Nadir’s gentle piano opening borrows heavily from Kate Bush.. ..as does his obsession with the weather (see ‘Cloudbusting’ by Kate). This is all excellent, as is a bit of falsetto thrown in and his beanie (I have to say the hat game is strong this year!). Yet, I feel that Azerbaijan is just too similar to other gentle souls at Eurovision, playing the piano and eviscerating their softer underbelly….
Review by Mariella Herberstein
Czech Republic – We Are Domi: Lights Off
Oh, I do like myself a bit of electropop, and We Are Domi do not disappoint! This joyous pop anthem will surely bring the house down on the night! From my perspective one of the best entries from the Czech Republic in years! Hoping for a place in the finales (which it has only achieved three times since 2007).
Review by Mariella Herberstein
Israel – Michael Ben David: I.M
Fabulous. Embracing all aspects of diversity. Embedding pop into middle eastern beats. I just want to get into that tunnel and display myself proudly. Very empowering, ferocious and shameless.
Reminiscent of a dentist’s drill, Efendi’s Mata Hari is testing my patience and love for Eurovision. And when the singing finaly stops the heavy drums and wailing pipes start. Apparently, Efendi competed five times to represent Azerbaijan and missed out ….if only she’d made it a sixth time unsuccessfully.
I am not sure Azerbaijan is doing Eurovision right. Chingiz delivers a surprisingly entertaining and danceable pop number that could be enjoyed twice, perhaps even three times. No wailing, no ethno-sounds and no key-change. I might even forgive the chest rug – definitely in the top 10!
Roko had a dream – he found the cast off scores from the Phantom of the Opera, turned them into a shouty and overly dramatic yet soppy ballad with which he bombed out of the Eurovision semis. Someone send Andrew Lloyd Webber a shredder!
Before I begin, I’ll say this review comes from a genuine Eurovision newbie. I didn’t know what it was, didn’t understand the purpose, or the fuzz around it, now I know … people are singing.
So Azerbaijan has a song that does mention the word “nation”, so I guess that’s good for an international contest, no? This way they might be able to recycle the song if they host an international sports event. The songs for those things are never the greatest, but a couple of lines can stick to your mind … “I’ll never sto o o o op, luna moon me up”
I think that’s my way of saying that there was a bit of “catchy” in the song but nothing more. On second thought, I think it might be because it sort of resembles a mixture of all Kapy Terry (avoiding any copyright infringements here) songs.
From the video, I enjoy the park or maybe botanical garden where it was filmed. Something to be careful about is that even though the dancers seem to be improvising most of their movements -no very impressively- the jump on minute 2:14 was a real hazard to my physical integrity when I tried to test its apparent low complexity.
Good luck Azerbaijan, thanks for being my first Eurovision experience and “never sto o o op, Luna moon me up” … I guess?
Not even 11 seconds into the video and all of the classic clichés have been shown!! Underwater scene, backlit smoke and sand drawing! Oh, wait there’s more on second 13, there appears a bunch of humans as stairs!
Well, that was it, after those first exciting clichés, the song goes flat. After reading the lyrics, I could find the chorus; I believe Ga Ga would be a bit disappointed. Around 2010 I started to think that all pop songs sounded the same, then I took it back when 2-years ago all radio hits seriously begun to sound the same. But now c’mon I’m pretty sure I heard this before somewhere.
I might be doing this thing wrong, I read comments about the video, and everyone seems so excited, I couldn’t even watch it more than three times. After all, this is just my second review ever for Eurovision. So I will add that: Franka does seem to have a nice voice. So good luck Croatia, maybe one day I’ll understand what this is really about.
Azerbaijan has a short but successful history at Eurovision, winning in 2011 and controversially coming 2nd in 2013, perhaps due to an inability to seduce the pivotal Scandinavian bloc. Since then they have been on a bit of a slide and I’m not sure that Diana Hajiyeva, aka Dihaj, can rectify that. That is unless the Datsun 120Y from the video appears on stage, then who knows? Perhaps the nostalgia vote? Or even the sympathy vote? Buy a decent car Dihaj, you can pick up a 180B on Gumtree for $895 (negotiable), last driven in 1995.
This one is great value, two songs in one, part light opera (even sung in Italian) and part soppy pop song, with bonus inspirational talking at the start. Jacques Houdek isn’t called “Mr Voice” (perhaps the subject of the Johnny Farnham hit or did Johnny just predict his existence?) for nothing, he has impressive vocal range. It will be interesting to see if he can pull it off on stage, worth watching for the prospect of a car crash. Otherwise, nothing to see here move on.
If inane lyrics are your thing, look no further than Tijana Bogićević’s In Too Deep. Actually, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you cared too much about such things. Anyway, Tijana spends much of the song attempting to rhyme “deep” with “deep”, I dunno about this – I reckon using the same word doesn’t count and it isn’t as if there aren’t heaps of options; peep, creep, Meryl Streep. Apparently, this is Tijana’s second crack at Eurovision, she was a backing vocalist in 2011, that song finished a respectable 14th, In Too Deep will be lucky to do so well.
The chorus line of this song ‘Gonna take a miracle’ seems to betray a lack of confidence in Azerbaijan’s ability to take home the Eurovision crown. Why so skittish Azerbaijan? Alongside a growling synth track underlying some sick beats Samra brings the goods with her powerful voice, finely sculpted eyebrows and a delightful slathering of sass. In other words, don’t fuck with Samra.
Azerbaijan’s Eurovision dreams could not be in more capable hands. She seems like the kind of woman who can run in heels and manage a fledging online start-up company to fiscal stability. And if there isn’t a place for her in the Eurovision hall of fame, perhaps there’s one in local government or middle management.
Review by James O’Hanlon
Ghost by Jamie-Lee
After the young, black-haired, pixie-faced 2014 Eurovision champion Lena failed to bring home the goods again in 2015, Germany has decided to shake things up by sending another young, black-haired, pixie-faced songstress, this time wearing a fascinator. The Eurovision powerhouse that is Germany is likely to do well this year, but will the fascinator and eclectic accoutrements carry Jamie-Lee to victory? Probably not.
In my opinion Jamie-Lee simply doesn’t take quirky fashion far enough. It’s as if she was heading to a cosplay convention but didn’t have time put together a decent costume.
Which brings me to my prediction for Eurovision 2017- ‘Furries’ are about to hit the scene in a big way. Whole bands of them! Imagine the Spice Girls, but instead of band members dressing as brit-culture-stereotypes we get purple wolves and fluorescent yellow fennec foxes. Mark my words, 2017 will be the year the Furries hit Eurovision.
Review by James O’Hanlon
You are the Only One by Servey Lazarev
If you have a LAN party coming up then Sergey Lazarev’s ‘You are the Only One’ could be the soundtrack to which you frag your nearest and dearest. Russia seem to have taken a retro angle by bringing us a song that sounds eerily like the soundtrack to a 1990’s video game.
Filling you with equal parts enthusiasm and the soulless shame that comes with enjoying any pop-song, ‘You are the Only One’ is a solid effort with one major drawback – Sergey simply doesn’t take his shirt off enough. With all the money and time that has apparently been invested into chest waxing and sit-ups this seems like a lost opportunity. Does Russia want to win Eurovision or not??? As my grandfather always used to say, the sun got nowhere to shine till you get them guns out son!