‘Run Away’ by Sun Stroke Project and Olia Tira
This year’s entry by Moldova is one of my top three favourites of 2010. It’s simply tremendous!
It’s got this fierce up-tempo, dance feel to it and I can picture myself, and many others, boogying away to it in a nightclub throughout the summer. You can’t help feel the urge to move .
You want reasons to love it?
- as I’ve said, it’s got an infectious beat.
- the rising pitch of the ‘ohhh’ in the chorus.
- Olia looks like Kate Ryan and Soraya (from 2009) and carries off a wicked blonde bob.
- the saxophone! Normally I hate that instrument but here it adds a wonderful sound which helps carries the song. It’s a ‘different’ bridge between choruses.
- the male vocal. I used to think he was superfluous but now I reckon he adds a nice alternate tone in the song. Plus, he’s not terrible looking.
‘Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-La-Lie)’
I had heard there was widespread discontent about this song well before I heard it with my own ears. I was fully expecting to dislike it (despite me having a strange ability to love most Eurovision songs!) but when I first heard it I was instantly smitten. It’s one of the most feel-good tunes of recent years. Perfect euro-shlager!
The singer is 18 year old Sieneke and she brings such an innocent vibe to the whole thing. In the national final she finished tied in first place; the song-writer himself then decided Sieneke would be his preferred choice. The song-writer is none other than Pierre Kartner, who wrote the uber-catchy ‘Smurf Song’ in 1978.
The song has proved a huge hit in its native land. It is the first ever Dutch Eurovision entry to top the national charts. When I was in Amsterdam in February I heard it played in a couple of bars! It never failed to get people swaying and ‘sha-la-la-ing’.
I grant you it is a song that divides opinion. Many people see it as childish and overly simplistic. I can see where they are coming from but I think those people are being far too cynical and jaundiced and have lost all sense of gleeful fun. The 200/1 that Paddy Power are offering is an insult!!
Why I love this song:
- it’s got an incredible sense of fun and joyfulness. You can’t help smile and join in when you listen to it.
- Sieneke is a talented young singer who brings a lovely quality to the track.
- the street organ and circus feel to the song make it stand out from the crowd this year.
- it’s a song that appeals to a very wide audience, old and young alike. In these rather depressed times we all deserve a feel-good song like this.
I really, really hope that this song at least qualifies for the final. The Netherlands have had a poor record recently (Hind was robbed!!) and it would be nice to see this delightful and happy song do well .
This is the round up of my song review: the big four and the host.
France - Oooh interesting!! It’s very un-Eurovision like. It’s lively and has a great beat. I find it infectious! 9/10
Germany - Another untypical ESC song. It’s funky and quite catchy. She’s currently disputing favouritism, which is good to see for a German entry. However, I’m not hooked on it. 7/10
Norway - Didrik is probably the handsomest man in Eurovision 2010. This is a decent ballad. It’s got a kind of Scottish-anthem feel to it. It’s soft and uplifting and builds well throughout. I’m just not sure if I’m totally grabbed by it. 8/10
Spain - Unusually, this Spanish entry doesn’t sound very Spanish! It’s not bad. In fact, I quite like it. I can’t take Daniel Diges seriously with that hair though; he looks like Leo Sayer. 7/10
United Kingdom - This song starts off well and builds with potential. Then the chorus hits and it falls into bland, middle-of-the-road, late-’80s pop territory. It really is a let down. I was hoping more from Pete Waterman. 6/10
I’m actually pleasantly surprised by the quality of the songs by the big four this year, with the possible exception of the United Kingdom. Norway too has entered a very strong song as hosts.
This is the final five in order of my preference:
5. United Kingdom
Overall 2010 has seen a very big contingent of ballads. I think perhaps there was a feeling that with the changes in voting rules (half-public/half-jury) and the success of Iceland, UK and France last year with ballads that there was a groundswell of support for that style; do they sense a victory for a ballad? It’s not my favourite year for songs by far. But there are, as always, gems in there. Picking my favourite song and picking my predicted winner are two very different things. I’ll leave that for a while. Let me go back and re-listen to all the songs over the next few days and weeks before I come to a conclusion. Thank you, and good night!
So this is my review of the 17 songs in the second semi-final.
Lithuania - I hate this. Funk and forced enthusiasm is just wrong. It reminds me of Estonia ’08 (‘Leto Svet’) – although nothing could be worse than that. To be nice I’ll say it picks up towards the end slightly; maybe because you know it’s coming to a close? 3/10
Armenia - Ooh I like this! The chorus really helps the song take off. She may be talking gibberish but it’s got a very modern feel about it. Watch this one! 8/10
Israel - Yet another Israeli ballad. And not one of their more memorable ones. It’s pleasant enough I guess but it does nothing for me. The singer looks alright mind! 5/10
Denmark - I do like this song. It’s quite light and hardly very original but it works well. I have a feeling it won’t do as well as some predict; i hope I’m proved wrong. 7/10
Switzerland - Why are the odds so long on this one?! I think it’s great. It’s lively and I can see myself dancing to it in a club (with grace and panache I might add). He looks quite comical but he sings it very well. 8/10
Sweden - It’s going to be a cliché to call this song ‘quirky’ but it genuinely is. It’s got a lovely feel to it and it builds well. It wasn’t my favourite potential Swedish entry, but it’s another good representative from the Swedes. 7/10
Azerbaijan - This is quite a professional entry. It kind of has the Timbaland-flavour sound of ‘Believe’. The chorus is memorable and hasn’t started to grate on me yet :p I like it. 8/10
Ukraine - This is just too dead for me. It’s not awful but it does nothing to grab me. Whatever hook there is comes far too late. 3/10
Netherlands - I have a soft spot for this song. It’s quite old-fashioned sounding – sort of like from a fairground. It’s undeniably fun. But will viewers/voters consider it too much of a novelty entry? I hope not. 8/10
Romania - They have a good gimmick with the back-to-back pianos. I should love it, but I’m afraid it leaves me cold. 5/10
Slovenia - This is an appalling mish-mash of styles. Nothing works in it. I’m genuinely amazed at the Slovenians for choosing this monstrosity. Worst song of 2010 by a mile. 1/10
Ireland - This is a very decent entry by us. Niamh has arguably the best voice in Eurovision 2010. It’s a bit of a slow-burner but I hope that doesn’t work against it. We should definitely qualify, but I don’t have huge hopes for the final. 7/10
Bulgaria - For me, this song has the right ingredients for a successful song. However, it just doesn’t grab me. It’s ok. 6/10
Cyprus - This is easy on the ear and isn’t a bad effort. But I find it rather uninspiring. 5/10
Croatia - It took a minute for me to get interested in this song. It’s quite good but not especially my cup of tea. 6/10
Georgia - Dull and derivative. Next! 4/10
Turkey - No thank you Turkey. I don’t hate it as much as I thought I would but it’s just noise in my ears for much of it. Strangely, I find the verses more memorable than the chorus. 4/10
This is a much weaker semi-final as far as I’m concerned. In actual fact, there are only about 6 or 7 songs that I’d like to see come out of SF2! Which, in a way, will help Niamh and Ireland. Here are my top 10:
(The final five will come shortly :p)
So I’ve gotten around to reviewing the songs for this year’s contest. I’ll start with the first Semi-Final. The second Semi and the final five will follow another time. The reason I’m splitting it is I honestly can’t face doing all 39 songs in one sitting!!
Moldova – One of my favourites. It’s uptempo and catchy, which is my kind of music! I normally hate saxophones with a passion, but strangely in this song it doesn’t ruin it for me. I don’t really see the need for the male singer, and I’m not convinced it sounds as good live as recorded. How and ever, I still love it. 9/10
Russia – I thought I would hate this song. But I don’t! I don’t love it either though. It’s pleasant enough. I don’t get, or like, the talking by the backing players. It won’t do well. 4/10
Estonia – Quite a strange song. It takes an age before you hear any music. The chorus isn’t bad, but the rest of it is dull. And the lead singer bugs me. 5/10
Slovakia – There are echoes of Ruslana for Ukraine and Nox for Hungary in this song. It’s got nice dancers (always a plus) and she’s a good-looking girl with a nice voice. I really like it. 8/10
Finland – Why all the hatred?! I actually really like this song! It’s a happy, bouncey, folksy tune. I’d like to see it do well. 7/10
Latvia – Excellent! I love the clappy chorus. It’s a ballad with a bit of a kick to it. For me the accordion helps too. I think it might be a bit iffy live though. But I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed. 8/10
Serbia – What the…? This is a pretty dreadful effort. It’s far too ethnic for my taste – and that’s saying something! Milan is an odd looking individual isn’t he? 2/10
Bosnia-Herzegovina – I’m disappointed by this. The chorus goes nowhere – it’s pretty forgettable. And Vukasin is not as good-looking as I was led to believe :p. 5/10
Poland – Yawn. I really haven’t much to say about this effort. Another disappointing entry from Poland. 3/10
Belgium – This is a simple song with no gimmicks. He can sing, but I have to say his voice annoys me. It’d be nice to see Belgium doing well after a string of disasters since their 2nd place in 2003. 7/10
Malta – There is nothing wrong with this ballad. It ticks all the boxes but it has nothing new or special in it. Forgettable. 6/10
Albania – A good, fun, pop song. It’s my style of music. She sings well and its uptempo nature may help it stand out. Something needs to be done with the stage production though. At the Albanian final Juliana was on her own for the whole song, dancing around like a tapped woman. It needs more oomph for the live show. 9/10
Greece – I like the dancers. And I do like this song. It’s got a good rhythm. It’s quite samey though the whole way through – it doesn’t really build up to anything. 7/10
Portugal – I usually find piano-led ballads extremely boring. They just don’t catch my ear. And, sadly, it’s the same in this case. Nothing wrong with it per se, but it’s just not for me. 5/10
Macedonia – This is a dull, uninspired, rock-ballad. Another ‘yawn’ from me. 5/10
Belarus – Where did this come from?! I really love it! It sounds good live and it’s a great, catchy song. 8/10
Iceland – Another top song from Iceland. It can seem quite unoriginal though. Still, I like it, and Hera seems like a formidable girl. 8/10
Right. Those are my thoughts on the 17 songs that make up the first semi-final. A mixed bag as always. I tend to favour the more uptempo entries as you can see :p
If I ruled the world (someday, someday) I would choose the following as my 10 qualifiers from this semi-final:
10….eenie meenie mynie moe – Malta.
Stay tuned for my review of the second semi-final and the final five.
In the last few days Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has installed Germany as 3/1 favourite. Lena has shot up the list to become favourite ahead of Azerbaijan, Isreal and host nation Norway next (8/1 and 10/1) . Ireland has its most favoured song in years with former winner Niamh Kavanagh at 20/1. I promise you, those odd for us will come down between now and the 27th May.
I kind of feel I have to defend this brilliant song. Waldo’s People with ‘Lose Control’. The Jury’s put it through from the semi-final. In the final I thought they sang pretty well, but sadly they came last. Ridiculous! I mean Lithuania and Croatia should’ve done worse. I did love the song since I first heard their choice – and it never got ‘old’ on me.
For me Finland has had good and bad songs recently. And personally this is one of their best.
What a name. What a song. Angelica Angrybush – sorry, Agurbash – came, saw, and sang horribly in the 2005 semifinal. Pity, because it’s a great uptempo stomper! She came in 13th in the semifinal for Belarus in their second Eurovision.
She’s a former model who won the very first Miss Belarus competition. What is unusual about this entry is that it is a different song to the one she won the Belarussian final with. That song, a rock ballad, didn’t go down well across Europe so the Belarussian delegation searched for a replacement song. And this is what they came up with. It got a much better reception; so much so it was one of the pre-show favourites. The utterly fabulous dress change made it a visual spectacle. Angelica’s voice made it a vocal horror (although to be fair she sang well enough until the final few bars). Ah well, it’s still one of my favourites!
Tomorrow night sees Romania choosing its representative for Norway. There will be 16 finalists including of course Luminita Anghel. Luminita came a brilliant 3rd in 2005 when she and Sistem sang ‘Let Me Try’. Who could forget the big metal drums, angle grinders and chainsaws?
This year she has teamed up with two other singers, Tony Tomas and Adrian Piper. Their song is ‘Save Their Lives’ and is dedicated to children everywhere who face pain and strife in their lives. It sounds a bit cringe-worthy to be honest, but i actually like the song. Luminita has a great voice and it’s quite up-tempo. It actually has shades of ‘Let Me Try’. This is it:
I haven’t heard any of the other 15 finalists, but I wouldn’t be too disappointed if this song was chosen!