ESC 2015: Final – The Songs
In a few weeks, the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (which will be held this year in Vienna, Austria) is going to start with the 1st Semi-Final on Tuesday, 19th May 2015. After the semis, the last ones to be given an opinion are the Finalists (since 2013, the running order is determined by the producers. Before that, an allocation draw is going to be done during the press conference of the semis and, before that, the finalists press conferences during the rehearsals, etc… in order to determine which half (1st or 2nd) they are going to sing in the final)
As part of the Eurovision Song Contest‘s 60th birthday, the contest’s Executive Supervisor (Jon Ola Sand) and his staff decided to let Australia compete in a ESC edition this year – a one-time occasion (that is, unless they win the contest). Representing them is one of their most sucessfull artists: Guy Sebastian – he will, therefore, defend the retro-modern R’n’B-pop flavoured entry “Tonight again”, a song he co-wrote. When the artist was first announced, I only hoped the song wouldn’t be a bad one (after hearing a couple songs from him) – well, when that song was released, it surely surpassed my hopes and expectations, all summed in some few words: groovy music and arrangements, cool vocals, coercively simple but effective lyrics… and, most of all, totally current (in my opinion: with a great promotion, this could even be a potential radio and commercial hit altogether). Despite mixed reactions from ESC fans concerning Australia‘s participation in the contest and an OK response from them concerning the entry, they have recently been considered a favourite to win by the bookmarkers. Can they win the contest right on their one-time participation?
Seasoned singer Lisa Angell has been chosen to represent her country and she’ll sing a awareness-inspired french ballad titled “N’oubliez pas” (translation: Don’t forget). Classy but smooth and emotional without being too over the top – the best of the song, though, are the lyrics that reflect the consequences of war and miscellaneous tragedies that frequently happen in the world – past, present and future (in fact, the song is actually about World War I (1914–1918). Without a doubt she is a great singer and the ESC fans‘ opinion towards the entry is not bad, the predicitions are not really favourable for the country in question. Can it get a suprisingly good place? Or will the predictions be correct on this one?
The artist in question wasn’t supposed to be in this year’s edition at first as another artist had actually won the NF (Andreas Kummert) – but it all changed due to the winning artist’s withdrawal. So, from rags to riches, here’s Ann Sophie with the soul-pop entry “Black smoke”. Gritty, seductive and slick – the ideal triad to describe this highly enjoyable entry: gritty for its heartbreaking lyrics about the end of a relationship, seductivefor its “femme fatale”-like melody and slick for its professional production and the singer’s soulful voice. Good reaction from ESC fans + bad prognostics with the betting odds = wondering if it’ll have any kind of sucess this year. Let’s see if Germany can revert their mid-term situation into gold
The country in question is going operatic this year as they send one of their biggest current names in the italian music: Il Volo, who were first seen in the original italian version of the teen talent show “Ti lascio una canzone”. And the entry that they’ll sing, “Grande amore” (translation: Great love), is an example of their usual music style. This entry just embodies the concept of a crossover opera-pop ballad: a resounding music production with stellar voices and devastatingly romantic lyrics that could appeal to its audience target… and perhaps beyond than that. With a pretty good reception from the ESC fans and the betting odds, it seems the sky’s the limit for them – despite the fact that opera-influnced entries have never done that well in ESC. Can this entry be the exception to the rule?
Edurne, one of the hottest current names in her home country, is going to represent Spain with “Amanecer”, a mid-tempo pop piece written by three people who aren’t strangers in the ESC world: Thomas G:son (3 for Sweden, 3 for Spain, 2 for Georgia, 1 for Norway and 1 for Denmark), Peter Boström (both of which had participated in 2012: Sweden, Loreen, “Euphoria” and Norway, Tooji, “Stay”) and Tony Sánchez Ohlsson (his previous two ESC entries being written solely for Spain: 2007, D’NASH, “I love you, mi vida” and 2012, Pastora Soler, “Quédate conmigo”). In a way, it has the word “epic” written all over the song – the melody is pretty strong and adventurous, the lyrics are predominantly theatrical and the vocals gives out the promise of a unforgettable performance. Despite the ESC fans‘ good reaction towards the entry, but there’s some questioning whether this entry will give Spain their second consecutive top-10 or not – in another words, everything will pretty much depend on the performance. Will this entry do much better than last year’s entry (Ruth Lorenzo, “Dancing in the rain”)?
XX: UNITED KINGDOM
Electro swing time for the country in question and it’s all on Electro Velvet (aka. Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholas. The latter has appeared on the original british versions of “The Voice” and “X Factor” without much sucess) and “I’m still in love with you”. A word can describe this: unpretentious – that combination of the bubbly roaring 1920’s charleston sounds with the 1940’s swing put together in a rather contemporary electronic vibe is defintively addictive. The lyrics only adds up the song’s personality, making it highly charming. I must confess one thing, though: when I first heard this entry… don’t know why, but it just reminded me of this tune (in some parts, at least): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CngM1RISRWA. The reactions are really mixed amongst ESC fans (either one likes it or hates it), but many think this can do a bottom-5 placing. Can they achieve a suprisingly good result?
And at last – the only finalist entry that knows their running order number: the host country…
The host country is going alternative this year: The Makemakes (members: Dominic “Dodo” Muhrer, Markus Christ and Florian Meindl) surely will do their best with their retro-influenced power ballad “I am yours”. This is surely my kind of ballad, musically-wise, giving me that wonderful retro vibe that goes straight from the heart (in this case, it also gives me a kind of feeling I get from The Beatles‘ ballads from their last two or three original albums) with well planned modern arrangements. The lyrics may be simple declaration of love, but it’s the vocal delivery that wins me over. Although it doesn’t have the most wonderful response from ESC fans, I think this could do well if the performance is memorable enough. Do they have a chance in reaching a great placing this year as this year’s host country?
And that’s all concerning ESC 2015‘s songs, folks… I now wish good luck to all the participating countries and may the best song win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest edition