Eurovision 2019: A morally corrupt final for a morally corrupt country

18 May

eurovision-2019-logo

Oh god. The final is here and it’s time for my recap on all of the songs from this years Eurovision. We’ve got rid of a lot of the bad ones so fortunately there are only 26 bad ones left – out of 26.

Now we’re past the semis I can pat myself on the cock and be all smug that I got around 8 out of 10 right for each semi. Not too bad. Some absolute shit got through but, you know what, that makes the final more interesting/diseased.

I mean, there have been some pretty awful things happen in Israel over the years so who’d have thought the very worst thing to occur would be a vocal performance from North Macedonia? And yet, they still qualified. I pray she is as dreadful as she was on Thursday so you can suffer with me.

Now I’ve seen the performance it’s a lot clearer on the big standouts and also the ones that have shat the bed with their staging and now have no chance. I still don’t see Netherlands winning it – but it’s so fucking dull and lifeless maybe that’ll be its stand out moment. Who knows I guess.

Here’s my recap for you to follow along while you watch Saturday’s final.

THE FUCKING FINAL

1. MALTA: Michela – Chameleon
Malta have really brought it this year. This is hugely listenable, modern sounding, and does all it can to be a contender. While the video of the song is lovely the staging for the Eurovision show is NUL POINTS. I can’t believe it is opening the show. It’s very Eurovision – will get points at least but fade away I reckon.

Final thoughts: Last year it was Netta with those golden cats. I still hope this year it’s Michela with chameleons!

2. ALBANIA: Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju tokës
This is absolute nonsense that fails to come to life. Long held notes over a familiar arrangement. I’m sure I could go re-listen to failed songs from the last ten years of Eurovision and a song that sounded like this would be there.

Final thoughts: You won’t remember this by the end. Just like you don’t really believe there is a country called Albania. 

3. CZECH REPUBLIC: Lake Malawi – Friend Of A Friend
I hate how that is a cowbell on the song but he’s playing a different drum live. That said, it is upbeat and pleasant. Some would say smug and they would be right. Ticks all the boxes for pop perfection – and it seems to be about fucking a 13-year-old. In the video he even goes to jail. Hell yes.

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And the winner for Most Punchable Face goes to… THIS CUNT

Final thoughts: Like Donald Trump, this comes too early. This could have done well if it was on later but it’s too soon in the order. Especially now the show starts with Malta and her chameleons.

4. GERMANY: S!sters – Sister
A duet that goes nowhere, symbolised by them revolving around on a stage where every direction leads them back to the beginning. I assume they change that for the Eurovision stage but, either way, it’ll still be two midgets shrieking “SISTERS” at each other for three fucking minutes. The song is all shades of awful, like the choice between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May – you just want both to die.

Final thoughts: Pretty unfair for the Germans to inflict this kind of trauma on the folk of Israel. 

5. RUSSIA: Sergey Lazarev – Scream
It’s okay I guess. Nicely staged with those cool mirrors and screens. Mostly listenable and he seems quite a happy kinda guy for a white supremacist with a backyard full of corpses.

Final thoughts: The chorus is “they scream”. That’s literally Putin’s cum cry when watching gay people be tortured to death.

6. DENMARK: Leonora – Love Is Forever
Her stare is legit terrifying. You can’t trust someone who looks at you that way. The way she says “love is forever” really should scare you. In her basement are around forty men in cages, all chained to each other, that she milks on a weekly basis so she can bathe in their “love”.

Final thoughts: So salty.

7. SAN MARINO: Serhat – Say Na Na Na
Oh yes. This is a fucking laugh. It’s as if Leonard Cohen did gay disco. He can’t sing. He’s absolutely useless. Yet he’s still here doing his thing. It’s pretty much a metaphor for all old white men.

Serhat looks like he argues with women about the Me Too movement online. I hope that beast from Denmark catches him.

Final thoughts:  Are San Marino going to win? Say NA NA NA.

8. NORTH MACEDONIA: Tamara Todevska – Proud
Kinda cool that they are North Macedonia now. Upset the UK is not listed as the Un-United Kingdom. Proud is an echo of Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful except so splutteringly devoid of worth I feel my life has lost 2% of its meaning just from being subjected to it. A betrayal to anyone on this Earth who is still alive and a curse on those who can feel emotion.

Final thoughts: Three minutes that last forever, like that time you filled a toilet roll tube up with broken glass and fucked it.

9. SWEDEN: John Lundvik – Too Late For Love
Considering he is performing under a giant sunbed that can’t be good for his skin. It’s a standard electro pop banger from Sweden much like their last couple of entries. I’m a sucker for them so immediately biased. Is it as strong as previous years? Not at all, but the soul backing singers really ensure this song is punching above its weight.

Final thoughts: Anything less than top 5 is failure.

10. SLOVENIA: Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl – Sebi
The song you’d put on a playlist for your ex-wife who’s in a coma and you’re trying to ensure she never wakes up again. The empty electro music you’d hear in a high-end hotel played softly over the speakers during their breakfast service.

She also doesn’t have enough face to fit on all of her features.

Final thoughts: That pissy drum beat can fuck right off. Any EU trade deal the UK agrees should include a clause that states these two are thrown off a cliff.

11. CYPRUS: Tamta – Replay
Decent enough. A pop song from the early 00s that’s not a hundred miles away from Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You. Chorus is a let-down as the melody just plays on a thicker sounding instrument. “You need my love on replay” she squawks in a vocoded flat emotionless voice, almost as if I’m watching this video on Pornhub and her dead eyes are staring back at me with that infamous haunting look of desperation for attention. No moneyshot though.

Final thoughts: It’s solid enough but a shame no crescendo.

12. NETHERLANDS: Duncan Lawrence – Arcade
Netherlands have sucked in Eurovision for a while now. Maybe the last 100 years. Luckily this is not Waylon from last year. Instead it’s a song devoid of passion or any real joy.  It’s the music that played in the elevators of the Twin Towers. I can feel my arteries hardening listening to this. Like the way Rutger Hauer’s replicant starts to slow down at the end of Blade Runner, I need to do something violent to myself in order to stay alive. Excuse me while I sand down my nipples.

Final thoughts: Everyone is worthless. Hope is lost. This is the bookies’ favourite. Kill us all. 

13. GREECE: Katerine Duska – Better Love
That big sounding Florence and the Machine pumping heart that you’ve been secretly waiting for. It’s an odd video so I expected the staging to be fun – it’s not. Instead the staging actually detracts from how good the song is. While I found the song warming and a strong contender against the others this performance won’t cut it.

Final thoughts: Swing and a miss

HALF WAY POINT!

Oh my god there are more of them? By now I kinda feel like the girl at the end of a bukkake video. It’s getting a bit tiresome now and all tastes the same. I’m really just waiting on that one guy who smokes weed or eats asparagus to turn up just to change it up a bit. Please. Let one of these next songs be that guy.

14. ISRAEL: Kobi Marimi – Home
Urgh. What is it about all these fucking automatic finalists entering absolute fucking boring pish? This reminds me, in parts, of the Up There song by Satan on the South Park Movie soundtrack. Except for, you know, not being as good or valuable.

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Satan with his new lover.

Final thoughts: To be clear I am not comparing Israel to Satan. I am comparing Netanyahu to Satan because they are, in fact, the same person. Except Netanyahu bums kids.

15. NORWAY: KEiiNO – Spirit In The Sky
Sorry, you can’t call a song Spirit In The Sky. That title is taken by one of the best songs ever. Why not go all the way and call it Baby One More Time or Smooth Criminal?

Anyway, this is pretty much a meme video like What Does The Fox Say?, only without the stronger melodies that set that apart. It fails to commit to either silly or serious, and hence doesn’t get to where it needs to be. The middle with the daft singing should absolutely slay but I just end up thinking of the bald guy from Aqua.

Final thoughts: I was wrong about this one. It’s fucking hilarious. When it keeps cutting to the bald guy who does his silly singing you just have to laugh. Also: they look HAPPY.  After all this glum shit this will do well because guess who is next…

16. UNITED KINGDOM: Michael Rice – Bigger Than Us
This one is actually pretty good. Compared to the rest of the dross this one is pretty strong. Does that matter though? We are on a hiding to nothing. No chance. No friends. Alone. And all our own fault.

tattoo from a twat

Michael Rice’s new tattoo

Final thoughts: Sure, he looks like an over-inflated pillow that has a drag queen with bad foundation sown onto it but his voice is strong. It doesn’t matter. Between Iceland and Norway we are FUCKED – like our attempt to have the Norway EU deal. Maximum of 15 points for the entire night I reckon.

17. ICELAND: Hatari – Hatrið mun sigra
Let’s not fuck around here. This is a fucking killer of a track. The energy of it all is great. And yes, there are some sexy men in latex and bondage gear too. I love the over-production of his vocal that makes it even more rabid. The contrast between that and the softer chorus is just wonderfully done.

Final thoughts: It’s called Hate Will Prevail. They don’t give a fuck if they win or come last. Gotta love that.

18. ESTONIA: Victor Crone – Storm

<screams>

Avicii has been resurrected.

<screams for all eternity>

Final thoughts: This guy is hot so idiots give him points. He’s usually miles away from the right note when he sings. Still. He’ll do better than the UK.

19. BELARUS: ZENA – Like It
Um. This is actually No Scrubs. The chorus redeems it though, and I like how they just hammer that home by making the entire rest of the song the chorus. It doesn’t quite hit the peak for me – I would have considered overlapping vocals over the end – but meh, it’s decent enough. My only other thought is she’s so goddamn shrieky live. It’s piercing and quite annoying – if the music is loud enough though it should sit better in the mix.

Final thoughts: ‘Is he gonna like it?’ OF COURSE NOT YOU WITCH, TAKE YOUR FINGER OFF HIS PROSTATE

20. AZERBAIJAN: Chingiz – Truth
I like Azerbaijan. They’ve entered loads of good stuff over the years.

The side chain on the verse is absolutely superb, getting me to nod my head like a fucking spazz. Then the chorus comes out of nowhere and is an absolute killer. I like it when the chorus is not only catchy but also something you can say to work colleagues when they ask if you’ve done that report you promised. “Shut up about it!”

Final thoughts: I want this to win. The staging with robots and lasers is awesome but then it has some cheap effects a bit later on. Secretly, I hope a Muslim country wins.

21. FRANCE: Bilal Hassani – Roi
Pretty much a boring ballad like North Macedonia but fuck the song, it’s about Bilal Hassani who is doing the Conchita drag thing. Except without the talent. I mean honestly it’s fucking dreadful and we shouldn’t give him a pass because of it. While it’s kinda fun sending an Arab in a wig over to Israel, the fact remains: Dana International he is not.

He is also preaching about love and respect and all that so I want to drive over his silly little head in a tank.

Final thoughts: He’s so small his Eurovision-week Airbnb is probably the cannon barrel of a 155mm Israeli howitzer.

22. ITALY: Mahmood – Soldi
A much better entry from Italy. Can’t say I totally got it at first but it’s really grown on me. Unfortunately, he appears to have the charisma of a used sanitary towel and the staging has killed it dead. Personally, the grime influences that bleed through in the second verse really make it sparkle.

Final thoughts: The best of the auto-qualifiers for sure but that’s not saying much.

23. SERBIA: Nevena Božović – Kruna
This one doesn’t come close to the beauty of Hungary’s entry (which didn’t even fucking qualify) and the addition of the soft-rock guitar poisons it like a chemotherapy IV drip filled with dog cum.

Final thoughts: Don’t swallow.

24. SWITZERLAND: Luca Hänni – She Got Me
Manages to avoid the pitfall I was expecting and sounds a lot of fun. Can imagine this one getting people on their feet at a club too. I like how it continues to build the chorus successfully each time which makes it more satisfying to listen to. Considering they have all the Jewish gold it would be nice if they won the trophy in Israel.

Final thoughts: This is a fun one but it’s about to be eclipsed by…

25. AUSTRALIA: Kate Miller-Heidke – Zero Gravity
This
. This is the one where, like when Rise Like A Phoenix happened, you went to yourself – “oh, that should obviously fucking win.” Then it did. That is this song this year.

Silly outfit? Silly operatic vocals? Mad as fuck staging? All check. We have a Eurovision competition now! This will do extremely well – not sure if it will win but it will come close. Also her vocals in the video I saw were live and that gives me a lot of faith that she will smash this on stage.

Final thoughts: Just a wonderful performance and song. I’m pretty sure it will win and then we can go to Australia next year. 

26. SPAIN: Miki – La venda
Is it too much to ask for a singer from Spain who combs his hair? Well, like his hair, this one is a fucking mess. It’s like one of those Balkan-influenced gypsy punk ones that were all the rage a few years ago. Except they’ve smoothed the production and sanded the edges off it. I don’t think I could listen to this one again. I said it would come last and then fantastically it is technically last. But I need it to come last in the voting. It is monstrously shit.

Final thoughts: Much like Portugal, Spain are a plague on music in general. They should be stopped at all costs.

SUMMARY

Well I hope the one you despised won and you regret your Saturday evening choices spent with me. For clarity here’s how I want shit to go down:

My personal top 6 in no order:

Azerbaijan
Iceland
Australia
Greece
Switzerland
Sweden

What will probably be top 6 because God is dead:

Netherlands
Serbia
Russia
Estonia
Australia
Sweden

Overall, I’d reckon an each way on Australia will get you some money back.

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Eurovision 2019: Tel Aviv, Just Don’t Tell Your Mum

6 May

eurovision-2019-logoAnother year passes. Pop culture comes and goes. Nothing really changes. We move on to another thing to get outraged about. Brexit doesn’t happen. Trump is still mad as a box of David Icke DVDs. Theresa May in power until the end of time. Jeremy Corbyn too busy making jam to do anything while the world burns. In the end we all get closer to death.

Still, not as close to death as those in Palestine and Israel.

This year I have been busy (changing jobs, buying a flat, making music, washing my disappearing hair) so I’ve not had any time to consider Eurovision existing. It feels like a fucking chore to even bother with it this year. It holds no excitement for me. It’s like the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race now. Tired and only sustained by past glories.

I’ve not bothered with watching rehearsals so it’s all based off the videos/live performances from YouTube so likely to be completely wrong this year.

TL;DR: Azerbaijan to win. Spain to be last.

Anyway. On we go.

SEMI-FINAL ONE

1. CYPRUS: Tamta – Replay
Decent enough. A pop song from the early 00s that’s not a hundred miles away from Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You. Chorus is a let-down as the melody just plays on a thicker sounding instrument. “You need my love on replay” she squawks in a vocoded flat emotionless voice, almost as if I’m watching this video on Pornhub and her dead eyes are staring back at me with that infamous haunting look of desperation for attention. No moneyshot though.

Summary: It’s solid enough and a good starter for the competition. Shame no crescendo.
Final? Yes

2. MONTENEGRO: D mol – Heaven
The great thing about Eurovision is this is the only place where I can hear music that’s dreadful. What gets me here is the absolute lack of creativity in the rhythm section. It’s a squishy bounce that just cuts through the whole song, at odds with the vocals and main melody. Too many vocalists with the same voice really bland it up.

Summary: It goes nowhere and makes me feel very little (Very Little is the name of your penis).
Final? NOPE

3. FINLAND: Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman – Look Away
Hot man in a leather jacket and t-shirt combo. A verse that could be You Keep Me Hanging On by Kim Wilde but isn’t a fraction of a percentage point as good. Real issue for me is he sings it in the same range as the dirty bass line. He should be an octave up. Revolves around a stage trick of a woman drowning in a box.

Summary: LOOK AWAY
Final? NOPE

4. POLAND: Tulia – Fire Of Love (Pali się)
I’m here for this. The riff is killer on the verse. It manages to side-step being a full on folky punk song by just evolving itself into pop in a pleasing way. Again, it doesn’t really go anywhere – I could have done with a guitar solo or something – but hey, it’s still pretty great.

Summary: Favourite one so far. Different to everything else too.
Final? YES

5. SLOVENIA: Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl – Sebi
The song you’d put on a playlist for your ex-wife who’s in a coma and you’re trying to ensure she never wakes up again. The empty electro music you’d hear in a high-end hotel played softly over the speakers during their breakfast service.

She also doesn’t have enough face to fit on all of her features.

Summary: That pissy drum beat can fuck right off
Final? Absolutely not a chance

6. CZECH REPUBLIC: Lake Malawi – Friend Of A Friend
I hate how that is a cowbell on the song but he’s playing a different drum in the video. That said, it is upbeat and pleasant. Some would say smug and they would be right. Ticks all the boxes for pop perfection – and it seems to be about fucking a 13-year-old. In the video he even goes to jail. Hell yes.

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Summary: And the winner for Most Punchable Face goes to… THIS CUNT
Final? Oh yeah

7. HUNGARY: Joci Pápai – Az én apám
Probably the most simple one but with an honest arrangement that lifts it. No electronic drums over its organic instruments or silly modern production flourishes for no reason, and it’s all the better for that. The whistling just tops it off. It’s remarkably beautiful and I feel it hit home inside me even though I don’t know what he’s saying.

Summary: A genuine delight.
Final? Sorry pal. It’s a yes from me but a no from the audience.

8. BELARUS: ZENA – Like It
Um. This is actually No Scrubs. The chorus redeems it though, and I like how they just hammer that home by making the entire rest of the song the chorus. It doesn’t quite hit the peak for me – I would have considered overlapping vocals over the end – but meh, it’s decent enough.

Summary: ‘Is he gonna like it?’ OF COURSE NOT YOU WITCH, TAKE YOUR FINGER OFF HIS PROSTATE
Final? Clearly it will do well. Unfortunately for all involved.

9. SERBIA: Nevena Božović – Kruna
Like Hungary, it’s a stripped back one. Which is to say that Belarus being sandwiched in between them are a dead cert for the final now. This one doesn’t come close to the beauty of Hungary’s entry and the addition of the soft-rock guitar poisons it like a chemotherapy IV drip filled with dog cum.

Summary: Salty.
Final? No

10. BELGIUM: Eliot – Wake Up
Belgium always do well and this just sounds professional and competent. A building arrangement and a vocal that sounds like Bastille. My only concern is that in the video he looks like a corpse reanimated by the Night King. If he’s pish on stage it just won’t work.

Summary: A deserved winner
Final? Yep and possibly win.

11. GEORGIA: Oto Nemsadze – Keep On Going
Imagine if you could zoom into a full stop. Deep and far so it filled your entire world. Imagine the blackness and the silence. That is what this sounds like.

Summary: To be fair, the end is pretty good. Shame everyone will be asleep by then.
Final? Ha. Good one. Wait, you’re serious? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahha.

12. AUSTRALIA: Kate Miller-Heidke – Zero Gravity
Silly outfit? Silly operatic vocals? Mad as fuck staging? All check. We have a Eurovision competition now! This will do extremely well – not sure if it will win but it will come close. Also her vocals in the video I saw were live and that gives me a lot of faith that she will smash this on stage.

Summary: She is literally the fairy on a Christmas tree. How envious all the Eurovision gays must be of that.
Final? So clearly yes.

13. ICELAND: Hatari – Hatrið mun sigra
Let’s not fuck around here. This is a fucking killer of a track. The energy of it all is great. And yes, there are some sexy men in latex and bondage gear too. I love the over-production of his vocal that makes it even more rabid. The contrast between that and the softer chorus is just wonderfully done.

Summary: Fantastic. I just probably don’t want to hear their opinions on politics or women.
Final? Shakes head. I mean the head of my penis. (yes)

14. ESTONIA: Victor Crone – Storm

<screams>

Avicii has been resurrected.

<screams for all eternity>

Summary: Is he saying “the same bad sound”? Only good bit if so.
Final? Please no.

15. PORTUGAL: Conan Osiris – Telemóveis
Oh God. Portugal entries are always SO BAD. I hate them so much. Appreciate you all loved that awful one two years back but you are wrong. This sounds like when your school took you on a trip to some New Age music place and the smelly hippy running it made you all bash shit ethnic instruments together and then nodded appreciatively at the chaos while stroking his unwashed beard. COLON OH-SORE-ARSE.

Summary: At this point I am a-OK with dropping a nuke on Portugal just to wipe out their music forever. Finally me and Israel are on the same page when it comes to dealing with your enemies.
Final: Please god no.

16. GREECE: Katerine Duska – Better Love
That big sounding Florence and the Machine pumping heart that you’ve been secretly waiting for. It’s an odd video so expect the staging to be fun. I found it warming and a strong contender against the others.

Summary: Wonderful stuff.
Final: YES

17. SAN MARINO: Serhat – Say Na Na Na
I’m not going to listen to San Marino this year. The title says not to.

Summary: Say na na na to listening to San Marino
Final: Do they ever get to the final?! Also Serhat looks like he argues with women about the Me Too movement online.

SEMI-FINAL TWO

1. ARMENIA: Srbuk – Walking Out
We start very strong in semi-final two. This is a clear chart topper outside of Eurovision and, while not quite as catchy as it could be, it’s strong enough to get into the final.

Summary: Acupuncture my colon, Batman. I love it.
Final: Yes.

2. IRELAND: Sarah McTernan – 22
Impressive. Impressively bad. Too much depends on her vocal and it’s all a bit samey. It’s underproduced and one note, like playing the panpipes with your butt cheeks. I will put money on this not making the final.

Summary: ‘Which one was this again?’, you’ll say at the end of the show.
Final: Money says it does not.

3. MOLDOVA: Anna Odobescu – Stay
Sometimes the boldest thing you can do is enter a boring ballad into Eurovision. It’s like being the last one to get a go in a gangbang: you’d need to be really special to be remembered. And this one has a two-inch dick and erectile issues.

Summary: Don’t stay.
Final: No.

4. SWITZERLAND: Luca Hänni – She Got Me
Manages to avoid the pitfall I was expecting it and sounds a lot of fun. Can imagine this one getting people on their feet at a club too. I like how it continues to build the chorus successfully each time which makes it more satisfying to listen to. Considering they have all the Jewish gold it would be nice if they won the trophy in Israel.

Summary: Getting rowdy!
Final: Yeppers.

5. LATVIA: Carousel – That Night
Sounds like the soundtrack to a Netflix original or Paul Thomas Anderson film. A country twinge runs through it while carefully avoiding any opportunity to be an enjoyable experience to listen to.

Summary: Hideous and twee, like a ukulele player being tipped head first into a meat grinder.
Final: Not remotely possible.

6. ROMANIA: Ester Peony – On A Sunday
A song that is more focused on the video storytelling than the song itself is never a good sign. It’s too subtle, concentrating on weird sound FX rather than enhancing what’s there. Underneath the goth glam is a basic, unlovable mistake of a song that will die on stage like Ian Cognito. On the positive side, at least the audience will notice.

Summary: It’s rubbish.
Final: No

7. DENMARK: Leonora – Love Is Forever
Her stare is legit terrifying. You can’t trust someone who looks at you that way. The way she says “love is forever” really should scare you. In her basement are around forty men in cages, all chained to each other, that she milks on a weekly basis so she can bathe in their “love”.

Summary: So salty.
Final: Yes because God is dead.

8. SWEDEN: John Lundvik – Too Late For Love
Considering he is performing under a giant sunbed that can’t be good for his skin. It’s a standard electro pop banger from Sweden much like their last couple of entries. I’m a sucker for them so immediately biased. Is it as strong as previous years? Not at all, but I am a large fan of the amount of “WOO”s he does in this. It should win for that reason alone.

Summary: Woo!
Final: Yes and top 10

9. AUSTRIA: PÆNDA – Limits
Death by 1000 cuts. This takes a full minute to even really start. I’d call it underwhelming if I could be bothered to say that many syllables. Sounds like when you’re mixing a song you’ve recorded and for a laugh you turn off most of the layers and think “so this is what it sounds like if I remove all the good bits”.

Summary: she has a tattoo on her shoulder of three stars. That’s basically a review of her life. Out of ten.
Final: Nope nope nope.

10. CROATIA: Roko – The Dream
On the face of it this is a dreadful heap of pig sputum but we must go deeper. This is a Good vs Evil song and that kind of message could land well in Israel. “You dream of love. Angels of God”. It doesn’t mention mass slaughter of people though so that’s a downside.

Summary: Embarrassing and mostly pathetic.
Final: If this gets through I think it will win. I just am not sure it will get through.

11. MALTA: Michela – Chameleon
Scrap what I just wrote. Croatia will get forgotten for this. Malta have really brought it again this year. This is hugely listenable, modern sounding, and does all it can to be a contender.

Summary: Last year it was Netta with those golden cats. I hope this year it’s Michela with chameleons!
Final: A hundred times yes.

12. LITHUANIA: Jurij Veklenko – Run With The Lions
A nice little plinky plonk song which is let down by poor staging. While the chorus is strong his vocals sound wobbly and unsure to me. Won’t take much for this to be the disaster I crave.

Summary: There is absolutely no place in Eurovision for silly high pitched vocals on the verse. Immediately disqualified.
Final: Yes

13. RUSSIA: Sergey Lazarev – Scream
Lovely video. Song is a heap of shit. Fails to arouse any emotion, not least due to the poor English lyrics and one-note chorus. Leaves a bitter taste of wallpaper paste in the mouth.

Summary: I scream
Final: Yes because everyone is terrible.

14. ALBANIA: Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju tokës
Either I am getting tired or the songs in this semi-final are getting progressively worse. This is absolute nonsense that fails to come to life. Long held notes over a familiar arrangement. I’m sure I could go re-listen to failed songs from the last ten years of Eurovision and a song that sounded like this would be there.

Summary: Albania can go fuck themselves
Final: Shit no.

15. NORWAY: KEiiNO – Spirit In The Sky
Sorry, you can’t call a song Spirit In The Sky. That title is taken by one of the best songs ever. Why not go all the way and call it Baby One More Time or Smooth Criminal?

Anyway, this is pretty much a meme video like What Does The Fox Say?, only without the stronger melodies that set that apart. It fails to commit to either silly or serious, and hence doesn’t get to where it needs to be. The middle with the daft low verse should absolutely slay but I just end up thinking of the bald guy from Aqua.

Summary: Decent enough. It just isn’t a contender.
Final? Yes

16. NETHERLANDS: Duncan Lawrence – Arcade
Netherlands have sucked in Eurovision for a while now. Maybe the last 100 years. Luckily this is not Waylon from last year. Instead it’s a song devoid of passion or any real joy. I can feel my arteries hardening listening to this. Like the way Rutger Hauer’s replicant starts to slow down in Blade Runner, I need to do something violent to myself in order to stay alive. Excuse me while I sand down my nipples.

Summary: Music that played in the elevator of the Twin Towers.
Final? Everyone is worthless. Hope is lost. This is the bookies’ favourite. Kill us all.

17. NORTH MACEDONIA: Tamara Todevska – Proud
Kinda cool that they are North Macedonia now. Upset the UK is not listed as the Un-United Kingdom. Proud is an echo of Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful except so splutteringly devoid of worth I feel my life has lost 2% of its meaning just from being subjected to it. A betrayal to anyone on this Earth who is still alive and a curse on those who can feel emotion.

Summary: Three minutes that last forever, like that time you filled a toilet roll tube up with broken glass and fucked it.
Final? No

18. AZERBAIJAN: Chingiz – Truth
I like Azerbaijan. They’ve entered loads of good stuff over the years.

The side chain on the verse is absolutely superb, getting me to nod my head like a fucking spazz. Then the chorus comes out of nowhere and is an absolute killer. I like it when the chorus is not only catchy but also something you can say to work colleagues when they ask if you’ve done that report you promised. “Shut up about it!”

Summary: I hope a Muslim country wins
Final: Top 5

THE FINALISTS

Oh my god there are more of them? By now I kinda feel like the girl at the end of a bukkake video. It’s getting a bit tiresome now and all tastes the same. I’m really just waiting on that one guy who smokes weed or eats asparagus to turn up just to change it up a bit. Please. Let one of these next songs be that guy.

FRANCE: Bilal Hassani – Roi
Pretty much a boring ballad like North Macedonia but fuck the song, it’s about Bilal Hassani who is doing the Conchita drag thing. Except without the talent. I mean honestly it’s fucking dreadful and we shouldn’t give him a pass because of it. While it’s kinda fun sending an Arab in a wig over to Israel, the fact remains: Dana International he is not. Also why does he have He-Man’s haircut?

Summary: He’s so small his Eurovision-week Airbnb is probably the cannon barrel of a 155mm Israeli howitzer.

GERMANY: S!sters – Sister
A duet that goes nowhere, symbolised by them revolving around on a stage where every direction leads them back to the beginning.

Summary: Torture.

ISRAEL: Kobi Marimi – Home
What is it about all these fucking automatic finalists entering absolute fucking boring pish? This reminds me, in parts, of the Up There song by Satan on the South Park Movie soundtrack. Except for, you know, not being as good or valuable.

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Satan with his new lover.

Summary: To be clear I am not comparing Israel to Satan. I am comparing Netanyahu to Satan because they are, in fact, the same person.

ITALY: Mahmood – Soldi
A much better entry from Italy. Can’t say I totally get it, and the staging of this could kill it since he appears to have the charisma of a used sanitary towel in the video. The grime influences that bleed through in the second verse really make it sparkle. Think this one will grow on me and I like it.

Summary: The best of the finalists for sure.

SPAIN: Miki – La venda
Is it too much to ask for a singer from Spain who combs his hair? Well, like his hair, this one is a fucking mess. It’s like one of those Balkan-influenced gypsy punk ones that were all the rage a few years ago. Except they’ve smoothed the production and sanded the edges off it. I don’t think I could listen to this one again. It will come last. I will put £10 on it.

Summary: Much like Portugal, Spain are a plague on music in general. They should be stopped at all costs.

UNITED KINGDOM: Michael Rice – Bigger Than Us
This one is actually pretty good. Compared to the rest of the dross I just heard from the finalists (bar Italy) this one is pretty strong. Does that matter though? We are on a hiding to nothing. No chance. No friends. Alone. And all our own fault.

Summary: 15 points tops for the entire night I reckon.

BUMMARY

Only a handful of good stuff this year. Definitely sifting for diamonds trying to find much of worth here. It’s also possible that some of the best songs will get kicked out in the semi and we’ll be left with the worst final since whichever one your favourite is.

My personal top 8 in no order:

Azerbaijan
Iceland
Belgium
Greece
Switzerland
Hungary
Malta
Italy

Eurovision 2018: Lisbon ALL ARE BORED! Semi Final One

2 May

eurovision-2018-logo

Okay so, with only a week before semi final 1, I’ve left it a little late this year. To be honest, over the last couple of years the standard of songs in Eurovision has gone up significantly and the majority are relatively listenable now. True, many are still ice ages away from being good, but there has been clear progress. I’ve managed to avoid every single entry bar the United Kingdom’s so this will be my first time hearing them. No time for them to grow on me. One listen before I give my terrible, honest opinion. I pride myself on being always wrong.

This year we are in Portugal as the world continues to provide daily proof that its population have lost their tiny little minds. Nearly twelve months ago Portugal entered a rectal prolapse of a song that not one human being in living memory could hum the tune to an hour later. We all woke up the next day in shock at the events of the night before, just as with Trump’s victory or after Brexit. I have a fear in my heart that this year more cuntries will enter the same type of audio syphilis just to ruin it for everyone. I will not be kind on them.

1. AZERBAIJAN: Aisel – X My Heart
Your basic slow verse with 90s dance stabs chorus. Genuinely sounds like many pop songs you’ve heard before stitched together. For me, it reminds me of Fireworks by Katy Perry in places which is never a bad thing. Very impressed with the nonsense lyrics too, which appear to blend past with present references: “I’m tearing down firewalls, I’m stronger than cannonballs”. It’s safe to say they did not spend long on those lyrics. I have heard better from a Russian bot account on Twitter. Or Kanye West.
Rating: ***  A catchy chorus will always do well
Make it to final? 100%

2. ICELAND: Ari Ólafsson – Our Choice
Oh god. Song 2 and it’s the type of song I was dreading. You know that friend you have who’s into issues and they’re spamming your social media feeds with links to good causes, etc? And you know how they never actually do anything like volunteer or go on protests and just sit on Facebook damning everyone from a throne of self-righteousness? Well that’s Iceland’s entry.

It’s all “somehow”“and “we can” but Ari never explains how he’s going to do any of those things, making his entire proposal weak. Bring a solid fucking argument next time you Guardian-reading skidmark.

Halfway through he sings “somehow we could ease the pain”. I found a way. I skipped the song.
Rating: * Make the world a better place? No thanks, you cunt.
Make it to the final? 35%

3. ALBANIA: Eugent Bushpepa – Mall
Albania don’t care about winning Eurovision this year. Or at least the fans who voted for it in the televote didn’t care about winning Eurovision. I respect that. They chose a song that they liked. It’s pleasant enough with some lovely vocals but it’s more of an album track than a single, if I can use that analogy. It’s finished and I can’t remember it now.
Rating: *** Never put pepper in the bush
Make it to the final? No

4. BELGIUM: Sennek – A Matter Of Time
Ooh. The verse really reminds me of Confide In Me by Kylie Minogue. This has got to be a contender, eclipsing the last three. Catchy chorus with a stern, darker ballad verse. This will now all ride on how they stage it.
Rating: ***** She looks like if the female bass player from the Muppets went goth
Make it to the final? Yes

5. CZECH REPUBLIC: Mikolas Josef – Lie To Me
I am fucking living for those horns, queen. While still a few years away from sounding truly modern, it manages to blend that cliché sound from Eurovision with a Justin Timberlake vocal. It’s a slightly whitewashed Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo but, importantly, I just like Lie To Me more.
Rating: ***** He is riding a fucking camel in the video
Make it to the final? 100% and top 3

6. LITHUANIA: Ieva Zasimauskaitė – When We’re Old
When We’re Old? Older than this ballad you mean? Christ, this is as slow as chemotherapy and more poisonous. The only joy to be found here is hearing her sing the word “old” in a way that sounds like the language is being strangled.
Rating: ** When we’re Ouoooooooooouuuuuulld
Make it to the final? 50%

7. ISRAEL: Netta – Toy
Ah. Okay then. It’s Beanie Man, Björk, La Roux and Jessie J wrapped into one. Oh, and a fucking chicken. Words can’t really do this justice. The live performance will make or break this one. It’s kinda hilarious and I would risk an each-way bet on it winning.
Rating: * or ***** 
Make it to the final? 100%

8. BELARUS: Alekseev – Forever
They spunked all their money on a LED suit for the lead guy and couldn’t afford any backing singers or dancers. Song does not suit a “man in front of a screen” staging. It’s missing bolder production. His voice is too deep and muddles with the song. The lack of backing vocals to help him out sinks it. Sure looks pretty though!
Rating: **
Make it to the final? 0%

9. ESTONIA: Elina Nechayeva – La forza
Awesome. This is the first operatic one and I am enthralled. You know, I’m listening to this on the bus as the sun streams down on the only day of summer in Scotland. I am really feeling it. Takes a minute or so to get into gear – like that song in the Fifth Element. This is very lovely and finally not in English so who knows what she’s wailing about. This could be about bumming Scooby Doo for all I care.
Rating: *****
Make it to the final? 100% if she hits all the notes

10. BULGARIA: Equinox – Bones
Noughties electric soul. A slow burn where the climax is just a more layered version of the chorus. This doesn’t make me feel anything. This will fade away unless they can jazz it up on stage.
Rating: ** Bland
Make it to the final? 1%

11. MACEDONIA: Eye Cue – Lost And Found
A solid opening with a Mr Bean clumsy transition into a reggae section. It’s impressively poor and sounds like two things that just do not go together, like Michael Barrymore and pools. Importantly the video highlights how little stage presence they have, so chalk this one down as a disaster. Just watch how she does the same dance on a loop.
Rating: *
Make it to the final? No chance

12. CROATIA: Franka – Crazy
Out of the plethora of songs called Crazy I’d like to nominate this as the worst. Features a tragically weak rap, but it’s the arrangement that flushes it. A trumpet tries to save it but it’s too late and it disappears after a few bars of embarrassment as if the session musician just shrugged and gave up.
Rating: *
Make it to the final? No way

13. AUSTRIA: Cesár Sampson – Nobody But You
Well. Um. It’s. Er. A. Song. It’s fine.
He looks extremely uncomfortable singing in the video. That’s a concern for his live performance.
Rating: ***
Make it to the final? This has a chance as last couple of songs have been poor

14. GREECE: Yianna Terzi – Oneiro mou
Love the horn howl in the second verse. Haunting. A middle section that brings to mind Britney Spears’ Toxic. There’s a carefully constructed restraint on the chorus. It gets under my skin. Fuck yes.
Rating: ****
Make it to the final? 100%

15. FINLAND: Saara Aalto – Monsters
One note vocals with a black-on-black stage show. She looks like a black traffic cone doing yoga. There just isn’t enough here. The shanty arpeggiator synth and simple beats need something else to pack a punch. It needs another instrument to bring it all together.
Rating: 0% Dreadful
Make it to the final? No chance

16. ARMENIA: Sevak Khanagyan – Qami
Armenia aiming to be the Madeleine McCann of Eurovision in Portugal.
Rating: * Lost and forgotten
Make it to the final? 0% 

17. SWITZERLAND: ZiBBZ – Stones
I’m in two minds about this one. Cliché as hell but her voice is killer and the chorus gets better each time I hear it. Is that enough? Based on the last couple I think it is.
Rating: ***
Make it to the final? Yes

18. IRELAND: Ryan O’Shaughnessy – Together
A rather delicate love song which if there is enough goodwill left in the room by song 18 should see it sail gently into the final.
Rating: ****
Make it to the final: 99%

19. CYPRUS: Eleni Foureira – Fuego
Dripping with sex this one. Her eyebrows are on point too. It’s impressive that it sounds like it could have come off a mainstream radio station and if it slipped into my Spotify playlist I’d not think anything was wrong. I wouldn’t be like “who the fuck put this shit Eurovision song on my goddamn playlist” like I would with a chunk of the others here.
Rating: *****
Make it to the final: No because she’s not white and a woman: all the things Europeans hate.

Siri, turn this shit off.

END OF PART ONE

Eurovision – Kyiv, Ukraine 2017

28 Apr

eurovision-2017-logo

A lot has changed since last year’s Eurovision: The UK decided to firmly flush itself down the toilet, Donald Trump promoted himself from useless hairless cumrag to powerful useless hairless cumrag and, generally, things are getting worse. In fact the only thing that’s the same is that Russia is the worst place in the world.

So then onto Eurovision 2017. As always this is my first listen to each of the songs. Because the official CD wasn’t out yet when I started writing, though, this time I’ve had to use the Eurovision playlist on YouTube, which means I’ve seen a bit more than I usually do. It also means I’ve probably been influenced a little by the video and performance – I’m looking at you Montenegro and Moldova. You sexy bastards.

SEMI-FINAL 1 – Tuesday May 9th

1. SWEDEN – Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
Considering Sweden still seem to write most of the music in the charts I am surprised with this entry. Nothing as memorable as their usual offerings and it suffers from a lacklustre performance by a beige mannequin in a crap suit. In the Swedish finals I loved how they were all on treadmills – some innovative choreography – assume they will do that in the final too. But the chorus just never pops – probably needs another melody over the final chorus to give it a kick but it’s top 10 kinda stuff still.

Verdict: Poppy banger sung by a Robin Thicke cyborg sex doll clone.

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Look at his motherfreaking EYES

Final: Yes

2. GEORGIA – Tamara Gachechiladze – Keep The Faith
So this one is a song. Helpfully it is called Keep The Faith because aside from a dig at Muslims wearing veils those are the only lyrics. I think the structure is verse-chorus-then chorus to infinity. Although that may be because my brain shut down temporarily to stop me from falling into a boredom coma. There are a lot of problems with the vocal work which does not sit on the song at all. Maybe it will work live, but the balance of her Off-Broadway theatrical vocal versus the syrupy strings just clogs the whole song up like fatty deposits in your arteries before your surprise heart attack.

Verdict: Bland Aid.
Final: No

3. AUSTRALIA – Isaiah – Don’t Come Easy
Obv jokes first: No, I “don’t come easy” when you have awful eyebrows and a shit haircut like that pal. Another ballad but this time it has a very nice arrangement that includes a rather lovely spin on the orchestral hit effect. Builds nicely and doesn’t do anything over the top or pretentious.

Verdict: I just spent two weeks in Australia and it was a much better country than the UK so I’m down for this one.
Final: Yes

4. ALBANIA – Lindita – World
Ah. Someone is kidding me on. Albania isn’t even a country so it can’t even be in this competition.

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See? Albania does not exist.

Verdict: Not a real country so disqualified.
Final: No

5. BELGIUM – Blanche – City Lights
Every year I listen to Belgium’s entries and every year I like them and they never win. This year however I dislike their song. It’s a low beat slice of electronic but with ever-so-slightly annoying drumming and a wondrously pathetic vocal. It’s like watching someone try to blow up a balloon when they don’t have any lungs – utterly hopeless.

Verdict: The sort of laidback emotionless slop you’d play over the video footage of Martin Shkreli gassing himself with exhaust fumes in his garage.
Final: No

6. MONTENEGRO – Slavko Kalezić – Space
YES. This is the kind of delicious homosexual banger I dream of. It’s all shit metaphors for spunking your load everywhere. Crappy brass and funk guitar. Against all these downtempo tracks this one really jumps out. Thank god for the gays. Forget all this politics and horrible shit going on – just bone the fuck out of each other. Love it.

Verdict: If you don’t like it you’re a homophobe who drinks wee-wee cocktails.
Final: Yes

7. FINLAND – Norma John – Blackbird
Blackbird? More like Brown Turd.

Verdict: No.
Final: No

8. AZERBAIJAN – Dihaj – Skeletons
From the start this one shows a lot of promise. It’s a bit of a nothing verse with a powerhouse chorus. Video is very poor and doesn’t manage to raise any emotions so they’ll need to work on that for the show but I’ve got a good feeling on this one. A lot of nice layering of cool electronic sounds in the background too.

Verdict: A definite contender.
Final: Yes

9. PORTUGAL – Salvador Sobral – Amar pelos dois
Bit harsh of Portugal to enter some homeless dude with Tourette’s. Gave me a right laugh though with his stupid wispy beardy face. Hope he gets a new cardboard box for a home after this.

Verdict: It’s very lovely but I just don’t like and want it to be punished by a 1,000-year nuclear winter.
Final: Yes because it’s “different”

10. GREECE – Demy – This Is Love
Another ballad and this one sounds like it could have been a previous entry from the last 20 years. When it turns into a banger I’m not 100% convinced. It just sounds SO Eurovision – like filling in a paint-by-numbers and failing to feign surprise at the result. And yes, that is me saying this one is rubbish because it sounds too Eurovision and saying Portugal is rubbish because it’s not Eurovision enough. Go eat a bowl of chewy foreskins.

Verdict: SAME.
Final: Yes

11. POLAND – Kasia Moś – Flashlight
Seriously there is a lot of dirge in the first semi-final. I know Eurovision is often formulaic but how many of these songs spend the first minute whimpering then the second minute beefing things up? Unfortunately the second minute of this just sounds like an army marching in jackboots all over her nice song. The video is a poor show too. It feels like someone just barged in on her singing in the shower. That said, the finale has a full string section bashing away with echoes of Puff Daddy’s Come With Me, so there’s that.

Verdict: A few points for effort but not nearly exciting enough.
Final: Yes

12. MOLDOVA – SunStroke Project – Hey Mamma!
It’s that Ed Sheeran Shape Of You xylophone sound. In the video he often looks like a balding James McAvoy which is a little distracting. Oh wait. Did I say his looks were distracting? I mean that ridiculous saxophone is! Haha, that is just incredible cheese. The BEST type of cheese. You’ll love this. Unless you’re a proper fan of Eurovision or something.

Verdict: Sure, it’s dreadful. But a lot of fun. And I’m in a forgiving mood today. Top marks.
Final: OF FUCKING COURSE NOT

13. ICELAND – Svala – Paper
A lovely arrangement of beats, clunks and clanks with a retro chorus. Full of deep synths. It’s got that Robyn feel and definitely could be a grower. Lots of neon and 80s stylings. This is the kind of music I listen to so lovely to see it entered into Eurovision.

Verdict: I would need to see how this is staged but this will get to the final. I like it and I think many others will too.
Final: Yes

14. CZECH REPUBLIC – Martina Bárta – My Turn
*cuts off lips with scissors before attempting to blow the world’s bloodiest raspberry*

Verdict: Absolute rubbish.
Final: No

15. CYPRUS – Hovig – Gravity
Great hook on this one. Hammers home the chorus a lot which is always a winner in my book. You’ve got three minutes – milk it my boy. The only thing that alarmed me was thinking that if Peter Andre ever spunked his mess up Olly Murs’ fallopian tubes then the resulting offspring would look like Hovig.

Verdict: Again, there is no way this will win but I am a huge fan of it. I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope it does well.
Final: Yes

16. ARMENIA – Artsvik – Fly With Me
First you trick me with nonsense countries like Albania and now you try this? Nope. Not buying it. Armenia is not a real country either. You can’t trick me.

Verdict: The last thirty seconds sounds like someone sped up a Quentin Tarantino film.
Final: No

17. SLOVENIA – Omar Naber – On My Way
Did you ask for another boring ballad? Well you aren’t going to get it here. Starts slow then comes in strong with a massive chorus. The only distraction for me is a bleep that sounds like someone getting an error message on their computer – maybe the producer hates the song and was trying to delete it?

Verdict: Strong throughout and could be the powerhouse song of the finals.
Final: Yes

18. LATVIA – Triana Park – Line
Hmm. It’s just a standard dance song with all the cheesy and necessary synth arpeggiators doing what you’ve heard synth arpeggiators do a thousand times before. While it’s absolutely fine, I just don’t hear a strong enough vocal to win Eurovision. She basically just repeats the same line over and over and then it just fades out. No crescendo or anything. Blatantly an edit of a five minute long version. That drummer is so out of time in the video too – whoever edited it was clearly blind.

Verdict: So pointless the only benefit in its existance is knowing it will be a Pointless answer one day
Final: No

SEMI-FINAL 2 – 11th May

1. SERBIA – Tijana Bogićević – In Too Deep
Oh my. This isn’t really my type of song but it’s very nicely done. A lovely hook, strong vocals, loads going on with lots of changes and a middle section that absolutely sparkles. Genuinely whaps out its gigantic penis and slaps the other entries in the face. Minor criticism is that the vocals are way too loud on the video mix but that won’t be a problem by finals time.

Verdict: I think this could win.
Final: Oh yes.

2. AUSTRIA – Nathan Trent – Running On Air
Sure, okay. It’s a bit different to the others but I can’t hear anything other than a poor boyband b-side from the 1990s. Just a jangly guitar and overly cheery vocals. For someone as hateful as myself positivity triggers me and I am offended.

Verdict: Looks like a grown up Billy Elliot without the success.
Final: Nah

3. RUSSIA – Yulia Samoylova – Flame Is Burning
Flame is burning? Don’t you mean democracy? Or maybe you mean gays in Chechen concentration camps are burning? Not as catchy I suppose.

Verdict: Guilty.
Final: Withdrawn

4. MACEDONIA – Jana Burčeska – Dance Alone
At the start I was already to praise it cos I am down with these funky songs. But then the chorus happens and that’s the real problem. The chorus just isn’t as good as the verse. Not very catchy and just a bit of a “oh well”.

Hmm. My mind just wandered there for a bit while it was on. I was thinking of other stuff. Yeah, I don’t think this is very good at all.

Verdict: It just blends into the background. Minimal impact. Zero chance.
Final: No

5. MALTA – Claudia Faniello – Breathlessly
If I look up the odds and this one is in the top 10 I will be very disappointed in the world. Oh wait, I am disappointed in the world. It’s a total hodgepodge of Meat Loaf ballad cliches that just doesn’t commit itself. It needs a soft rock guitar solo over the end but instead it just goes out with a whimper.

Verdict: Emptier than Mick Jagger’s balls after a world tour.
Final: Yes because you people are dreadful

6. ROMANIA – Ilinca feat. Alex Florea – Yodel It!
OH YES. THIS IS THE EUROVISION YOU WANTED. A white guy with cornrows rapping while a short-skirted dirty blonde does ridiculous/fantastic/horrendous yodelling. Her vocals in parts are miles away from notes that you would consider tuneful and I can only hope it’s as disastrous as this in the semi-finals and hopefully the final.

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Verdict: The culmination of middle-aged people sitting around nodding murmuring “yes, this is what is cool. We shall dominate them with this song”.
Final: I can only dream.

7. NETHERLANDS – O’G3NE – Lights And Shadows
Holland always do well and coming after the previous skidmark of a song should help it out a lot. It even features a silly guitar solo and ticks all the tropes required – key changes, acapella sections, etc.

Verdict: The video is a crushing bore so with a real stage presence this could do well. I would like a few more non-ballads though.
Final: Yes

8. HUNGARY – Joci Pápai – Origo
Apart from it sounding like he doesn’t know the words and is just making it up on the spot this one is lovely. Some great hooks and the video is very smart. The irony being that if I want to sing along with the very nice chorus I can’t and I have to make them up as I don’t speak foreign.

Verdict: Surprising even me, this is my favourite one. I imagine I may wake up tomorrow and hate it but right now, after listening to all this shit, I love it.
Final: Yes

9. DENMARK – Anja Nissen – Where I Am
Ah, back to sewage sludge. Achieves nothing. Lots of loud operatic vocals if you like that sort of thing. I am not an imbecile so of course I don’t. The kind of music people who have the worst taste in music listen to.

Verdict: Not even remotely worth acknowledging.
Final: No

10. IRELAND – Brendan Murray – Dying To Try
This is the same song as Denmark, Netherlands etc., just with different lyrics.

Verdict: Torturous.
Final: Not a fucking chance

11. SAN MARINO – Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson – Spirit Of The Night
If you put together an EP of all the songs Valentina Monetta has sung at Eurovision (this is her fourth) you would have a bunch of loser songs. This has a bit more going for it. It being a duet at least makes it different and it’s got a funky disco vibe and a fun squelchy bass. There is a pointless key change that I really could have done without and an acappella bit that the Netherlands did better but the main issue is that it just doesn’t pound hard enough.

Verdict: Just too tepid.
Final: A hesitant yes.

12. CROATIA – Jacques Houdek – My Friend
Spoken word klaxon! And then you see his face and he looks like if you buzzcut your scrotum then tasered your wilted member. Then Pavarotti turns up to do some opera singing. Croatia treating the competition like it’s the goddamn UN and they’re fundraising for something. I guess Ukraine did that last year and it worked.

Verdict: There isn’t actually a song here.
Final: Please god no.

13. NORWAY – JOWST feat. Aleksander Walmann – Grab The Moment
They seem to have MF DOOM on the decks. Wait…three sets of decks? What madness is this? A lovely sidechain synth and fun sampling work. The middle is especially good and takes us into a very catchy finale. I just wish the singer had a bit more going on. He’s basically a chunk of wood wearing a pleasant hat.

Verdict: If I heard this on the radio I’d really like this so I think this one will do well. I love the light-up Friday The 13th masks too.
Final: Yes

14. SWITZERLAND – Timebelle – Apollo
While the video seems to be set at Dignitas it’s a shame the song wasn’t sent there before being released.

Verdict: I may change my opinion on this one. By the end I was kinda into the chorus.
Final: Yes No

15. BELARUS – NAVI – Story Of My Life
You can’t be called Navi. It should just be this for 3 minutes. The end is absolutely the worst piece of music I have heard since 1972 and I wasn’t even born then.

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Verdict: If Mumford & Sons and The Corrs ever wound up at a sex orgy where everyone took ketamine instead of Viagra so they were weak and flaccid this would be the song they wrote.
Final: Yes because you hate all that is good in the world

16. BULGARIA – Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess
Sorry folks. I have been influenced by the video. I found it really well shot and wonderfully visual and that got me into the song. I think on a stage this might be too dull but with the video it’s fantastic and while a little pretentious I am 100% okay with it.

Verdict: A triumph.
Final: Yes

17. LITHUANIA – Fusedmarc – Rain Of Revolution
Oh go and boil your arse. If Bulgaria is a beautiful mess then this is a not-been-to-the-toilet-all-day splattery mess. I assume the light show has some kind of subliminal message that convinced easily-led fools to vote for it. There is an outside chance that this one is actually good but her Gremlin-like gurning and hair-on-fire-esque flailing is too distracting.

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Spot the difference. You can’t. There are none.

Verdict: Watery arse biscuits.
Final: Yes

18. ESTONIA – Koit Toome & Laura – Verona
Here we are folks. The middle of the road song. Not a snippet of a chance of winning. Doubt it will qualify. The way he looks at the floor at the end of each line really accentuates how BORING the song is when the words stop for a few bars as nothing is going on. It gets going a little but there really isn’t much here.

Verdict: PUDGY FACE.
Final: No

19. ISRAEL – Imri Ziv – I Feel Alive
Oh. This is probably the winner. An absolute crowd pleaser of a song that is thoroughly enjoyable. Filled with the right amount of cheese and party-going joy that is infectious. Can’t see this not doing extremely well.

Verdict: Would.
Final: And win I’d say.

FINALISTS

FRANCE – Alma – Requiem
Haven’t they entered this before? Sounds like sitting on the kerb watching a broken Renault Clio crawl past.

Verdict: Full review pending election results.

GERMANY – Levina – Perfect Life
She’s really taken that asymmetrical haircut to the limit. Looks like Kristen Stewart dressed as Worzel Gummidge. Still, I’m sure us lesbians will enjoy it. Again, going for that synth ballad and it’s nice enough.

Verdict: Not a contender.

ITALY – Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s Karma
Oh great. An Italian Nickelback. Ah, that’s not fair. They are having fun and the song is feel-good with the correct dosage of silliness. Really lovely arrangement throughout and that OMMM ending makes me think of Red Dwarf’s Smeg and the Heads so full marks there.

Verdict: This will probably win.

SPAIN – Manel Navarro – Do It For Your Lover

OH, GO GOBBLE YOUR MOTHER’S GONADS

UKRAINE – O.Torvald – Time
Post-apocalyptic fun times. Cool for Ukraine to just throw in a solid rock song cos they knew they were in the final regardless. Love how they have a countdown carved into their chests. Is that how long they have before Russia invades?

That last minute though! It goes completely rifftastic. Haha, it’s great to see a country honestly not give a fuck. Great song, poor ending.

Verdict: The only rock song in the entire competition? Some countries will unload their full 12 points onto this bitch.

UNITED KINGDOM – Lucie Jones – Never Give Up On You
Gah, even though I live in hope that we can enter a Scottish entry in the future when all this EU/Brexit shit has sorted itself out, I’m a huge fan of this song. I love her voice and am fully prepared for it to get no points as penalty for political retribution. But I don’t care. It is one of the best songs we’ve ever entered.

Verdict: Anarchy in the UK.

SUMMARY

And there we go – another year’s Eurovision songs professionally reviewed and not half-arsed at all. I will now look at the odds and betting to see how thoroughly wrong I am compared to the market and then still put all my money on Israel.

Laterz.

Lisbon: Eurovision 2018 – The Reviews

12 May

This is my eighth or ninth year of blogging about Eurovision. That makes both of us a) old and b) a waste of life. I have to say that I’m a fan of more than a fair share of songs this year and the way the running order has fallen may well mean a complete outsider wins. A lot of the favourites are all clumped together at the end meaning that the weirdness of Israel may get nullified in the surrounding chaos.

I’ve revisited my semi final reviews as now I have seen the performances and the songs have had a chance to grow on me.

Here’s a run down you absolute spunktrumpet:

1. UKRAINE: Mélovin – Under The Ladder
It is a shame this is on first because it’s one of the best in the competition and now it has no chance of winning. I’ve got a cheeky each way at 101-1 but doubt it’ll even make it to fourth. You need to realise just how bad some of the songs are in Eurovison this year for this one to have a true impact. Oh well, it has a great pre chorus and a chorus? The song is really spoiling us! Even the verse held my attention too. Vocals could be a bit ropey but a piano and a staircase on fire is the kind of gimmick I can celebrate.

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Melovin also played Gob in Arrested Development. He is also a magician.

Rating: ***** Under The Iron Curtain

2. SPAIN: Amaia & Alfred – Tu canción
A duet by stroke victims. Sloppy ooze like the final spurts of a severed penis. This is the exact sort of snot that Portugal won with and I pray to my god Satan that this finishes with nul points. And their plane home crashes.
Rating: EXPLOSIONS

3. SLOVENIA: Lea Sirk – Hvala, ne!
Ah, pink hair means despair and the dancers have hot pants so that’s something. It’s quite a subtle chorus based on a single hook. The Portugal win seems to have opened the door to boring, laid-back choruses. It’s like someone gave Eurovision a terminal disease. I do find this more interesting the more I hear it but being third basically kills its chances. Like marrying your partner from high school – it’s fucking doomed.
Rating: ***

4. LITHUANIA: Ieva Zasimauskaitė – When We’re Old
When We’re Old? Older than this ballad you mean? Christ, this is as slow as chemotherapy and more poisonous. The only joy to be found here is hearing her sing the word “old” in a way that sounds like the language is being strangled. Ironically, this hasn’t got better with age and for me this is the worst song in the competition bar Norway. It will probably win.

Death pathway

They should be called Lith-euthanasia.

Rating: * When we’re Ouoooooooooouuuuuulld

5. AUSTRIA: Cesár Sampson – Nobody But You
A real surprise this one. I absolutely loved him in the semi final. He runs around the stage, the chorus is kicking, he commands the whole performance. Being on in the first half is a problem but after that scrotal polyp from Lithuania you never know.
Rating: ***

6. ESTONIA: Elina Nechayeva – La forza
Awesome. This is the first operatic one and I am enthralled. You know, I’m listening to this on the bus as the sun streams down on the only day of summer in Scotland. I am really feeling it. Takes a minute or so to get into gear – like that song in the Fifth Element. This is very lovely and finally not in English so who knows what she’s wailing about. This could be about bumming Scooby Doo for all I care.
Rating: *****

7. NORWAY: Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write A Song
This makes me want to hurt somebody. A crowd pleasing faux-disco disease. This is the kind of song that would ooze out of the infected anal tract of one of those [Insert Country Here]’s Got Talent shows. On the flip side, it’s very catchy and has a fun violin and melody. While my hateful black heart may be immediately triggered by the “boogie woogie woogie” section, many of the rest of you will eat it up with your Sugar Puffs. For me, too smug and condescending. For you, pure joy. Tomato tomayto.
Rating: * FUCK NORWAY

8. POOTUGAL: Cláudia Pascoal feat. Isaura – O jardim
I would rather eat a horse’s jizzing cock than hear anymore of this. The splurge of thick salty discharge would solidify into a jelly in my warm throat and clog up my nose and ears, dribbling out of all orifices. If this wins I will join ISIS.
Rating: DEATH TO THE WEST

9. UGAY: SuRie – Storm
Slow piano then shanty-pop synth chorus. Not particularly entertaining and even more tiresome after hearing it a few times. I wish the chorus really elevated near the end, maybe a solo or crazy synth to give it a boost. The arrangement otherwise is nice, delivering multiple choruses so it gets stuck in your head, and I like SuRie too.
Rating: *** Are you still reading this? Jeremy Corbyn is a cunt.

10. SERBIA: Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – Nova deca
The opening is hopeless with Dr Who’s reanimated corpse on flute. Then it gets better in the verse. The drums pick up and a hint of 90s synth threatens. Once again there is no chorus. I like the nananana moments but it’s not exactly a strong one. Incredibly this got into the final and is a walking dead entry that’s easy to piss on. There’s more chance of you being put in a death camp for your Facebook posts once far-right parties seize control of our countries than this doing well.
Rating: * Pretty sure if there were any children in the audience that flute guy would captivate them and lead them back to his hotel room.

11. SPERMANY: Michael Schulte – You Let Me Walk Alone
Basically that ginger-pubed rascal Ed Sheeran except dressed up like Chad Kroeger from Metallica or whatever gayrock band he’s in. After Serbia it may actually have some cut-through. Really though it’s just a pop song stuck in a time that music and style forgot. You know, like all German music.
Rating: * Terminal flatulence

12. ALBANIA: Eugent Bushpepa – Mall
Albania don’t care about winning Eurovision this year. Or at least the fans who voted for it in the televote didn’t care about winning Eurovision. I respect that. They chose a song that they liked. It’s pleasant enough with some lovely vocals but it’s more of an album track than a single, if I can use that analogy. It’s finished and I can’t remember it now.
Rating: *** Never put pepper in the bush

13. SMELLY FRANCE: Madame Monsieur – Mercy
Having failed French at school I’m not sure what she’s on about but it sounds like the chorus is “My name is thank you”. Maybe she means Mercy rather than the translation. Nope, no idea either. I love the spirit of this if that’s a thing. I like the coconut plinks throughout, the sad wah-wah after she says “mercy” is kinda hilarious, and I absolute adore the final third with the “mercy mercy” refrain. It’s France so it’s absolute cobblers and thoroughly French but goddamn them, I like it.
Rating: ***** The first time I’ve ever liked a French entry ever. Kill me.

14. CZECH REPUBLIC: Mikolas Josef – Lie To Me

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Mikolas at the alt-right rally in Charlottesville

I am fucking living for those horns, queen. While still a few years away from sounding truly modern, it manages to blend that cliché sound from Eurovision with a Justin Timberlake vocal. It’s a slightly whitewashed Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo but, importantly, I just like Lie To Me more.
Rating: ***** Yeah, yeah I want to punch him too but then maybe sleep with him

15. DENMARK: Rasmussen – Higher Ground
Dark synth with tribal drums? I am down for this. The performance I am watching is entirely in blue with a wind machine. It does not help the song. Away from that, just listening on its own, I kinda like it.
Rating: *** Mid table and impactless – which is also what St Peter will say to you after your death

16. AUSTRALIA: Jessica Mauboy – We Got Love

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Jessica Mauboy (pictured here in Australia)

I was wrong. This is not a void. Her semi final vocal really lit this up and the song hit me. Whether or not she can do it again is another matter, but I no longer think this is as worthless as a Donald Trump policy.
Rating: ****

17. FINLAND: Saara Aalto – Monsters
One note vocals with backing dancers dressed in high fashion Ghostbusters bondage gear. Folk are calling this a ‘banger’ but the only time I’d use that term is if I was referring to Saara as a used car. There just isn’t enough here. The shanty arpeggiator synth and simple beats need something else to pack a punch. It needs another instrument to bring it all together. Being wrong is awesome has never felt so right. Finland are going home with nothing.
Rating: * Dreadful

18. BULGARIA: Equinox – Bones
Noughties electric soul. A slow burn where the climax is just a more layered version of the chorus. This doesn’t make me feel anything but they have brightened it up on stage. She certainly looks like she has watched too many episodes of the Mighty Boosh.
Rating: ** Bland

19. MOLDOVA: DoReDos – My Lucky Day
Their new stage show makes this one work so much better. It looks like a 70s gameshow with each of them dressed in bold colours. The song is a nice slice of honkstep. Moldova are carving themselves out as a fun little country through Eurovision. Last year’s 3rd place with Hey Mamma and that awesome guy on sax was a true standout and should have won over the cancerous Portugal entry.  This year it’s not quite as good but just as good-natured and fun. The bastards.
Rating: *** Thanks for the horns but it’s no Hey Mamma

20. SWEDEN: Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
Oh finally. A goddamn song. Lovely performance. Funk bass, thoughtful arrangement. Just needs a stronger chorus. It’s lovely but meaningless. Luckily the stageshow and lighting elevates it to more than it should be – in the same way plastic surgery keeps Cher’s face together.
Rating: **** 

21. HUNGARY: AWS – Viszlát nyár
Dial-in rock cliches. Reminds me of the Backstreet Boys doing metal. Or PJ and Duncan (RIP). The vocals sound strained when he’s singing the first bit but it’s kinda funny when he just fucks it out the window and just screeches for the rest of the song. If you take a step back from the amusement of this being in Eurovision and compare it with some metal songs you actually like, I think you’ll find that this is an absolute embarrassment. That said, I hope the guitars are so loud everyone bleeds.
Rating: ****

22. ISRAEL: Netta – Toy
Ah. Okay then. It’s Beanie Man, Björk, La Roux and Jessie J wrapped into one. Oh, and a fucking chicken. Words can’t really do this justice. It’s kinda hilarious but after Hungary, and some of the other favourites, I wonder if this will have less impact. Still would risk an each-way bet on it. As you know, if you don’t like Israel you are as Anti-Semitic as the Labour party.

Netta

Netta outside of the competition

Rating: * or *****

23. NETHERLANDS: Waylon – Outlaw In ‘Em
So the staging of this is problematic. Aside from seemingly being an entry by a pro-gun far-right party, the sight of a white man standing head and shoulders above his black colleagues was not a good idea. This is what I see:

Waylon-Eurovision

Waylon – as seen by non-racist people

Rating: ** [Whispers:] It’s about being bummed by Geert Wilders

24. IRELAND: Ryan O’Shaughnessy – Together
A rather delicate love song which if there is enough goodwill left in the room by song 24 should see it sail gently into everyone’s hearts. I think it’s really touching and as homophobic China cut this one out of their broadcast I like it even more. It’s weird China have a problem with gays when they manufacture all our butt plugs, eh?
Rating: **** FUCK CHINA & CAPITALISM

25. CYPRUS: Eleni Foureira – Fuego
Dripping with sex this one. Her eyebrows are on point too. It’s impressive that it sounds like it could have come off a mainstream radio station and if it slipped into my Spotify playlist I’d not think anything was wrong. I wouldn’t be like “who the fuck put this shit Eurovision song on my goddamn playlist” like I would with a chunk of the others here. This is one of the best songs and a glorious mix of Beyonce and Shakira. Obviously it’s overly sexualised and in some ways exploiting the male gaze in order to win but, hey, you do you girl.
Rating: ***** Saved me three minutes on Pornhub.

26. ITALY: Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro – Non mi avete fatto niente

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Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro perform for Italy

TERRORIST KLAXON! Lyrically it’s as earnest as the Manic Street Preachers but probably a little better. I’m slightly uneasy about referencing all the terrorist attacks but including Cairo makes it less Western-centric. Iceland got a good kicking for entering a “heal the world” song so I’m in two minds about how this will play out. Because it’s last it will either be ignored or absolutely storm the competition.
Rating: ***

SUMMARY

If you’ve now finished Eurovision you are probably bleeding from several unintended places and in a pit of despair. To soothe you through it, now you have to sit through the voting. I recommend you do a shot of cyanide for every point Lithuania score.

7 what I fink should win
Cyprus
Ukraine
Czech Republic
Estonia
Austria
Ireland
France (!)

7 what I fink will win because fuck me
Lithuania
Norway
Italy
Finland
Germany
Portugal
Spain

Eurovision 2018: Lisbon ALL ARE BORED! Semi Final Two

8 May

The best thing about Semi Final 2 is that you don’t need to watch it. To say that it’s inferior to Semi Final 1 is a given. Anything here that’s okay or good will make it to the final. There is no reason to watch this unless you’re really into self-flagellation. But you know me, so on we go.

1. NORWAY: Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write A Song
This makes me want to hurt somebody. A crowd pleasing faux-disco disease. This is the kind of song that would ooze out of the infected anal tract of one of those [Insert Country Here]’s Got Talent shows.

On the flip side, it’s very catchy and has a fun violin and melody. While my hateful black heart may be immediately triggered by the “boogie woogie woogie” section, many of the rest of you will eat it up with your Sugar Puffs. For me, too smug and condescending. For you, pure joy. Tomato tomayto.

Rating: * FUCK NORWAY
Make it to the final? 100%

2. ROMANIA: The Humans – Goodbye
After the opening featuring masked James Cordens as Michael Myers, we’re underwhelmed by tepid rock music with the delightful possibility of a wobbly “goodbye” chorus before the soft guitars come in. Their logo is Comic Sans on kidney dialysis.

Rating: * Goodbye humans
Make it to the final? 25%

3. SERBIA: Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – Nova deca
The opening is hopeless with Dr Who’s reanimated corpse on flute. Then it gets better in the verse. The drums pick up and a hint of 90s synth threatens. Once again there is no chorus. I like the nananana moments but it’s not exactly a strong one.

Rating: ** Dr Poo
Make it to the final? 50%

4. SAN MARINO: Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening – Who We Are
Oh lordy. San Marino must have already entered their entire population into Eurovision one way or another and ran out of people. This year they’ve had to enter some robots. It’s a gimmick for sure and I’ll be interested to see if they make it into the semi-final performance. I hope she wears those gigantic pants too. On the song alone I think it’s okay but I shake my head sadly at the white woman rapper moment. That was a mistake.

Rating: ** Does not compute
Make it to the final? 75%

5. DENMARK: Rasmussen – Higher Ground
Dark synth with tribal drums? I am down for this. The performance I am watching is entirely in blue with a wind machine. It does not help the song. Away from that, just listening on its own, I kinda like it.

Rating: *** Best one yet
Make it to the final? 80%

6. RUSSIA: Julia Samoylova – I Won’t Break
Genuinely looks like a mail order bride that slits your throat in your sleep. It appears Russia invented Skynet first and this is their Terminator. Bland in a way that lingers – like a bad quiche. That said, the chorus starts to gain traction by the end but maybe a little too late.

Rating: *** Vote for us or we invade
Make it to the final? 100%

7. MOLDOVA: DoReDos – My Lucky Day
When mirrors are more watchable than your main performers you picked the wrong singers. A nice slice of gypsy honkstep but why are they all wearing suits? Ruins the aesthetic. Not too much difference between chorus and verse so hope they work on its dynamics before the semi final.

Rating: *** Thanks for the horns but it’s no Hey Mamma
Make it to the final? 80%

8. NETHERLANDS: Waylon – Outlaw In ‘Em
Gives a cheer. Finally! Something different! I will be fascinated to see the staging of this one. The version I saw was just him sitting down with a guitar which didn’t exactly make it shine. Good to see a pro-gun far-right party enter Eurovision.

Rating: **** [Whispers:] It’s about being bummed by Geert Wilders
Make it to the final? 100%

9. AUSTRALIA: Jessica Mauboy – We Got Love
A void. A chasm of blandness.

Rating: * 
Make it to the final? 50%

10. GEORGIA: Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao – For You
They all look very dapper, like a photoshoot with key alt-right leaders. This is the poisonous sickness that won last year. I feel my grip on life deteriorating. I can’t be helped.

Rating: NO – Let’s just kill everyone
Make it to the final? 99% because fuck me

11. POLAND: Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer – Light Me Up
This is a bad performance. The video I have of this is just him breaking away from singing the song to get the audience to sing it. I need to hear the chorus at least once before you can expect me to sing along with it, you chubby bellend. Maybe the song has a chance but there’s too many gaps. Unfocused. Bit more fun with his dancing. People wearing hats should be exterminated.

Rating: **
Make it to the final? Yes

12. MALTA: Christabelle – Taboo
A slow club banger held by a solid vocal. Everything else feels turned down like a karaoke version. That will hopefully be sorted for the semi final. Doesn’t really hit the peak it’s striving for. I kind of liked it?

Rating: ****
Make it to the final? Yes, what the hell.

13. HUNGARY: AWS – Viszlát nyár
Dial-in rock cliches. Reminds me of the Backstreet Boys doing metal. Or PJ and Duncan (RIP). The vocals sound strained when he’s singing the first bit but it’s kinda funny when he just fucks it out the window and just screeches for the rest of the song. Absolutely no chance so I love it. Hope the guitars are so loud everyone bleeds.

Rating: ****
Make it to the final? ARGHGHGHGHHGHGHGHGHG

14. LATVIA: Laura Rizzotto – Funny Girl
I’m kinda done with waiting a fucking minute before the song starts. Latvia have chosen to make us wait four minutes instead. A shame then that the song is only three minutes long.

Rating: * A broken flush on a blocked toilet
Make it to the final? 20%

15. SWEDEN: Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
Oh finally. A goddamn song. Lovely performance. Funk bass, thoughtful arrangement. Just needs a stronger chorus. It’s lovely but meaningless. I would have pushed it further.

Rating: ****
Make it to the final? It’s. Sweden. For. Christs. Sake. 

16. MONTENEGRO: Vanja Radovanović – Inje
Eurovision seems quite anti-chorus this year. This is a flat ballad. The grim reaper of joy in a gold collar.

Rating: *
Make it to the final? 5%

17. SLOVENIA: Lea Sirk – Hvala, ne!
Ah, pink hair means despair and the dancers have hot pants so that’s something. Saved me three minutes on pornhub anyway. It’s another subtle chorus based on a single hook. The Portugal win seems to have opened the door to boring, laid-back choruses. It’s like someone gave Eurovision a terminal disease.

Rating: ***
Make it to the final? 75%

18. UKRAINE: Mélovin – Under The Ladder
That’s it lads. The best song in Semi Final 2. A pre chorus and a chorus? You’re spoiling us! Even the verse held my attention too. Vocals a bit ropey but a piano and lots of fire is the kind of gimmick I can celebrate.

Rating: ***** FUCK RUSSIA
Make it to the final? 100%

Siri, kill me.

Eurovision 2018: The United Kingdom entries.

6 Feb

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A lot has happened since February last year. I’ve been made redundant and given a sack of cash, travelled to Australia and around Europe, covered the Edinburgh Fringe and Film Festival for The Fountain, recorded a new album with Vulnerable and then got a new job doing something I love. So I figured it’s about time I made my life worse by listening to Eurovision songs.

Goldstone ‘I Feel The Love’

Thin beats and a country-tinged vocal laden with jawdroppingly cliche lyrics. The clap on the chorus is louder than the main melody. In all my years reviewing music I’d never found a song that managed to promote the loss of hearing as a benefit. Goldstone have pulled it off. This has absolutely no worth in any way whatsoever. Maybe in an ISIS training camp.

Chance of representing the UK? More than half the UK are idiots so looks probable. About as likely as David Davis having alzheimer’s.

Asanda ‘Legends’

I’m feeling the horn (NOT LIKE THAT) and the beats for the first verse but then the song starts to morph. Brass stabs and clatterly synth burst out with marching drums. I can definitely feel this one doing a bit better than Goldstone but it would have no chance in the actual contest. That said, one of the writers is called Roel Rats who is Roland Rat’s son and that is definitely not a made up fact.

Chance of representing the UK? Yeah, I could see this coming out on top.

RAYA ‘Crazy’

Sigh. The state of popular music today. Again, the verse on this is completely worthless. The chorus lands well it’s tough to judge. A concrete sandwich is tastier after a shit one. I’d like us to enter a song about driving people crazy as Michel Barnier is probably thinking that about us on a hourly basis.

Chance of representing the UK? =sum(isRAYAhot*howlittleclothingshehason)

Liam Tamne ‘Astronaut’

A nicely filtered acoustic guitar sits with Liam’s vocals. Sure, it’s a slow burner but unlike the first three this doesn’t feel as falsely constructed. I like how the chorus just happens without much of a fanfare and its only on the repeat that we get the fuller sound. Yeah, it’s well arranged and a lovely little song. So what the hell is it doing in this competition?! He had a effortlessly punchable face too.

Chance of representing the UK? AstroNOUGHT

Jaz Ellington ‘You’

Haha, Jizz Ellington. Hmm. Great voice but the song is just one of those filler tracks from the album you only like the hit single from. It’s “different” I guess. And I put quote marks around that because I really meant SHITE.

Chance of representing the UK? More chance of Donald Trump being impeached.

SuRie ‘Storm’

Slow piano then shanty-pop synth chorus. Not particularly entertaining and even more tiresome after hearing the other five entries.

Chance of representing the UK? Zzzzzzz. Sorry I’m asleep. What was the question?

SUMMARY

What a sad bunch of gurning arsechuff we’ve come out with this year. The UK music scene is thriving and this is the best we can do? What I don’t get is how most of them flip between sad and slow into happy and pounding. It’s almost like the UK is having insane mood swings and doesn’t know what to do with itself… Hmm.

Anyway, I reckon Asanda will be our entry this year.

Eurovision 2017: The Final

13 May

eurovision-2017-kyiv-logo

And here we are again. The final of Eurovision 2017.

After the semi-finals a few of my favourites got flushed away and luckily so did a lot of the really sappy ballads. There are still a few but they sound a bit better sandwiched between the other songs now. The below are an updated version of my previous reviews in the same order as the final. Hope you enjoy yourselves tonight and remember:

The first rule of Eurovision is that whoever mentions Brexit gets PUNCHED IN THE FUCKING FACE.

1. ISRAEL – Imri Ziv – I Feel Alive
What a song to open on. Shame it ruins its chances to win though. You need to hear some of the dross before you realise what a good one this is. An absolute crowd pleaser of a song that is thoroughly enjoyable. Filled with the right amount of cheese and party-going joy that is infectious. Can’t see this not being in the top 10. He’s also rather pleasant on the eye…

Verdict: I’m comfortable that if the performance is good this one will do well. It being first helps too. I’m saying Top 5.

2. POLAND – Kasia Moś – Flashlight
I know Eurovision is often formulaic but you’ll hear a lot that spend the first minute whimpering then the second minute beefing things up. This is the first of many that do that. Unfortunately the second minute of this just sounds like an army marching in jackboots all over her nice song. That said, the finale has a full string section bashing away with echoes of Puff Daddy’s Come With Me, so there’s that.

Verdict: It’s a bit early for a diva ballad. This one will be forgotten.

3. BELARUS – NAVI – Story Of My Life
Well, it still sounds like they stole the music from the Lion King and the end is absolutely the worst piece of music I have heard since 1972 and I wasn’t even born then.

Verdict: If Mumford & Sons and The Corrs ever decided to write the blandest song they possibly could it would be better than this.

4. AUSTRIA – Nathan Trent – Running On Air
It’s a bit different to the others but I can’t hear anything other than a poor boyband b-side from the 1990s. Just a jangly guitar and overly cheery vocals. I think after the hallucinogen performance from Belarus this one will be too saccharine.

Verdict: Just a grown up Billy Elliot without the success.

5. ARMENIA – Artsvik – Fly With Me
It’s just not very memorable and I am glad to see it slip down the betting odds.

Verdict: It sounds like someone sped up the music from a Tarantino film for most of it.

6. NETHERLANDS – O’G3NE – Lights And Shadows
A female three piece wearing surprisingly bad outfits that takes a while to get going. It leaves me a little underwhelmed but the second half is stronger.

Verdict: I don’t think it will win but it could float around the top 10.

7. MOLDOVA – SunStroke Project – Hey Mamma!
It’s the Ed Sheeran Shape Of You xylophone sound. When the camera comes in close he often looks like a balding James McAvoy which is a little distracting. Oh wait. Did I say his looks were distracting? I mean that ridiculous saxophone is! Haha, that is just incredible cheese. The BEST type of cheese. You’ll love this. Unless you’re a proper fan of Eurovision or something.

Verdict: Awful in every conceivable way and absolutely incredible.

8. HUNGARY – Joci Pápai – Origo
Apart from it sounding like he doesn’t know the words and is just making it up on the spot this one is lovely. Some great hooks that really grows on you. Not so keen on the rap. The irony being that if I want to sing along with the very nice chorus I can’t and I have to make them up as I don’t speak Hungarian.

Verdict: Surprising even me, this is one of my favourite ones. I think being between the zaniness of Moldova and the favourite of Italy will kill its chances.

9. ITALY – Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s Karma
An Italian Nickelback. Ah, that’s not fair. They are having fun and the song is feel-good with the correct dosage of silliness. Really lovely arrangement throughout and that “OMMM” ending makes me think of Red Dwarf’s Smeg and the Heads so full marks there.

Verdict: Along with Portugal one of the final’s favourites. The guy looks like he has a lot of charm but that gorilla suit stuff is questionable so it could all tank.

10. DENMARK – Anja Nissen – Where I Am
Ah, back to sewage sludge. Achieves nothing. Lots of loud operatic vocals if you like that sort of thing. I am not an imbecile so of course I don’t. Pretty forgettable song but she gives it her fucking all, throwing herself around and shrieking those notes at the end like a deranged koala. I hate every second it’s on.

Verdict: Not even remotely worth acknowledging.

11. PORTUGAL – Salvador Sobral – Amar pelos dois
Bit harsh of Portugal to enter some homeless dude who looks like he’s two steps away from turning into a zombie. Gave me a right laugh though with his stupid wispy beardy face. Hope he gets a new cardboard box for a home after this. It doesn’t sound very Eurovision – or maybe it does? I don’t know anymore.

Verdict: This is probably the most “different” song in the competition and I can see it doing incredibly well. As I type this is the market favourites. I just can’t believe anyone actually likes it and is just giving the poor guy sympathy points.

12. AZERBAIJAN – Dihaj – Skeletons
From the start this one shows a lot of promise. It’s a bit of a nothing verse with a great chorus. Not that catchy and (as with all things Eurovision) the music is a little low and the vocal a little high. A lot of nice layering of cool electronic sounds in the background too. Love the bit with the horse’s head.

Verdict: After Denmark and Portugal this is a big step up.

13. CROATIA – Jacques Houdek – My Friend
Spoken word klaxon! And then you see his face and he looks like if you buzzcut your scrotum then tasered your wilted member. Then he Gollum’s into Pavarotti and does some opera singing. Croatia treating the competition like it’s the goddamn UN and they’re fundraising for something. I guess Ukraine did that last year and it worked.

Verdict: Hilariously bad. There is absolutely no song here at all. Makes me want to self harm again.

14. AUSTRALIA – Isaiah – Don’t Come Easy
Obv jokes first: No, I “don’t come easy” when you have awful eyebrows and a shit haircut like that pal. Another ballad but this time it has a very nice arrangement that includes a rather lovely spin on the orchestral hit effect. Builds nicely and doesn’t do anything over the top or pretentious.

Verdict: It’s pleasant and after that hideous Croatian mess that stunk up the stage this could hit the right tone with the juries.

15. GREECE – Demy – This Is Love
This one is another ballad and sounds like it could have been a previous entry from the last 20 years. When it turns into a banger I’m not 100% convinced. It just sounds SO Eurovision – like filling in a paint-by-numbers and failing to feign surprise at the result. And yes, that is me saying this one is rubbish because it sounds too Eurovision and saying Portugal is rubbish because it’s not Eurovision enough. Go eat a bowl of chewy foreskins.

Verdict: Demy has had some bad rehearsals where she missed the notes by miles but was fine in the semi final. Not a fan of the song so hope she blows it in the final.

16. SPAIN – Manel Navarro – Do It For Your Lover
Just utter poison.

17. NORWAY – JOWST feat. Aleksander Walmann – Grab The Moment
They seem to have MF DOOM on the decks. Wait…three sets of decks? What madness is this? A lovely sidechain synth and fun sampling work. The middle is especially good and takes us into a very catchy finale. I just wish the singer had a bit more going on. He’s basically a chunk of wood wearing a pleasant hat.

Verdict: If I heard this on the radio I’d really like this so I think this one will do well. I love the light-up Friday The 13th masks too.

18. UNITED KINGDOM – Lucie Jones – Never Give Up On You
Gah, even though I live in hope that we can enter a Scottish entry in the future when all this EU/Brexit shit has sorted itself out. Argh. I mentioned Brexit someone punch me in the face. Seriously, I’m a huge fan of this song. I love her voice and am waging that a lot of Europe feel the same way about the EU and won’t penalise us with points. Maybe?! But I don’t care. It is one of the best songs we’ve ever entered.

Verdict: Anarchy in the UK.

19. CYPRUS – Hovig – Gravity
Great hook on this one. Hammers home the chorus a lot which is always a winner in my book. You’ve got three minutes – milk it my boy. The only thing that alarmed me was thinking that if Peter Andre ever spunked his mess up Olly Murs’ fallopian tubes then the resulting offspring would look like Hovig.

Verdict: Again, there is no way this will win but I am a huge fan of it.

20. ROMANIA – Ilinca feat. Alex Florea – Yodel It!
OH YES. THIS IS THE EUROVISION YOU WANTED. It’s a shame the singer has got rid of his cornrows and now looks like a hipster barista. He looks like he could be working as a barista in a artisan coffee shop. I guess after Saturday he will be. Still, watching him rapping while a short-skirted dirty blonde does ridiculous/fantastic yodelling as the chorus is just perfect. Turn it up loud and cheer for Romania to win. Then put your head in your hands and wonder why this is your Saturday night. You fucking loser.

Verdict: You know when I said Cyprus may do well? They are boned because this comes after it.

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21. GERMANY – Levina – Perfect Life
She’s really taken that asymmetrical haircut to the limit. Looks like Kristen Stewart dressed as Worzel Gummidge (RIP). Again, going for that synth ballad and it’s nice enough.

Verdict: Mid – bottom table.

22. UKRAINE – O.Torvald – Time
Post-apocalyptic fun times. Cool for Ukraine to just throw in a solid rock song cos they knew they were in the final regardless. Not sure what the giant head is about.
That last minute though! It goes completely rifftastic. Haha, it’s great to see a country honestly not give a toss. Great song, poor ending.

Verdict: The only rock song in the entire competition? Some countries will unload their full 12 points onto this bitch and everyone else will avoid it completely.

23. BELGIUM – Blanche – City Lights
Every year I listen to Belgium’s entries and every year I like them and they never win. This year however I dislike their song. It’s a low beat slice of electronic but with ever-so-slightly annoying drumming and a wondrously pathetic vocal. It’s like watching someone try to blow up a balloon when they don’t have any lungs – utterly hopeless.

Watch her face – she looks so terrified and is all over the place on performance. I can’t believe she got through to the final. Maybe voters will mistake her fear for being solid and stable? It’s worked for Theresa May.

Verdict: The sort of laidback emotionless slop you’d play over the video footage of Martin Shkreli gassing himself with exhaust fumes in his garage.

24. SWEDEN – Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
At first I was a little disappointed by this entry but I have found myself singing it a lot. Perhaps it’s because the words “I Just Love Dongs” fit so perfectly over the chorus. It’s not as memorable as their usual offerings and it suffers from a robotic facial performance by a beige mannequin in a crap suit. I love how they are on treadmills though and there is some innovative choreography but the chorus just never pops – probably needs another melody over the final chorus to give it a kick. That said, 3rd last and after the car crash of Belgium. An each way bet on this one is likely to reap rewards – but I could say that for 2018 and 2019 for Sweden.

Verdict: Poppy banger sung by a Robin Thicke cyborg sex doll clone.

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25. BULGARIA – Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess
The absolute favourite from Semi-Final 2 and a great placing of second last in the final won’t harm its chances. Compared to all the silliness we’ve seen today this one is more laid back and, while a little pretentious, it is still heartfelt and serious. I imagine it will do very well.

Verdict: Top 5

26. FRANCE – Alma – Requiem
First of all, thank you for not voting in Le Pen. Here, have some sympathy points because this song you’ve entered sounds like sitting on the kerb watching a broken Renault Clio crawl past.

Verdict: Not a chance. A damp squib to end on.

SUMMARY

I’m pretty sure the betting markets have it right I just seriously hope Portugal don’t win. I’m an Anyone But Portugal kinda guy. Therefore I’ve done what I want to happen – that clearly won’t – and what is likely to happen below:

What I Want To Happen

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What Is Likely To Happen

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