Eurovision 2019: Belgium

Hello welcome to my series of quick takes designed to get you ready for Eurovision 2019. Just some quick thoughts / my take on each of the 41 songs this year. The countries are in alphabetical order so without further ado: Belgium.

Country: Belgium
Singer: Eliot
Song: Wake Up
Personal Score: 33 out of 41
My Prediction: NQ

This song is actually kind of interesting musically because it reminds me of a handful of mid-1980’s song and his voice is distinctly reminiscent of Sting in the opening section but honestly once it switches to the “chorus” its just kind of a boring song. The problem is that the plodding beat in the background never really resolves into anything. This is a song that you might listen to on the radio because it’s too much effort to change but even though you’ve heard it 20 times you don’t any of the words or the name of the artist. I’m also a little puzzled by the music video because they choose to keep the focus on other people and then ALSO, to add insult to injury, ended with a close up on someone else.

While I agree music has tended in this direction (on the radio at least) for the last few years the problems is that its completely forgettable. If they showed up in an insurance commercial I wouldn’t even blink. Despite the video seeming to be about…women I guess? The lyrics don’t really key me into any big themes either. I get a whole lot of nothing out of this song and since it’s not vocally challenging and has basically no hook, I think this is a hard sell at Eurovision especially if it ends up next to anything with a good beat.

Eurovision 2019: Belarus

Hello welcome to my series of quick takes designed to get you ready for Eurovision 2019. Just some quick thoughts / my take on each of the 41 songs this year. The countries are in alphabetical order so without further ado: Belarus.

Country: Belarus
Singer: ZENA
Song: Like it
Personal Score: 40 out of 41
My Prediction: NQ

This song is a mess. I’m very surprised that the Belarus national final version is the video for this. Zena seems like a very nice girl who just isn’t quite ready for a big stage. While she has some time to get ahold of her vocals, I just don’t see this song ever coming together. Mashing beats, repetitive and squeaky chorus, and a terrible case of mush mouth making all of her lyrics blend together this song is what would happen if you tried to play “Toy” and “Fuego” at the same time and it is UGLY. The national final performance was basically constantly off-time and the performance is kind of difficult to watch but even assuming they get that under control this sounds more like a San Marino entry than something Belarus should be giving us.

I doubt that the staging will change from the national final, and even if it does, I don’t think it’s going to add much to this piece of pop fluff but I wish Zena a lot of luck in her future career.



Eurovision 2019: Azerbaijan

Hello welcome to my series of quick takes designed to get you ready for Eurovision 2019. Just some quick thoughts / my take on each of the 41 songs this year. The countries are in alphabetical order so without further ado: Azerbaijan.

Country: Azerbaijan
Singer: Chingiz
Song: Truth
Personal Score: 11 out of 41
My Prediction: Q

This is honestly kind of an odd duck of a song. We’ve got some traditional elements and some really contemporary elements mushed together into a vaguely dance beat. This really works for me but I could see how it’s a little too same-y for most people but I think on the other hand this is such an earworm of a song and I kind of hear it all the time after its over? I think will easily pass through as long as the staging is even reminiscent of the video which gives it a rave underwater vibe. Azerbaijan hasn’t ever skimped on the staging so hopefully we’ll see this in the final. At the very least this will get votes because the internets collective thirst for Chingiz is REAL. Shut up about it!

The only downside of this song is that I have no idea what his voice actually sounds like and also this is one of those songs that could really be horrific live because its very based on a certain vibe and cadence to his voice but I have a lot of faith and worse entries from passed through for the fire nation which tends to have a fairly strong voting block.

Eurovision 2019: Austria

Hello welcome to my series of quick takes designed to get you ready for Eurovision 2019. Just some quick thoughts / my take on each of the 41 songs this year. The countries are in alphabetical order so without further ado: Austria.

Country: Austria
Singer: PÆNDA
Song: Limits
Personal Score: 24 out of 41
My Prediction: NQ

I kept waiting and waiting for this song to go off and wow me but it stayed quite flat the entire time and since it’s not just one note but also has a really distinct and strange vocal styling it’s hard to really get hooked. I think this could be the type of song that really opens up for an emotional moment on stage but the recording itself is a bit flat. I’m not actually sure what I would do with a staging for this type of song but I think it’ll end up like Blackbird from 2017: beloved for a few people but mostly ignored by the jury and the audience at home because it offers none of the thrills that we’re looking for in a scant three minutes. No fireworks, no vocal prowess, no hooks, and no drama. I think the worst part is that its so clear that the song is very meaningful for PÆNDA. It’s been beautifully and thoughtfully crafted but I just think its in the wrong arena here but it could be a surprise qualifier as out of the box thinking has previously helped Austria stand out.

Eurovision 2019: Australia

Hello welcome to my series of quick takes designed to get you ready for Eurovision 2019. Just some quick thoughts / my take on each of the 41 songs this year. The countries are in alphabetical order so without further ado: Australia.

Country: Australia
Singer: Kate Miller-Heidke
Song: Zero Gravity
Personal Score: 12 out of 41
My Prediction: Q

If you asked someone to distill down what tropes at Eurovision looked like, you could really do a lot worse than this entry. A strange half-opera, half-ballad entry with EDM and pop element that reads on stage like you combined all the weird memes from Eurovision of the past 10 years together? Yeah, Australia is doing that. Sparkle dress, cake level height, performer on a stick with only a tenuous relation to the song? Check, check, check. This song has a very light hook but the repetition and strange break in syllables of “Zero Gravity” will easily get caught in your head and should keep Australia from breaking their streak. This song grew on me after a while but the initial shock will probably be what pushes it forward – not musical greatness, which is still out there somewhere, in space, gathering power.

BONUS: Some of the many possible influences of this song and stage performance:

Dancing Lasha Tumbai, It’s My Life, La Forza, O Mie, Falling Stars, Grande Amore, Love Injected, Start A Fire, Blue and Red, and so so many more.

Eurovision 2019: Armenia

Hello welcome to my series of quick takes designed to get you ready for Eurovision 2019. Just some quick thoughts / my take on each of the 41 songs this year. The countries are in alphabetical order so without further ado: Armenia.

Country: Armenia
Singer: Srbuk
Song: Walking Out
Personal Score: 15 out of 41
My Prediction: Q

This is a pretty unique sound for Eurovision and I have high hopes that there will be a pretty bombastic stage show to go along with the song (hopefully somewhat like the music video in feeling) and that should make this a pretty easy qualifying song. How well it does beyond that is probably up to what it ends up next to but I don’t see this going higher than 15th because it’s a little too dark and angry for most of the Eurovision audience – somewhat close to Skeletons from 2017. Srbuk has a really powerful voice but I worry that the song might end up a little bit on the droning side because it doesn’t have enough hooks and stand out moments but with the right energy and visuals this could really be a pleasant under the radar surprise.

Eurovision 2019: Albania

Hello welcome to my series of quick takes designed to get you ready for Eurovision 2019. Just some quick thoughts / my take on each of the 41 songs this year. The countries are in alphabetical order so without further ado: Albania.

Country: Albania
Singer: Jonida Maliqi
Song: Ktheju tokës (Return to the Land)
Personal Score: 30 out of 41
My Prediction: NQ

My hottest take is that this is kind of a weird vocal homage to 1944 but it doesn’t have the impressive vocal strength that Jamala does and wobbled plenty of the notes at the national final so much so that it never really got off the ground for me even though abstractly this song should be right up my alley. While sung in Albania, it doesn’t actually have an abundance of lyrics and its message is pretty simple: people who have left their home countries should return. That’s probably going to play well in this current political climate but without extreme vocal prowess, in the more difficult of the two semi finals, and with the staging likely to be Jonida standing alone with a dramatic LED video playing behind her I don’t feel a lot of hope for this being a big hit of the night. If her vocals improve or the staging is bombastic it’s possible this could sneak into the final but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Almost Had It – Acts That Didn’t Make ESC 2019

I love Eurovision but sometimes I feel like Eurovision doesn’t like me because every year I end up with a playlist of songs from the various national finals that I would have loved to see on the Eurovision stage that didn’t quite make the cut. These are randomized so there’s no rhyme or reason to the order here but enjoy my list of rejected songs that pretty much wouldn’t have won at Eurovision but for one reason or another I still like them.

Continue reading Almost Had It – Acts That Didn’t Make ESC 2019