Tonight we will already be seeing the first semi-final of Eesti Laul. Back in December when the songs came out, the team wrote reviews on the songs. Today is the day that we can finally dust off these files and see what we think of all the songs in the selection.

So who should go to the finals in Estonia? The panel for today will consist of Boris, DanielDavidJamesRoy and Zack and we will take a look at the first 6 songs in tonight’s semi-final.

Anett x Fredi – Write About You

Boris – 5 – “A suave jazz ballad. Unfortunately, ballads require quite a bit of empathy and emotional attachment to work for me, and a video clip can’t never do them enough justice. We’ll see whether Anett can convince me when the semis roll along!”

Daniel – 8 – “A smooth jazz composition that features a powerful instrumentation. I actually think it has a strong rhythm with very Amy Winehouse vibes. While I adore the composition, I hope she is not drowned out by the trumpets and guitar. There is a section that sounds overproduced but other than that I believe this song is actually rather strong and takes many steps forward for Estonia. It also has such a relatable message which I am all about.”

David – 2 – “I’m getting strong jazz vibes from this, and I’m not feeling it. I mean, we’re so used to the idea of this kind of music being performed in small public cafés without paying attention really to it. Let’s keep it like that, I mean this on such a HUGE stage at Eurovision, that stage would feel empty for 3 minutes.”

James – 5 – “If push comes to shove, I would not write about this. And really, what is there to write about? This is pedestrian smooth jazz with cliché indie vocals, with terrible affected pronunciation of basic words such as “shove” or “love” or “time” (stretched to “tie-eye-emmm!”). The song’s inoffensive, but to riff on the title again, nothing to write about.”

Roy – 4 – “I do not necessarily mind this song, but it just doesn’t stand out to me among all of the Eesti Laul songs. This song would be an absolute joy in an elevator, but should not be the song for Estonia this year. I can picture a staging with 2 dancers doing a very passionate dance and I could see this qualifying for the final, but it is just too uninteresting for Eurovision!”

Zack – 6 – “Bluesy feel that slowly builds. I like, but not sure it will fit well in the Eurovision crowd, let alone the national final”

Total = 30 (avg. 5)

Egert Milder – Georgia (on my mind)   

Boris – 8 – “Egert’s main hook towards standing out in this bland Middle-of-the-Road fest is by turning his song into a Georgian tourism advert! Amusing, which is what can’t be said for the majority of his ilk.”

Daniel – 4 – “A cute song that is in reverence to what seems to be a fellow competing nation. Well if Georgia is an international juror then this song will not end up with nil points. But in all honesty the song has a very chill beat and really gives me some George Ezra feelings which tends to do well with a general public. Unfortunately, the topic is not a standard one for Eurovision and rather niche so it probably won’t do too well at Eesti or at actual Eurovision.”

David – 3 – “This is not really getting anywhere, it’s a sweet a chill song and I don’t think I can count how many times these kind of songs is played every single day. How is this supposed to stick out from the crowd?”

James – 9 – “A disclaimer: You may have noticed I write 95% of ESC United’s Georgia content, so thanks to family I definitely have Georgia on my mind. Every day. So does Milder’s indie soul Ray Charles tribute, switching Georgia the state with Georgia the country as the place and as a metaphor for the woman Egert is pining for. There are a couple areas of concern: 1.) If the live presentation is as literal as the video, there will be a disconnect as this song is coming from Estonia, not Georgia. 2.) The song is soothing and soulful, and self-sabotaging Estonian Eurovision fans may reflexively slam it as “not for Eurovision.” 3.) Milder’s vocal style will be divisive, particular his bizarre pronunciation of “discover.” No matter, this song is modern, the bridge is great, and if we learned anything in the 2010s going into 2020, is that any genre is a contender for the prize if the song is executed thoughtfully. This one is. My winner for Eesti Laul 2020.”

Roy – 3 – “I can see that this has a market. His voice is really good and the song makes you sway back and forth until he starts shouting Georgia like a kazillion times. The song was completely fine and even likable, but repeating Georgia makes it an annoying experience to listen to this song more than once. This song also started of higher up my rankings, but the more I listened, the more it got annoying. He should definitely try again since his voice is quite cool, but this song is definitely not it..”

Zack – 3 – “These pun-filled titles in Eurovision national finals need to stop.  It’s instant cringe. Let alone that the song is just middle-of-the-road.  It’s just sort of there.”

Total = 30 (avg. 5)

INGA – Right Time

Boris – 6 – “Meme Queen INGA fell from the highest graces in this edition, downgrading from a hip tripster princess to… your average lavender-haired VSCO girl, lol? This song is not something I would skip if it came on, but we deserve better than allowing INGA to trap us in her midtempo void, especially in *this* f$#%ing selection are you kidding me.”

Daniel – 7 – “The intro had me so excited and then it takes a slight left turn. This is just to say that I think that the music instrumentation is superb and involves a variety of musical influence from Celtic folksy to Spanish guitar to Scandinavian production quality. I do think the lyrics and, to some extent, the singer do not seem mature enough to really have the song stand as strongly.  I will say that just as an arrangement itself, this song deserves to be in the final of Eesti Laul.”

David – 2 – “I agree with some part of the lyrics, it’s definitely “time to take a chance”, so why are we presented with such a bland and boring song. I’m not feeling it, I’m personally questioning the idea of this song, was it just made in order to compete, or is there actually something meaningful that I’m missing?”

James – 5 – “A+ for the cat cuddling, F- for smelling her own hair. I guess this is Inga’s blending of the Time’s Up movement with last year’s “Wo sind die Katzen”? But for real, can Estonia take the cat to Rotterdam and leave Inga? I have not mentioned the song “Right Time” as there is really nothing to it.”

Roy – 6 – “I didn’t like this at first listen at all. But it gradually rose higher in my rankings. I have been following INGA so now and then, so I know what she is capable of. I feel like this song shows a nice side of her voice, but there is so much more in the tank. A bit of an earworm this and I don’t mind it getting played. A bit above average!”

Zack – 6 – “I was expecting a bigger drop at the chorus, but digging the laid back beat of this. Again, is there enough “oomph” for this to stand out in the crowded national selection?”

Total = 32 (avg. 5.3)

Jenifer Cohen – Ping Pong

Boris – 5 – “Lol this is barely a song. But it isn’t generic overrated crap, so I won’t give less than five :-)”

Daniel – 6 – “I mean since Enrique Iglesias, how can we not love a song with a Ping Pong beat. I see that this song took a cue from last year’s winner and is using the metaphor of a game to make of a love song. This song has a lot of spunk and a really cool RnB beat. With that being said, I do think the song does have some lyrical composition issues (some words that are to long for their verses are just inserted) and pacing issues between the verses and chorus. Overall, I still feel as though this song should qualify to the final of Eesti Laul.”

David – 1 – “Sweetheart, you’re clearly doing something wrong yourself if you’re being played as a ping pong ball. I’m sorry, but this is honestly hard to take seriously, lyrics are quite horrendous and the using the sound of the ping pong ball in the song itself, Enrique Iglesias couldn’t convince me, so neither does this.”

James – 8 – “Please don’t play me like a ping pong, bitch” is the best chorus of Eesti Laul 2020. There are so many details wrong in this song such as the headslappingly daft lyrics and Jennifer Cohen’s fashion that it loops back around to charming. I thought her effort last year, “Little Baby El” was underrated (especially compared to the boring song that won), and I fear the same fate may await her here. A pity, as she possesses a quirky charisma and charm, and the song has enough corny touches (the beat sounds like ping pong balls being struck) to be endearing but not so many as to be an irritating novelty.”

Roy – 1 – “Absolutely everything about this song is terrible. From the cringey lyrics in the verses to the lovely swearword used in the first sentence of the chorus. Add to that one of the worst words ever to use as your “main word” for the song and you get this atrocity. This is an absolute disgrace and I nearly feel guilty for enjoying her song last year while listening to this…”

Zack – 4 – “Full disclosure, this is the 4th song of the bunch I’ve listened to and I’m a bit discouraged by the laid back vibes of these first four I listened to and am worried for Estonia.  Again, just another song that is there.

Total = 25 (avg. 4,2)

Kruuv – Leelo

Boris – 6 – “A pleasant enough folk song and if Kruuv’s 2015 stint was anything to judge by, it should carry itself live. As a studio track it never goes beyond “it’s aight” though.”

Daniel – 5 – “This song really brings in those folky elements which Eurovision can either go OK (Iceland 2014) or poorly (Latvia 2014). I will not deny that this song has undeniable charm and a strangely captivating beat which helps a song in Estonian. Unfortunately, the coordinating outfits and the singing and dancing makes this song seem to fit better with the Wiggles than with Eurovision. Still, the song does bring a smile to my face and for that I have to commend it.”

David – 4 – “What a jolly little song, very innocent and just a feel good song. Unfortunately, I’m losing the good vibes quite fast, because the song is very similar for the entire duration, I’m losing my interest cause it’s not really going anywhere.”

James – 6 – “Light and fluffy folk. It is fun, but it is also forgettable. There’s a couple neat touches therein, such as the occasional stop and restart and the traditional Estonian instrumentation like that weird mouth harp. It sounds like something playing in the background of a Christian coffee shop.”

Roy – 2 –There should be a bigger gap between this and my least liked song of this selection than just 1. I don’t even really dislike this song. It’s just a bit childish and not very interesting at all. I can see some people actually liking this and a lot of kids could maybe get their parents to vote. This is fine in the national final and actually adds some much needed colour to the mix. “Leelo” should not be anywhere near the Eurovision stage however.”

Zack – 5 – “I feel like this is the Estonian “Cake to Bake”. Feel-good, corny, catchy, but I don’t know if it’s my cup of tea.  It’s nice.  Just nice.”

Total = 28 (avg. 4,7)

Laura Poldvere – Break Me

Boris – 6 – “This is the nth instance of a talented artist returning to Eesti Laul 2020 with their least good song. *Sigh* I wish I could  stan Laura more because I genuinely luff her to bits, but this a mildly pleasant b-side track of a forgotten album. I refuse to believe Laura didn’t have a better track on offer.”

Daniel – 6 – “Just like many of the songs this year, this song has really strong county vibes. But to be honest, when I saw that it was Laura, I was not expecting this. This is not to say that it is bad but it is not a genre I am that crazy about and there are just not enough pop elements to counteract the heavy country influence (for crying out loud there is a banjo in the chorus). I know that Laura can deliver on the stage in Tallinn but I am curious to see what the staging will look like, especially with the half dozen costumes in the video. I do wish her the best of luck though.”

David – 3 – “Someone better give me that darn Banjo, so I can break it. That was pretty much all I could hear from this song, it just became an overkill. Lyrics are rather uninspiring and not worth paying attention to either. Safe to say, that Laura will need to wait another year before we see on her the big stage once again. Shame, cause “Verona” was on such a higher level.”

James – 4 – “The acoustic guitar riff starts off like The Connells’s masterful “‘74/’75,” but instead of leading to something meaningful, deep and emotional, we end up with fluff even lighter than Laura’s earlier “Verona.” And yes, I do feel cheated. We know Laura is capable of better than this empty belly button lint of a song.”

Roy – 4 – “Firstly, I like saying this, I absolutely hated “Verona”. This song is at least listenable to me, but it is nothing super exciting to me either. I would have loved to see something like she entered with in 2016. “Supersonic” was a cool effort and something similar would have given her some decent odds to end up high in the rankings this year too. I am never a big fan of returning artists either, so I kind of hope this stays in Estonia.”

Zack – 5 – “I had high hopes for this song, but this left me a little limp. Another song that has a lot of build-up and fails to deliver.  I am struggling to see how this would be staged to stand out.”

Total = 28 (avg. 4,7)

The ranking so far is:

  1. INGA – Right Time 32 (5,3)
  2. Anett x Frida – Write About You 30 (5)
  3. Egert Milder – Georgia (on my mind) 30 (5)
  4. Kruuv – Leelo 28 (4,7)
  5. Laura Poldvere – Break me 28 (4,7)
  6. Jennifer Cohen – Ping Pong 25 (4,2)

Later today part 2 of our reviews!

What do #YOU think of the Estonian selection? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

Like our content? Consider supporting us on Patreon HERE to help us continue our work to bring the contest to #YOU!

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