We’re well in to the swing to Eurovision season so it’s time to look around and have a couple of hot takes on every countries songs.
This year instead of individual entries for each song I’ve split the songs into half of the semi finals so there will be first posts all together and instead of getting too in depth I’ll just jot down some thoughts on my first(ish) impressions. I might do a ranking and/or prediction post later on but this is just a barrel of thoughts for now. Since allocation hasn’t happened all the entries are in alphabetical order for fairness.
Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy “Birth of a New Age”
The host country always has a real time of it. You don’t want to send something too rote so that you look like you’re bad at this game but also you can’t send something too good because winning twice in a row is a financial liability. You can take a few routes to thread that needle and Netherlands took probably one of my favorites, the non-political political statement song. There are no politics allowed at Eurovision as we all know which means that every song is actually surprisingly intensely political (omg cover your ears, be shocked!). A song that addresses the way that people should refuse to be silenced or marginalized while bringing in some of his native Sranan Tongo caps off this really beautiful statement song on how we people should stand tall. That said it doesn’t quite do it for me personally it’s a little too even keel throughout the whole song making it feel longer than it is but good job and as always, really love Jeangu’s voice and style. Just absolutely excellent.
France: Barbara Pravi “Voilà”
I’m not sure any country pulls off songs that seem so…of themselves. I can’t say that there isn’t a charm to a really French conceptual song that meanders like a 1960s experimental film to express that they want to be noticed and liked but also, I don’t like it. It’s just very French and while I appreciate the gravity and emotional Barbara is bringing to this song its message isn’t hitting with me. Oh well.
Germany: Jendrik “I Don’t Feel Hate”
One of the most important things to bring to Eurovision is conviction. If you love your song and believe you have something to say to the world, you’re going to connect to people. Jendrik absolutely believes in himself. Even aside from his story of how he got to Eurovision or the music video this song is 100% belief in the self and it’s kind of impossible to hate it all the way. It’s certainly not going on any playlist I’m going to make (except for my Eurovision ones) but it’ll be color and love and joy to the stage and I think it’ll probably be pretty memorable years on. I’m extremely proud of this ear worm even if technically, it’s not the best song Germany has ever sent well, at the very least, I don’t feel hate.
Italy: Måneskin “Zitti E Buoni”
I want to love this. I really really want to love this but I don’t. The music video is leagues better than the live performance which I would describe as “mundane” despite *waves hand at song.* The thing is that this isn’t a very good version of what it’s trying to do and there is a slightly cleaner version for Eurovision which doesn’t help a song that feels like it has all the edge of a butter knife to me. I find it interesting that people think this song sounds more “authentic” than Finland’s (never mind that they’re two different categories of music they’re going to get compared by people who apparently don’t know anything about music I guess :/) because this one sounds like someone went to Hot Topic and bought a black skirt and now feels very sure about their goth status but that might be my own hang ups. This song will live or die on its live performance so I wish them well on figuring out how to generate their own energy without an audience (a feat which Finland has no trouble with) but I find this droll and repetitive.
Spain: Blas Cantó “Voy A Quedarme“
I don’t know what it is about this guy but I kind of just…like him. Like he seems like he would be a nice guy if you had to share a taxi with him. This song is a nothing burger but his voice is nice enough and it’s not terrible enough for me to mad about. I wish him a long and stable career but this is probably going to get about 15 pity points and languish somewhere near the bottom of the scoreboard shockingly not for any egregious reason or a lack of talent.
United Kingdom: James Newman “Embers“
What is with all the over correction on vocals this year? My new guess is that everyone is recording while sheltering in place with sub-standard mics and the correction is so much. I know from a live versions of his other song that James is an exceptional vocal talent. This song is taking 0% of that into consideration. The most positive thing I can say is that it at least sounds like it belongs on the radio in some contemporary way that will make us all cringe in 5 years about “how 2021 it is” but on the other hand, I don’t think this music suits James at all. I have no doubt he’ll deliver a perfectly serviceable product at Rotterdam, I just wish it were something a little less now and a little more him.
And that’s what you missed on