here if you missed it :) Even if you're not a fan of the Eurovision or have never watched it before, why not have a read and introduce some new fabulous and interesting music into your life? You never know, this time next year you might find yourselves invested in the hype and a fellow Eurofan! We may not have cookies, but we have quirky music and lots of drama so that's almost as good, right? XD 

Since writing my previous post back at the end of February, all of the forty-three participating countries have now revealed who they will be sending to the semi-finals in May. Only twenty countries, ten from each semi-final, will make it to the grand finale, to perform alongside the 'big five' countries: France, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom & Italy, as well as Portugal's act since they are hosting the show :) Even though by now I have obviously listened to all of the songs, I will still be sticking to just ten songs per post, in the order that they were announced. So without further ado, here's what I thought of the next ten ESC 2018 songs... 

11. Belarus- 'Forever' by Alekseev 

Me & my friends watched the Belarusian final and I'm not gonna lie, we really weren't fans of Alekseev's performance. It was so whiny in parts and seemed kind of out of tune. It was just one of those songs that you want to be over as soon as you start listening to it, oops! The song itself isn't bad but I really didn't enjoy the way it was sang. Since first listening to it though, I cannot deny that it's grown on me, thanks to the studio version of the song. Unfortunately though, it is still ranked towards the bottom of my top 43 because I cannot forget my first impression, and I am apprehensive about hearing it live again. Hopefully Alekseev has upped his game by then! Even though I definitely didn't like the revamped version, it's just so slow and makes the song feel like it drags on for longer, haha.  Fellow Eurovision fans, what do you think of the revamp? 

12. Montenegro- 'Inje' by Vanja Radovanovic 

Overall, this isn't a bad song; It just doesn't have that something special that would make me want to listen to it again and again. That being said, the chorus is nice and feels very heart-felt. Which makes sense now that I know the song is all about a lost love. The song somewhat reminds me of Disney song. The video that was released later for Inje has definite fantasy/period drama vibes, with it being set in a gorgeous castle and having lots of Princess running through the forest imagery. This for me made the song much more enjoyable than the live version I heard first. Personally, without the help of the video, I just find the song a little boring, and due to the fact that there are so many amazing songs in the contest this year, it unfortunately means that this song is ranked in the bottom ten of my list. 

13. Serbia- 'Nova Deca' by Sanja Ilic & Balkanika

I fell in love with this song literally as soon as I heard it! It is just such a unique ethnic ballad! I've never heard anything quite like it before :) It's so catchy to sing along too as well (apologies to my family hahaha)! I adore all of the traditional Balkan sounds/instrumentals, and to make it even more epic, it's performed in Serbian! I love that so many of the songs in the line-up this year are sung in different languages The vocals of the three singers are fabulous, especially when they are singing together. They complement each other so well! I'd like to add that the male singer of the band, Mladen Lukic, is gorgeous so that just makes me love the song more hahaha :p I have listened to this song at least three times a day since I first heard it, and I am soooo excited to see it performed live! 

14. Germany- 'You Let Me Walk Alone' by Michael Schulte 

My friends & I wanted to watch as many of the National Final shows as possible this year, and I love Germany so it was one of the shows at the top of my list to watch! It can get very hectic to keep up with all of the shows, especially with many of them airing on the same night! My fellow Eurofans will remember the hell that was Saturday 24th February XD My favourite songs going into the German final show, 'Unser Lied Fur Lissabon', were I mog die so by VoXXclub & Jonah by Xavier Darcy. I really really wanted to see VoXXclub sent to support Germany at the ESC! The song was so catchy and upbeat. The band of five guys are really energetic, so the song just makes you want to dance along! I was also so happy that it was performed in German, vs English like all the other competing songs. I am learning German right now and I just love the sound of the language! However, none of my favourites won the show so that was pretty disappointing! But I have to thank the show for bringing VoXXclub to my attention because I listen to their music quite frequently now :) 

You Let Me Walk Alone is actually a really good song and I ranked it third after Jonah before watching the live National Final. It is a song that I could very much see in the Top 40 charts. It has serious Ed Sheeran and The Script vibes! It's a lovely song to listen to as you're going to sleep in my opinion, it's relaxing. It's full of emotion, and that makes it an endearing hit. For me though, it is one of those songs that doesn't scream Eurovision. One of the reasons I love the ESC so much is that it brings songs/artists into my life that I wouldn't find otherwise. I like foreign songs, folk and ethnic sounds, something unique and fun and often too 'out there' for non-Eurovision fans. This song is not very different and although I can't deny that it's a great song, I just think that it gets lost amongst the other songs in the competition this year for me. With Germany being a member of the 'Big 5' this song is automatically sent to Eurovision, and I feel like it's got a very good chance of scoring high points with the viewers at home because of it's familiar sound. 

15. Moldova- 'My Lucky Day' by DoReDos

This is another song that has been such a grower for me! It wasn't even until very recently, and I mean within the last couple of weeks, that my opinion of it changed. Me and my friend listened to it on a drive through the countryside and sang along, and in that moment surrounded by picturesque fields with the sun shining bright, I decided that I in fact didn't find the song too bad at all! It was very fun and uplifting, I mean it just makes me want to celebrate! That being said, I can't forget my first impression of the song. After listening to the live performance of it, I was honestly like 'what the heck did I just watch?' XD The staging was very interesting... there were lots of moving mirrors and then a random outburst of traditional dancing :D It was one of the worst that I'd heard at this point VS other songs so I was bound to have a lower opinion of it. Now though with all 43 songs confirmed, it's no longer in the bottom ten of my ranking, and I find myself listening to it more and more.  With better staging, the song could certainly go up in my books. In the official video, we see the artists in an array of colourful outfits and I'm hoping they bring this flamboyant energy to Lisbon! I'm actually looking forward to dancing and singing along to it at Semi Final 2. 

16. Slovenia- 'Hvala, ne' by Lea Sirk 

My immediate impression of this song was 'Ooo this is sounding like it could be really good'. I thought that the singer looked pretty quirky and her voice was nice, so I was looking forward to finding out how the song would play out. At around a minute in, the song was sounding like something I would enjoy. Then suddenly, the chorus just ruined it all! haha :D I'm not sure what to really say about it! It has a very bad sound that makes me wish the song would stop... followed by some crappy attempt at rapping. There's also a lovely screeching sound when the singer tries to sing a high note towards the end of the song, eeek. The dancing looks pretty rubbish too, as well as the strange outfit Lea Sirk is wearing. It reminds me of wearing a bin bag as a cape for Halloween when I was a kid, oops! All of these things can be improved though before May, but I'm not sure what can be done to save the actual song in my opinion. It's right at the end of my top 43, just above my least favourite song, and I don't see it moving unfortunately. 

17. Ukraine- 'Under The Ladder' by Melovin 

This song is in my top three, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it! The voice of Melovin (Kostyantyn Bocharov) is just something I wasn't expecting from such a young person; he's only 21. It has a definite 80's feel to me and I am a big fan of 80's music! Alongside that, it is an alternative song. The singer is certainly alternative- he wears a white contact lens in one eye which is very cool too :) I also really love the staging of this song... especially two minutes in when we see Melovin climb a random set of stairs leading up to a piano. In the official music video, we get a very awesome camera pan looking down these stairs, and the effects are just epic! It looks like a spiral vortex into hell or something XD Right up my street as far as aesthetics go! 

The song goes calm for a moment when Melovin starts to play the piano and following that the loveliest high note! He plays that piano with such passion, and it's awesome to see his head bobbing along to the beat. Then suddenly we get FIRE STAIRS!! And I am now livin' for this performance! I am praying that he's allowed to recreate this on the stage at Lisbon. It is by far my favourite staging in the ESC 2018 line up! Under The Ladder was immediately one of my favourite songs and it has stayed in the top three of my ranking ever since :) I never thought after 2016's  winning song, 1944 by Jamala (of which I really wasn't a fan) that Ukraine would be so high on my list ever! Just shows how fantastic Melovin is! Even though most of us fans still don't know what he's singing for the majority of the song, you can't deny that it's brilliant and if you don't agree, you're wrong :P 

18. Hungary- 'Visziat Nyar' by AWS

This year is a first for Eurovision fans! We've seen several awesome rock hits representing their countries in the competition over the years, straight away the winner of 2006 comes to mind, with the legend that is Lordi taking the title home for Finland with Hard Rock Hallelujah! (This is song is actually the reason I first fell in love with the Eurovision Song Contest when I was in my early teens!). However, 2018 brings with it the first ever metal/screamo song! It is something I never thought would be sent to represent a country for Eurovision and I'm all about it!! As you guys know by now, rock/metal is my preferred genre of music so I was delighted to see such a song selected by Hungary.

Even before this song was announced, I'd been listening to quite a bit of Hungarian rock music thanks to Spotify :) I just want to say that Hungary should be very proud of it's alternative artists! Fingers crossed this song will make it into the final. It's memorable, full of energy and boosts some fabulous growling ,that reminds me of my teenage years when your ability to growl was something to be shown off amongst my friendship group XD ahh, those good old emo days, haha! I am also super happy to see another song preformed in it's native language this year! It seems that Salvador Sobral winning with his Portuguese song, Amar pelos dois, last year does have some positives after all! 

19. Latvia- 'Funny Girl' by Laura Rizzotto

After being gifted with the likes of AWS, Melovin, SuRie, Rasmussen and all of the other wonderful, super talented artists in the competition so far, Latvia's entry just seemed so boring to me, and I have maybe listened to it again twice after the initial time hearing it. It's not a song that's catchy or one I want to sing along to or is it eye-catching in any way for me. Laura Rizzotto does look stunning in her red dress though! Funny Girl is not memorable and without sounding too harsh, I just don't care about it. The singer has a lovely voice so I feel like she deserves a much better song to showcase her musical abilities! The lyrics do represent something that can suck to experience... when you're only seen as the 'funny one' by people you have a romantic interest in, or when your friends all seem to be getting the attention of people when you're just only ever viewed as the friend VS the girlfriend/boyfriend. It is something that people can relate to, but despite the familiarity of the lyrics, the song itself just doesn't do it for me. Not gonna lie, I just forced myself to re-listen to it for this review, and its' actually gone down in my top 43 ranking :D yeah, not a fan! (Sorry if you are! Don't hate me >.<). 

20. Armenia- 'Qami' by Sevak Khanagyan 

When listening the 2018 Eurovision songs on YouTube beforehand, my friends & I discovered that there were so many amazing artists competing to represent Armenia and just got so invested in Depi Evratesil (the Armenian semi-finals and national final show). We watched every one of them and were rooting for all of our favourite songs: Puerto Rico by Kamil Show, You & I by Asmik Shiroyan, Poison (Ari Ari) by Tamar Kaprelian and of course, the fabulous Qami.  I have to admit that my favourite song in the selection was the one by Asmik. It was one of those songs that fills you with that immediate 'feel good' feeling. It was a great song to sing along with and I really wanted it to win when I was basing my opinions solely off the studio versions of the songs. But when it came to the live shows, Sevak's song just shined through as the best vocally and performance-wise. The power and passion in his voice was amazing to hear! It is a fantastic ballad and again, I loved that it was sung in countries native tongue. Armenian sure does sound beautiful :) 

Qami is a song that really builds. It starts off calm and slow, and then Sevak just belts his best voice out with such strength two minutes into the song... and you're just like wow! HELLO THERE YOU! ;) My first impression was that I would be very happy if it won, but because of the pop vibes and energy of the other songs in the line up, I thought that it would be overshadowed for the voters at home. But Thank goodness! The Armenian people really came through! I was sure that Qami was my winner as soon as I listened to it live! As much as I loved Asmik's song, she didn't perform as well as I had hoped she would. And Tamar's song that I was sure would win because it was a popular hit with fans... pretty much flopped live! For some reason, she sang it with not much power at all and really slow compared to the studio version. Why girl why? But yeah, Sevak's song is amazing! Even better than his studio version. I was lovin' the song so much right away, and so was over the moon when he won! 

So, that's what I originally thought of the next ten confirmed songs competing for a place in the Eurovision Song Contest finale this May. Again, I'm not sure how well I write these music reviews but nonetheless, I hope they make for an intriguing read! I promise I won't leave it this long to share my next ESC impressions post! It will be up some time next week, so if you're interested please check back then :) We are getting closer and closer to the final and I am too excited!

Thankyou for reading! 

Do you watch the Eurovision Song Contest?

What's your favourite song out of the ones I've mentioned in today's post? 

Want to learn more about the ESC? Then have a read of these posts :)


No comments

Post a Comment

Blog Design Created by pipdig