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My reviews of the songs

aletem

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October 1, 2009
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I'm sorry that I'm not posting this as a blog, cause I've used too many characters. :oops: Anyway, here they are. I tried to be constructive and nice, for a change. You can write what you think, a.k.a. agree/disagree, or you can add on my "constructive criticism".

Semi-final 1:

Poland:
Poland has a great entry this year and it has a very high chance to advance to the final and chase a good result. It has a nice groovy feel, strong chorus and a charming singer performing the song. Magdalena opens the show and being first is a good thing, because she is setting the bar for all the other performers. Usually the first song is memorized by the audience, and hopefully it will leave a positive impact. She has to make sure that she is noticed and give breathtaking performance. Her vocals are good, she just needs to “polish” her performance and I am sure Poland would do just fine.
Norway:
Another good song follows Poland. The cool Nords are singing a warm, dance song with African beats. That is a great combination and Stella knows how to turn the audience on. She is warm, charming and beautiful gal and connects with the audience very well. Unlucky for Norway is that they are singing second. Stella needs to work on her vocals, because a song like this needs more than just a great atmosphere. She has to follow strong after Poland. If she manages to do that, she will have no problems in reaching the final.
Albania:
I am not fond of this song. The initial version was a big, shouty mess. However, Albanians are very good in transforming a 4-minute song into a 3 minute song that is less messy. The new version is slightly better, but doesn’t give them much chance to the final. The singer has a great, outgoing personality. She has a nice vocal, but she needs to control it throughout the song, especially the high notes. Aurela said in many interviews that is important to give a hearth-warm and give it all on the stage. That is what she needs to do, in order for the song to be more believable.
Armenia:
I am disappointed with the Armenian choice this year. All that boom-boom, chaka-chaka, is more appropriate for JESC (and probably not even there). What Armenia has by their side are the many voters that will massively vote for them, regardless if the girl sits on a toilet and reads a newspaper. I believe the juries will try and bring them down. Qualification is not guaranteed this time for them. She needs to make the song more believable and deconcentrate the viewers from the arty-farty lyrics. Her vocals need to be better. Right now it looks like she is singing this song to herself in the shower, not for the viewers.
Turkey:
Another diaspora-sends-them-to-the-final country follows. This time it is Turkey, with yet another rock entry of theirs. This sounds better to me, than the one from last year. They are fairly good singers and all they need to do is sell their song on the stage. Like Armenia, Turkey’s chance to advance to the final is not that great, but they can still do it.
Serbia:
This is a very nice retro song. Serbia for the first time sends a pop-song, but it seems and looks great. Nina is a great singer, with great vocal abilities and she gives a charming performance. Charming isn’t enough! At this point, we’ve seen many upbeat songs and this is another one of them. She needs to create an atmosphere, a cheerful atmosphere that would make the viewers feel the song. Then, she has an ace in her sleeve and she can do very well.
Russia:
The Russians are sending a nice mainstream dance song, officially sponsored by RedOne. I like this entry and I do believe this entry will go far. Russia has everything what it takes this year to do well. Alex is a talented singer and can connect with the audience very well. He should embrace his qualities to give an effortless and stunning performance. If his vocals are consistent throughout the song, he should be able to get a top5 with no problem.
Switzerland:
After a series of upbeat songs, we come across Switzerland. I don’t like this song. It just sounds so bland and uninteresting. The good thing about the Swiss is that they have a decent shot of making to the finals. This is a slow song, performing after many fast songs and I can see people getting attached to this. The girl needs to make the song more interesting. So far it looks like she is singing to her mother, before an Idol audition. I may not like it, but there are others who do. Therefore, she has to connect with the audience and make the song less dull.
Georgia:
Georgia is taking a ballad break and this year they are going to rock. The song is nice, but not nice enough for me. I find it messy and shouty. Some parts of the song are nice, but some turn you off and confuse you. These kinds of songs don’t do well usually, so I am not very confident that Georgia will shine this year. Her vocals are not always constant and she has to work in that area. Georgia needs to step up to the challenge, if they want to end up higher in the semi-final.
Finland:
Many people say that the idea behind the Finnish entry is clearly a rip-off from Dice’s song last year. I will agree with that statement to some extent. I didn’t like Tom’s song last year, so this doesn’t stand much of a chance in my ranking. It is just too whiney and makes me think that Justin Bieber is better and more pleasant to listen to. The song is the slowest one in the first half of the first semi-final. That should give the viewers a break from all the upbeat, and I can see this battling with Switzerland for points. I can see juries liking this, but hardly being liked by the viewers. The only suggestion I have to the singer is to try and make the song less whiney, because I can’t stand it the way it is right now.
Malta:
I can definitely see Glen as being a high spirited and very enthusiastic individual. He is full of energy and he can easily bring that energy to the song. Now the song is dated, but in Eurovision most things are. Malta has one of the lowest chances to advance to the final, let alone win the whole thing. Surprises do happen and Glen must work on his vocals. Being energetic on stage is one thing, but maintaining the vocals throughout the song with that energy is a completely different story. The choreography must be very convincing, if Glen wants to exceed fans’ expectations. He also needs to feel more confident with the language, in order for people to understand him better. The song has a potential, and it does look better after couple of listens.
San Marino:
Up next is the smallest country in Eurovision. Senit is a nice lady and sings a rather slow song. You usually can’t go much wrong with slow songs, unless they are messy. This isn’t messy, but it is very boring and dull. Honestly, I don’t think this has a chance to qualify. I also think that San Marino won’t be last, unless she messes the whole performance. A sincere presentation of the song could work well and might give San Marino a small boost.
Croatia:
I believe Croatia made the right choice. I love this song. It’s very good. The lyrics may be off-putting to some people, but I like them. They are simple and made exquisitely for this event. The instrumental beat sounds very Croatian (E.T., Colonia). This entry is in my top3. However, I doubt this will end in the top3 at the end. I would be very happy if they qualify and maybe steal the 10th place in the final. What I want is one thing, and reality is something else. As this is another pop song, Daria should make sure that she is noticed and this song is remembered. She is a great performer, but her vocals have to be consistent. She had ups and downs during the NF, and that shouldn’t happen on the jury-voting rehearsals and the actual semi performance. Her choreography must shine and everything must look good, so she can advance to the final.
Iceland:
Many Eurovision fans are disappointed with the fact that Yohanna isn’t representing Iceland this year. For that expense, this entry has been shut down by the fans. I find the entry really nice, and both, Icelandic and English, versions are very nice. There is no doubt that these singers will give an emotional performance on stage. The issue, I believe, is the fact that songs like this one do poorly. They really have to conquer the audience to get their vote. Another factor that may play a role will be the commentators. If they inform the viewers about the misfortune of the singer that was initially suppose to sing the song, then I might believe that viewers will have a better understanding of the song and they may cast more votes for Iceland.
Hungary:
And this is the last dance/pop song in the first semi-final. Hungary did it well. The song is trendy and cool. I like it, but I am not too impressed by it. The chorus is nice and powerful, the rest looks good. Hungary is considered as one of the favourites to win the competition this year. Kati’s vocals must be great. If she fails to do that, she might have no chance of doing well. A good choreography is also needed to boost Hungary on the top.
Portugal:
It is a rather poor choice from Portugal, going with a song about the economic crisis. The message of the song is alright, but this song rather not. I don’t hate the entry, but I don’t like it either. 6 people from 6 different working groups, and only the lawyer and the judge are missing. This will most likely be killed by the juries and I can see them in the bottom 3. What they can do is just be vocally consistent and be entertaining.
Lithuania:
Basically, what I said on the forum earlier. She has a great voice and she must make a full use of it. The song is ok. The chorus starts very strong, and then it falls apart. Perhaps adding some backing vocals would make this part stronger?? I think she and her team are going for a simple stage presence. That would be nice, but it needs an effect (like in 2009). She also needs to create an atmosphere and connect with that audience. This song has a potential to do well, and Evelina and her team must use the full potential and put Lithuania in the final.
Azerbaijan:
This is a great ballad, a modern and a catchy one. I like it and this is hanging on the 10th place on my ranking. The male singer has a great voice and really brings the song to a higher level. That is not the case with the female singer. She definitely needs to work on her vocals, because otherwise the song would be ruined. A simple choreography could be very effective. I don’t have much more to say. I believe Azerbaijan will easily qualify.
Greece:
Greece continued sending great songs on Eurovision. This time it is something melancholic, passionate with traditional Greek and some rapping parts incorporated. I like the song and I don’t mind the rapping part, as it still gives the entry a flow. This song comes after two ballads and he must try to be noticed on stage. Singing last isn’t always a bonus. The song needs a good stage presence. “Watch my dance” has a potential and has to be used. I’ve noticed that not many singers connect with the audience. He is not singing for 10 euros per hour in a taverna, he is singing in front of millions of viewers. Hence, he should connect with the audience, not sing for himself. Qualification is very possible.

The reviews for Semi#2 will come these days, hopefully. :mrgreen:
 
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asia

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April 27, 2011
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Re: My reviews on the songs

Agree with everything other than.... The azerbaijan guy is a good singer???? He is whiney, and. Creeps me out lol, still of course they will qualify. I disagree about san marino, I think it has a small chance to qualify, she has a good stage presence and is somewhat astheticly pleasing..... We will see ;)
 

aletem

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Joined
October 1, 2009
Posts
6,602
Location
Canada
Here are some of my brief reviews on semi#2

Bosnia and Herzegovina:
I love this song. I think it is a great opener of the show. What I am more happy is that Europe enjoys this song and I am confident that Bosnia will end in the top5 in the Final. Dino's first rehearsal went very well. I think he covered some of the weaknesses from the presentation in February. He sounds much better now, as I expected. The performance looks clean and this should sail to the final. Dino has raised the bar very high and it will be difficult for the other contestants to follow in the same manner. I think it should and it might win the Semi.
Austria:
This is an ok ballad. I heard it few times and I still can't remember anything, except her ridiculous haircut. Her vocals are quite nice and she can definitely deliver the song well on the stage. The problem is that this is second and it is right after Bosnia. She has to be outstanding, if she wants to do well. Other than that, I can see this being liked by the juries, but televoters would probably push it in the bottom 5.
Netherlands:
This is a very friendly radio song. It is a nice tune and not many people dislike it. It has an advantage that is being drawn between Austria and Belgium and that might give them a chance to do well. The performance may look simple, but if they are vocally great, then I think the Dutch have increased their chances for the final. And I think they deserve finally to be in the final.
Belgium:
The song is definitely hopeless with the televoters. The juries may give them a small boost. If they want more, they really have to shine. Their performance must be clean. Vocally they have to be great, and so far they seem to be off. Their first rehearsal wasn't promising, so maybe their second one will turn out to be better. I think this will be last in the semi-final.
Slovakia:
Slovakia has a great American-type of a ballad. This ballad comes across great. It is very pleasant to listen to. Pleasant is not enough in this competition, especially if this is Slovakia. I really want them in the final, because they have yet another good song. The twins seem to be vocally consistent. That trend should continue throughout the rehearsals and the semi-final. I hope for a better choreography, because I am not impressed from what I saw on the rehearsal. That looked vague! Gear up Slovakia and push forward!
Ukraine:
Now this is a pleasant surprise. The song is an ok ballad, with a beautiful singer with nice vocals. It is Ukraine. And Ukraine can make something blah-ok, to something very good and pleasant to watch and listen. Their rehearsal went very well. I think she and her team know what they are doing! The background looked lovely and vocally I think she coped excellent with the song. I am certain that this will qualify and it should.
Moldova:
I can't be very constructive here, as I really dislike this entry. I believe it is the worst this year by far and I hoped they won't show up for Moldova after 2005. My wish didn't came true, unfortunately. All I can say is, they are going for the entertainment - be entertaining! Vocally, they aren't the best, but who cares they have a unicycle.
Sweden:
This is quite a polarizing entry. I see many people liking it and even more disliking it. I am one of those who really likes this entry. I think Eric has a star quality, charm and a nice personality. The lyrics of the song may not be the wisest thing you'll ever hear (you might get a brain damage, but the chances for that are still slim), but since it is Eurovision, they seem to be appropriate for that standard. I liked his performance in MF, but not so much the one on his rehearsal. It looked rather disappointing. And Sweden has gone from a certain qualifier to just a contender to qualify. Eric must step up to do better!
Cyprus:
The Cypriot ballad is a nice song. It is a song that you can hear it in local restaurants in Greece and Cyprus, while eating gyro or a salad. This song needed a push and that is what I saw during the rehearsals. It looked sharp, it looked strong, clean and interesting. I like their attempt to attract as much as attention as possible. I think it looks great and if he continues his great run with clean vocals, I think Cyprus will qualify again. I think for a moment it looked like watching "Lejla", the Bosnian entry from 2006. There was an atmosphere, something that the song lacked before.
Bulgaria:
I like the Bulgarian entry this year. It is nice, it is modern and it also seems familiar. As a vocalist, I think she is pretty good. She should make sure to be constant throughout the song. Their rehearsal was nice. The background was nice. I didn't understood the purpose of the fire, but other than that it looks and it sounds pretty good. I think Bulgaria has decent chances of doing well.
Macedonia:
Alright, the lyrics are trashy, but it is good that Vlatko will sing on Macedonian. I like the ethno-folkish sounds in the song, though his voice isn't very tolerable. Before I saw the rehearsal, I said that Macedonia needs a good choreography, something that will catch the eye of the viewers, plus Vlatko must sell his performance. Now Vlatko is good to connect with the audience and sell his performance. After all, he is an actor. Seeing the rehearsal gives me hope that Macedonia will be one of those 10 qualifiers. The choreography looks great. The background is fantastic! I think they need to polish their performance. Make it more dynamic. With good camera work, this should work just fine. His vocals were much better. He should continue improving. So far is good, but good isn't enough. Great is what he needs!
Israel:
Dana knows what she is doing! :mrgreen: Well if she knew, she wouldn't have picked the song in a first place. I like Dana, but this song is something that you would least expect. She chose the wrong version to sing. I think the second one is worse. During the rehearsal, nothing worked in her favour. Her voice evaporated in thin air. It looked very plain and bland, not something that the song required. Dana has a lot to work on, for the next couple of days.
Slovenia:
I may not like the song and the song may sound like you want to cut your veins, but she is a good singer. I think the song itself has too many words and at the beginning it looks like a recital. I wasn't fond of their background. I think it had nothing in common with the song. If you go with a depressing and dramatic song, why should you put flowers in the background. Flowers aren't depressing! Her outfit looks odd for the song. I like it, as it really brings out a lot from her. :mrgreen: I like her shoes too! Maybe a darker theme, would be more suitable for this song. It is a bit too plain on stage as well. She could use a wind machine. It wouldn't be a bad idea.
Romania:
The Romanian song is nice. Nothing special. I think it has what it takes to go through to the final. David is a very good singer and I think Romania should qualify. Not much I can say about this entry.
Estonia:
Estonia sends another good song, but imo, weaker than their previous two attempts. As a performance, I think it looks very neat and definitely interesting. The problem is how will the European audience respond to a song about New York City, specifically a famous street, whose number is not listed there. Her magical trick is very neat and I like that part. There are parts of the song that I enjoy, and parts that are just too void for me. I noticed that she has troubles coping with the song vocally. She must keep the energy from start to finish and I think Estonia could qualify.
Belarus:
What can I say, I love this song. The more I hear it, the more I like it! :mrgreen: It is very catchy and Anastasiya knows how to deliver it with passion and strength. She needs to be more comfortable singing the song, because I can see she struggles with the English. Confidence is one thing she lacks, but I can see her slowly releasing herself. Now, the rehearsal doesn't look good to me. Dreamgirls meet Moldova 2009!! I like her outfit, but I thought this would be more traditional and less generic. The fireworks look great, but can't say much about anything else. It looks kinda static as well.
Latvia:
This is an entry that at the beginning I said - it sucks, I dislike it. Well, I should take that back now. It doesn't suck and I don't dislike it. I think it is rather ok, but I can also see the appeal of it. They are vocally pretty good and they have proved that on the rehearsal. Their choreography could be better, right now it isn't very captivating. They should take the whole song to another level. I think this is a contender to qualify.
Denmark:
I dislike the song and I hate fact that this is very overrated. Have I lost the touch for good music? No, I have NOT! I see this as one of those harmless Danish melodies that generally do well and qualify easily (like the one in 2008, which I didn't get why did he qualify??). The draw is in favour for the Danes, and I think they have solid chances of qualifying. The stage presentation looks rather dull and uninteresting, but eh well. There is always someone else... who likes it. Vocally, I think they are good. Their haircuts are odd!
Ireland:
They are enthusiastic and full of energy. My compliments stop here! The song is bad. Pity, I understand English. This makes Popular look very good lyrically. The beat is too generic. And speaking of haircuts, they aren't very far from the Danish guys. They can be used in a commercial for static duster! :mrgreen: Anyway, vocally they sound bad. However, I saw improvements in their rehearsal. They do sound a bit better. Their choreography comes across more interesting and entertaining. Hopefully, everything will be in place for them during the semi-final. Singing last could give them a boost.
 
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Mannone

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Great reviews!

I'll give them some more air while I borrow this thread for a shorter "review" about this year. Just two years late or so...

Actually, I should start with the ones I dislike, because this year is just so full of mould and emptiness. Yepp, this certainly is a weak year overall. Every second entry qualifies, by high commendation, to my compost squad. Without any relative positioning then, and with the recurrent line of famous lyrics echoing after every one of them: Where Did All The Talent Go, Looooong Time Paaassing?


:al: - Aurela Gace - Passion - Gratingly horrible.
:be: - Witloof Bay - With Love Baby - Begins promising but simply peters out. Pointless.
:de: - Lena Meyer-Landrut - Taken By A Stranger - Sing with me, Where Did All...? Such a vapid bass pulse.
:ie: - Jedward - Lipstick - Such a disgustingly monotonous bass thumping.
:pt: - Homens Da Luta - A Luta é Alegria - No, no, no. Just another zero.
:by: - Anatasiya Vinnikova - I Love Belarus - Idiotically patriotic.
:pl: - Magdalena Tul - Jestem - Wake me up, before I poo poo...
:ro: - Hotel FM - Change - Just bland.
:il: - Dana International - Ding Dong - Dana goes ding dong in old days.
:rs: - Nina - Caroban - Very forced pace. Annoying.
:ru: - Alexej Vorobjev - Get You - Please help me, I can't find the loosers lounge...
:is: - Sjonni's Friends - Coming Home - Lamely polite warbling...
:lt: - Evelina Sasenko - C'est ma vie - And wake me up, before I... blow job?
:it: - Raphael Gualazzi - Madness Of Love - Just not keen. Boring. SAY WHAT?! And the "experts" goes "booooo, don't you hear the real instruments, it's real instruments, in a song contest. It's italian, there is a real piano, and you do not approve? HOW DARE YOU!?".
:se: - Eric Saade - Popular - And finally, our worst entry since The Ark, or just on a par with "The Worrying Kind". So fantastically monotonous, with a nerve-rackingly infantile beat.



I almost don't love this year!!!!! xballon



But of course I do, because, and as always, there are some grains of pure gold that wont ever leave my innermost vaults:


1. :gr: - Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike - Watch My Dance

It actually took ages, i.e. one week or so after the contest, until I started abusing this. It was just impossible not to get sceptical when Stereo Mike obscured the stage with his lowest budget wiggah fluttering. But it grew and it kept growing. My favourite word for this evoked atmosphere should be "fateful", which I often use when something about a tune is... appearing kind of dark and dead serious. And I really think Loukas conveys this message in a successful way. Also, when you listen to the studio version, you don't have to be distracted by a looming bat in dressing gown. Rather, you can get completely engrossed by the loomy, masculine grief looming about it. Mighty!


2. :ba: - Dino Merlin - Love In Rewind

The "multiplied by you" introducing line feels a little done to death, don't you think? However, I don't care about that silly line, I just had to mention it. There is always someone who get annoyed by it (=me mentioning it). Everything else about this though, is laudable. Such a smooth, nudging beat about love in rewind. You can really feel what it's all about. And it's elevated above usualness all thanks to that subtle acceleration, every now and then, that perfect little twitch.


3. :mk: - Rusinka - Vlatko Ilievski

Just a fine little concerto with a lot of elements. The accordion solo is especially seductive. I prefer to put this one on my warm-up playlist though, which may never imply the absolute highest of grades.


4. :az: - Ell & Nikki - Running Scared

Modern and fine overall. First time I heard it I got reminded of "Apologize" (Timbaland). Not the most precise association, but somehow I understood it was probably gonna win. And it deserved to win, although Eldar isn't the most captivating of ants. But at least he is rather played down and seems quite humble. To some degree, I think this won thanks to the stylistically perfect package - the golden waterfall, which became their goldmine. Maybe a little too studied to earn my full attention.


5. :no: - Stella Mwangi - Haba Haba

Obviously too different to qualify for the final. I think it's both charming and catchy though, and I'm mostly a sucker for africanism. Graceland (1986) is my favourite album of all time. Hear it.


6. :md: - Zdob Si Zdub - So Lucky

Weird and episodically wonderful. And everyone remember the hot girl on unicycle. I love her too.


7. :ua: - Mika Newton - Angel

Not the sharpest, but definitiely decent.


To sum up, this year was below average, probably confirmed by the rather tight race for victory, though I guess it's possible to argue in favour of the opposite too (the tight race as a sign of high quality). However, I also guess I'm just gonna try to remember what was positive to me. There is always something.
 
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