Eurovision 2021: Semi Final 2, Second Half Thoughts

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.

Albania: Arilena Ara”Karma”

The beauty of Eurovision is that this is absolutely someones favorite song. I spent most of my first time watching this video thinking about how cold she must be. Certainly an impressive and very lovely ballad that I actually do like a lot more than the average offering from Albania but it didn’t leave a terrible impression on me and the melody is just weak enough that I can’t hum it even five minutes after hearing it. It’s very ephemeral but there could be a staging that gets this into the final I’m just not sure what it would look like.

Bulgaria: Victoria “Growing Up is Getting Old”

I hate to keep rehashing some of my thoughts from last year but honestly a lot of these artists decided to stay so firmly in their lane that there isn’t much else I can do but tell you the same thing. I hate this but the same audience that ate up Lithuania’s song about getting old is probably salivating so I can at least understand the niche it serves. This song again is a shining star of how music is moving away from melody in pop music which may be so 20s in the future but on a personal note it just makes me zone out. Plonking piano doesn’t really do it for me and while Victoria has a very lovely voice I’m not a huge fan of the sharp notes and sharp strings and minimal anything else.

Denmark: Fyr & Flamme “Øve Os På Hinanden

Where did Denmark find these men and can we send them back there? This is so 80s it’s almost the 70s. I think I’m probably a little blessed because I don’t understand Danish so whatever they’re actually singing about can’t hurt me. It is tooth rottingly sweet but also extremely confusing and a little bit off putting to me. The singer is not great, the dance moves make me uncomfortable, and the song isn’t catchy enough to sing and not beat based enough to dance to so I’m not sure what I’m supposed to really be feeling at the end of these three minutes. I turned this off four times before I managed to power through the whole song. Maybe other people are stronger than I am.

Finland: Blind Channel “Dark Side

There was always going to be a moment where my crappy childhood music comes back around as the cool and fresh style and gosh darn it, would you look at the time. Blind Channel are basically like a fresh faced continuation of Limp Bizkit or your favorite nu-metal bands but the thing is they do a good job. The song and performance are well put together and their energy is through the roof (which you really need with the genre of music especially). I’m not sure I could say that I really like but I always appreciate when someone is doing a really good job in their lane. Also the chorus is ABSOLUTELY A BANGER that lives in my head rent free.

Georgia: Tornike Kipiani “You

I feel this song. I feel in deep in my lonely isolated pandemic brain. That sad empty scrambling for other humans. The sweltering desire to feel loved and connected. However, I’m not actually a fan of this song. The 1960s pseudo-folk influence isn’t doing it for me and Tornike’s voice is both kind of too gruff without being interesting for me to feel like I’m going on a story / journey. I certainly appreciate the sincerity and honestly I think this could be rearranged into something more appealing for a general audience but it’s just not hitting with me.

Latvia: Samanta Tīna “The Moon is Rising

She came back bigger and better than ever. There are some real stand out moments in this song where I want to jump to my feet and absolutely go wild but I hesitate to rank this too high personally because I’m not a fan of long choruses of noises. I think the staging on this will probably be as amazing and dynamic as the music video which will hopefully carry this bizzare gem to the final because there’s nothing quite like Samanta belting out “the queen of the night is coming” while placing a crown on her own head before she just jams the heck out of life. Girl, same.

Portugal: The Black Mamba “Love is on my Side

Is this a bit? I don’t understand this. Someone please come and explain this to me. Bizzaro universe All You Need is Love here is a thing that happened to me. Portugal’s national final is usually 95% fado and 1-2 songs that defy human explanation and that’s what we’re left with here. The vocal affect is destroying my faith in humanity and the song is somewhere between gospel and The Voice fodder. Nothing in this is working for me but I won’t get mad that it’s a sweet song about love. It has that going for it.

Switzerland: Gjon’s Tears “Tout l’Univers

I don’t speak French well enough to know what he’s saying at all so when I say the first time I heard this song I literally sat in dead silence and just starred for three whole minutes it had nothing to do with how beautiful or poetic the song, it’s 100% in his voice. I can’t imagine this not getting a fairly high score that I know that Gjon’s Tears can absolutely impart even more emotion into his voice than this devastatingly emotional recording has. Everything else is immaterial. Pretty man has pretty voice. 12 points, next!

Stay tuned for the auto qualifies coming up tomorrow!

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