Tag Archives: Aleksander Walmann

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.