Eesti Laul, Estonia’s national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, is just around the corner. Coming out of a 2022 season that saw Estonia finish 13th in the grand final, can the beloved Baltic nation make some Eurovision magic again?

As we await the start of the first semi-final on Jan. 12, members of the ESCUnited team have reviewed and rated this year’s entries on a scale of 1 to 10. Check in with us over the coming week, as we’ll be revealing our Eesti Laul rankings five songs at a time, alphabetically through each semi-final.

We start with the first five songs from semi-final 1. Let’s see what Luca, Tyler, Boris, James and David thought of the songs…

Andreas Poom – “Why Do You Love Me”

  • Boris — 3 — “God I just cannot do with these Frans Jeppsen Wall-like mewling sadbois. At least Andreas is actively presenting arguments why he’s an awful lover and a bad friend and he’s actively trying to push away his love interest for their own good, which is an angle I can sort of get into. I just wish this story hadn’t delivered this narrative in such an overtly saccharine and whiny package.”
  • David — 2 — “A trickly love song. Touchy story, without any effect. The song is to slow for my liking, and when it finally gains some momentum in the music, it’s gone even faster. I have barely anything that I can remember from after hearing the song, and that’s not a good sign.”
  • James — 3 — “Andreas is trying to pull the opposite of the “nice guy” trope. He’s pulling the passive aggressive “I’m too complicated to give you my love” card, which to be honest results in the same whiny, acoustic ballad as the “nice guy” one. If you’re the sort with dark thoughts in your head, join a gang of samurai or something. Don’t mope around Tallinn pretending you are possessed of deep thoughts and warbling them over a boring acoustic guitar tune to try impress the ladies.”
  • Luca — 5 — “I like Andreas’ voice a lot. I see a lot of qualities in his style that remind me of some of Troye Sivan and I love that. The verses make it a compelling song but the chorus loses me. The lyrics get a bit too corny. Overall, the song has a nice sound to it but it doesn’t stand out among this year’s entries.”
  • Tyler — 3 — “Positives: Andreas sounds good here, and based on the use of the back-up dancer in the music video, I can see the staging being good for the live. Negatives: I’m not sure if this would be good live given the vocal range Andreas has to sing in, and also, I hate these lyrics. I wouldn’t say the relationship portrayed is abusive, but the insecurity the singer has makes me roll my eyes constantly. It’s the combination of being aware that he’s being shitty to his partner, and yet won’t do anything to change it despite the chance to do so with his partner staying. Life is too short to deal with people who can’t work on themselves to be better partners, and no thank you.”

Anett x Fredi – “You Need to Move On”

  • Boris — 6.5 — “The Anett Kublin special: An ambient lounge music track that hits right in the melancholics. Pleasant enough. This is what Minimal Wind fans thought “What do make of this” was.”
  • David — 1 — “This has depression written all over it. It’s a miracle I could listen to it, until the end…”
  • James — 7 — “Some chill, modern soul from a cool, young character who don’t have time for your s$%& and just wants to chill on the Mersey with a merlot. She may be a little too chill for Eurovision, though Black Mamba has shown a way an Adult contemporary sort of track like this can chart at a modern pop competition. My only criticism would be that the trumpet sounds a little too funereal, and perhaps a riff with a touch more pep would sell the “move along, pal” sentiment?”
  • Luca — 7 — “Anett x Fredi remind me of a lot of artists I listen to outside of my Eurovision obsession. I love R&B, soul, and slower, moody music. The laid-back, intimate feeling of this song makes it unique in this year’s lineup. I love the vibe overall, but it felt like something was missing. It didn’t have that same catchiness that ‘Write About Me’ won me over with in 2020.”
  • Tyler — 6 — “This song has a nice jazzy vibe to it, that with stylish staging can do well in the national final. “You Need To Move On” has a problem for me in that while the song is playing, I like it, but then it all leaves once the song is over. There isn’t that memorability to me here, and could cause it to not stand out in the field as a result. Good luck to them though!”

Bedwetters – “Monsters”

  • Boris — 8 — “If you wanted my opinion on what ‘Made For Eurovision’ ought to be like, look no further. The Bedwetters formula is the perfection of the Eurovision Dream: An instantly gripping catchy tune, an ironclad concept, and the promise of an on-stage spectacle. “Monsters” does NOT sound like it was typically composed for ESC and yet it fits the contest like a glove. I’m very excited to see how the live unfolds, because the potential for this one is very, very high.”
  • David — 9 — “Considering I’ve first heard about them, more than 10 years ago, then clearly, there is some expectations beforehand. They fully deliver even what I expected, a cool but a slightly soft rock song. There’s life and energy and that’s exactly what I’m looking for, I kinda also expected more, it feels like there’s some holding back on the song’s potential, but in the end, a great result nonetheless and yes, this is indeed feeling the void for me!”
  • James — 9 — “This could be a viable entry for Eurovision for two reasons having to do with timing: 1.) the change in the Semi-Final voting rules, and 2.) the re-emergence of pop-punk in 2022. Pop-punk is not my cup of tea, nor do I recall the first time this band was around in the 2000s, but I can see a lot of fans going crazy to the guitar parts at the bridge and the outro, and this song’s got some great vocal hooks that are easy for fans to chant along to.”
  • Luca — 8 — “We’ve seen some great rock entries at Eurovision over the past few years. Think about Maneskin’s victory in 2021, Blind Channel’s top 10 placement that same year, and of course, one of my personal favorites of all time, AWS’ “Viszlat Nyar” in 2018 — just to name a few. “Monsters” is another rock banger that has potential to do really well on the Eurovision stage, and I really enjoyed listening to it.”
  • Tyler — 8 — “Music video aside, this rock entry is one of the darker rock songs I’ve heard in a while, and comes close to the rebellious spirit I associate with the genre. Definitely big Tokio Hotel vibes (thanks subliminal messaging!) to this, and I’m very excited to see this on the stage. What is it going to look like? Are the Bedwetters going to be in costume? Definitely one of the more unique entries in this Eesti Laul, and it’s great to see. If you aren’t a fan of this genre, you probably won’t enjoy this, but I think this was great! P.S., And would you look at that, no Lordi reference even. Yay, progress!”

Ellip – “Pretty Girl”

  • Boris — 8 — One of many contributions that give this Eesti Laul a nostalgic vibe. Old Eesti Laul was a haven for quirky indie angels, and ELLIP is precisely this and that endeared her to me, if nothing else. Repetitive jazz scat <3 Better be sure that “PRETTY GIRL PRETTY GIRL, LIFE’S SO SWEET, YOU’RE ALWAYS ON THE FLOOR BUT YOU’RE NEVER ON YOUR FEET” will keep ringing through your brain when you go to bed and try to sleep too, right? It’s just not me, surely? And now for the FAQ: Is “Pretty Girl” competitive? hell no. Do I enjoy it? Yes, very much. Will it win EL? Never. Does it improve EL by being there? Yes, absolutely.”
  • David — 5 — “A rather mysterious and intriguing song, and I already know I’ll absolutely hate myself for enjoying this. I can see this becoming a guilty pleasure for a lot of people, including me. It’s just so teasing and different, yet simple and expected. Lyrics are not exactly the best, but very simple and easy. I’m getting very mixed signals, so let’s just stay in middle for now.”
  • James – 6.5 – “A cool, funky song with some female empowerment chants. This sounds like a throwback to one of those supporting acts at Lilith Fair in the 1990s, like if Fiona Apple took a slight detour into neo-soul. My main issue with the video, at least, is that her dance moves are totally incongruous to the song. I blame TikTok, as the millennials and older usually do. She’s winding and pumping her limbs every which way to a song with twice the bpm than the one she’s singing to.”
  • Luca — 6 — “I’m so intrigued by this song. It’s so cool and aesthetically pleasing, but unfortunately, it doesn’t go anywhere for me. Overall for this year’s Eesti Laul, ‘Pretty Girl’ falls into the middle for me. I do like the funk style and the early 2000s pop vibe the song gives me!”
  • Tyler — 7.5 — “A little bit of funk never hurt anybody, and while “Pretty Girl” doesn’t knock me off my feet, I still find this entry quite fun and enjoyable to listen to. The song has a nice sound that makes it stand out for all the other pop-adjacent entries, and there’s a style to “Pretty Girl” that is quite good too. I’m not sure if Ellip will be good live (sounds good in studio at least!), so if the performance doesn’t bomb, I can see this entry being in the EL final. Good luck!”

Janek – “House of Glass”

  • Boris — 3.5 — “A lazy and soulless Kjetil Mørland megamix. Dull, bland, unimaginative. There’s more creativity to be found in a block of pumice. Would stand *no* chance in any selection if it hadn’t been sic’d onto someone whom the target audience already know and love. Watch it come fourth based on Janek’s name alone.”
  • David — 7 — The powerful and emotional power-ballad, surely something that shouldn’t be underestimated. If I can find nice words to these songs, then there is truly potential. Unique and powerful, with a very well-crafted and composed song. I’m not completely sold, because this is something you’d rarely listen to, in order to avoid it becoming too much, but great potential.
  • James — 4 — “Huh. I didn’t know scars was actually pronounced sc-ay-ya-ya-yarrrs. I really do dislike this modern vocal style of warbling a single syllable word into seven, like the singer’s choking on duck fat. If Janek thinks it gives this boring ballad a little bit of individuality, he’d be wrong. This song has all the dynamism of a Mercedes-Benz finance manager drifting to talking about problems with his wife, and you don’t have the heart to tell him his problems are kind of dull and cliché (“fading star,” “drying flowers,” blah blah blah).”
  • Luca — 6 —” I have to admit that this song is irresistibly catchy. I don’t know if it’s my favorite this year, but it just feels like a Eurovision song. It’s well produced, and I especially love the way this song picks up in the second verse. It doesn’t keep my attention all the way through, and it felt a bit formulaic, but hey, if that formula works…”
  • Tyler — 5 — “It sounds like Janek sings the song well, but I don’t really like the sound of his voice. :X Have no idea who this Janek singer is, but the song reads like it’s in an octave too high for him to sing comfortably, but maybe that’ll change with the live performance! I don’t care for the lyrics either, as they read a little world peace theme and cloying for my personal tastes. Not a bathroom song, I like the instrumentation, just not the actual singing.”

Overall team ranking so far:

1. Bedwetters – “Monsters” (8.4)
2. Ellip – “Pretty Girl” (6.6)
3. Anett x Fredi – “You Need to Move On” (5.5)
4. Janek – “House of Glass” (5.1)
5. Andreas Poom – “Why Do You Love Me” (3.2)

Do #YOU agree with our thoughts on the Eesti Laul songs? Who are your favorites this season? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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