Wednesday, February 28, 2007
The Latvian national final was also held last Saturday in Ventspils. There had previously been 2 semi-finals and the 5 best from each went into the final. The public then voted for the winner.
That happened to be a song sung entirely in Italian (a nation not even represented at Eurovision) and is another opera song, so they'll be hoping not to be drawn next to Slovenia then.
They're all good singers, it's all very operatic, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
I'm not really interested, but they'll probably interest me more on the night when I hear them live in the arena...
Bonaparti.lv - Questa Notte (Tonight)
You can find the mp3 here:- http://www.box.net/public/f6k7n0iq07
The Spanish held the last part of their mammoth selection process for Eurovision in Madrid last Saturday night. As usual for Spanish TV it was a drawn out affair with about a million ad breaks and no one seemingly knowing what was going on at any given moment!
The end result was that a boyband called NASH won with another song by that most Spanish of Swedes Tommy G:son. So that's two songs G:son has in Eurovision so far this year... neither of which are for his home country!!!
You'll know it's a G:son song because it's formulaic pop, there's possibilities for key changes and a strip and it could have been written in 5 minutes (and probably was)!
Having said that, it's not too much of a hideous prospect, and NASH are certainly easier on the eye than old Guri Schanke of Norway (or the Icelandic geezer for that matter). I am slightly worried though that these boys have an identity crisis as they all seem to think they're Spiderman!
Mind you, they're a million miles better than Son De Sol and Las Ketchup... I think Spain stand a good chance this year.
NASH - I Love You Mi Vida (I Love You My Life)
There's a live mp3 of the song here:- http://www.box.net/public/b0mx5yeq47
Last Saturday night in Coфия, the Bulgarians picked their song for Europe. Twelve entries had made it through from the semi-final held a few weeks back and televoting provided the winner.
It's an odd one.
I imagine if you're Bulgarian, or Turkmen or even Nepalese for that matter, then you're gonna love this. Everyone further north and west of that is gonna think WHAT THE FEKK IS THIS ALL ABOUT?!!! There's no doubt this bird's got a good set of lungs on her, but it's far too harsh and too foreign for most Western Europeans at least. I'm not sure what the Bulgarians saw in this that made them vote for it in their droves, it certainly couldn't have been the spectacular stage show!!! ;-)
Well ok, another weird song for this year's Eurovision. Maybe they can get hot half naked male dancers to liven things up a bit!!!
Eлицa Toдopoвa И Cтoян Янкyлoв - Boдa (Water)
Download the mp3 here:- http://www.box.net/public/legfgb77j7
Last Saturday night the 4th Swedish semi-final was held in Gävle. The two winners to qualify for the national final are below...
Sarah Dawn Finer - I Remember Love
A nicely performed nice ballad that will appeal to everyone who is nice. How nice!
Andreas Johnsson - A Little Bit Of Love
Another typical schlager song... sing along everyone, you must know the tune by now!!!
Last Friday night, Cyprus TV débuted their Eurovision entry to be sung by Evridiki, who you'll remember from a previous post!
If Belgium have rejected the French language for their entry, the Cypriots have positively embraced it and will be singing the whole thing in Gallic tongues! Evridiki, as I've said before, is certainly a competent singer and will no doubt belt this out with gusto... hopefully she'll come higher than 11th, the position she attained on her previous two forays into euroland.
The song itself is called Comme Ci, Comme Ça and is a bit of an 80's electro stomper. On first hearing it sounds a bit dated, but like a fine wine, this is a song that gets better with age. Give it a few listens and see what you think. Mind you, the majority of the audience will be hearing this for the first time come the big night, so that doesn't bode too well if it's not very instant...
Eυριδήκη - Comme Ci, Comme Ça (So, So)
Download the mp3 here:- http://www.box.net/public/r2z85k920f
Last Wednesday Belgium (or more correctly Wallonia) decided who would be their Eurovision entry for 2007. RTBF (Radio Télévision Belge Française) internally selected the KMG's (Krazy Mess Gang) to represent the plucky Belgians in Helsinki.
The song's called Love Power! and is the first time that the French speaking part of Belgium has entered a song entirely in English, which is a bit of a shocker really. It's kinda like Donna Summer et al have never gone away, harking back to the disco era of the 70's and it does have a retro sound.
It's not totally unpleasant and although I wouldn't be rushing out to buy it, I guess if you like this sort of thing then you'll find it a pretty enjoyable 3 minutes. Everyone else will likely just be wishing they'd dug out their platform shoes from the attic for a bit of a laugh.
The KMG's - Love Power!
Download the mp3 here:- http://www.box.net/public/n872t4u8p9
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Swiss TV revealed the song they have selected to represent them yesterday. If you cast your mind back a few months, you'll recall that they'd already chosen cheesy DJ, DJ Bobo to carry Swiss hopes in Helsinki.
Well the song is called Vampires Are Alive and gives more than a passing nod to that most famous of Swiss legends: Dracula - locked away in his lonely castle in the Graubünden near Zürich, playing his alpenhorn, eating museli and chasing girls by the name of Heidi!!
Actually, from what I was expecting, the song's not that bad... it's certainly one of the more dance orientated pop songs picked so far this year and they'll no doubt have a great stage show to match. At least he's Swiss and at least it's uptempo and lively, and at least he (in theory) knows what he's doing (or so we're led to believe).
But... do you think the Romanian tourist board could sue? Watch the video and download the song below.
Get the mp3 here:- http://www.box.net/public/azpuoqmeyn
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The Icelandic national final took place in Reykjavík on Saturday night and if the Finns got it so right, the Icelandics couldn't have got it so wrong.
This was one of the strongest Icelandic national finals since the dawn of time and they ended up plumping for some aging rocker, with a weak voice and a dull uninspiring rock song. I really don't get what Iceland see in this that they think will bring them success in May... maybe I'm missing something, but I think the dark nights have finally got to them!
Eiríkur Hauksson - Ég Les Í Lófa Þínum (I'm Reading Your Palms)
The Finnish national final took place in Turku on Saturday night and it was dominated by heavy rock (see previous posts). The winner, beating the very famous Lovex and the gorgeous Johana Kurkela, was Hanna Pakarinen with her rock inthused pop track Leave Me Alone.
The more I listen to this, the more I like it actually and I think the Finns have probably got this one right. Her facial expressions are fantastic, but she does need to work on her vocal a bit before May if she wants to keep the Finns near the top of the scoreboard. The music is this is great, I love all the dirty guitars and the heavy drum beat. The song reminds me of a cross between Shakira and Alannis Morrisette, which ultimately is no bad thing, but the end isn't that strong and I think it needs to be rearranged slightly to be more powerful. At the minute it just seems to peter out and ends on a squib rather than a bang!
The lyrics in the chorus also leave a lot to be desired, but whilst they sound a bit naff in the live version, on the studio version it doesn't sound as noticeable for some reason...
Watch her performance below and download the mp3 further down.
Hanna Pakarinen - Leave Me Alone
The mp3 is here:- http://www.box.net/public/q1gfg66ome
On Saturday night, Lithuania held their first semi-final in Vilnius. Five acts were voted into the national final and another five will suffer the same fate next week. Watch the winner of this semi below.
4Fun - Love Or Leave
This is about as far away from We Are The Winners as you can get and if Lithuania were to go to Helsinki with this, they could get another excellent result.
Last Friday night the Irish held their Eurovision selection in Dublin. The trad music group Dervish had been selected previously to sing all four entries, which they did (of a fashion) before the public voted to pick the winner.
My personal opinion is that her voice borders between the interesting and grating on my brain. I kind of like the way she sings like she's telling a story, but then she squeels through her nose like a crab being boiled in a pot and that's doing nothing for my ears. The music is pretty good and the sort of style that'll go down pretty well in this neck of the European woods. The lyrics are nothing short of dreadful - they're so cheese-laden they could host a fondue convention. The general sentiment is not bad... the title "They can't stop the spring" comes from the anti-Soviet movement, which took place during the Prague Spring of the 60's and was violently suppressed by the Soviet Union. So why then are the lyrics so awful? Who knows...
What I do know is that this is almost 99,9% guaranteed to get the UK's "douze points". Come on then Ireland... you gonna help us out with a few points n all? ;-)
Dervish - They Can't Stop The Spring
Download a live version of the song here:- http://www.box.net/public/g4blxarngi
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
She's called Charlotte Helen Nolan and weighed in at 3kg or 8 pounds 6 ounces. She's apparently a big baby, but I've never seen one so small. She's gorgeous and was asleep, but had one eye open...
She's the most amazing thing I've ever seen.
My sister was in the running for the longest labour going, as it took almost 3 days from the onset... she's understandably nakkered, but didn't need any drugs other than gas or air so fair play to her. Ian's just smiling all the time as are my Mum and Dad.
Here's some pics...
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
On Sunday night, the Netherlands selected their song for Europe. I say the Netherlands, but it was actually just one Netherlander! Edsilia Rombley, who had been selected by Dutch TV late last year, sang 3 songs on the Paul de Leeuw show and then was allowed to pick her favourite. It kind of beggars the question, why did she need to sing the other two songs? Did she not already know the song she'd pick? Was it all not a blatant attempt to promote her new Dutch language album?
In true Dutch fashion, they'll get another uptempo entry (like the British and the Swedes, the Dutch seem scared shitless of ever sending a ballad to Eurovision). It sounds a little bit late 90's and little bit 'One Day In Your Life' by Anastacia. At the minute Edsilia seems hell bent on performing this in Dutch in Helsinki. I'm not sure if that's a wise move or not. She may be 'following her heart' in doing so and therefore give a more comfortable performance, but Dutch is hardly the most accessible language is it? She also needs to get into the top 10 out of 28 songs to even qualify to the final on the Saturday and by singing in Dutch she is alienating a lot of potential voters. To her credit she's a good singer and she'll belt this out with gusto come May, although I hope they rearrange it a bit, as it's lacking a little something I think, but more or less I think it's ok.
The only problem she has, is that after being allowed to single handedly pick her own song, if she fails to get the Netherlands to the final, they could be baying for her blood. This has the potential to be the worst career move she ever made... watch this space and the video below.
Edsilia Rombley - Nooit Meer Zonder Jou (Never Again Without You)
Download the song here:- http://www.box.net/public/ul1e56f1v7
Monday, February 12, 2007
The Romanian national final took place in Bucureşti on Saturday night and after all the decent songs were got rid of by Romanian TV (some were claimed to be plagiarised, others performed previously, and others withdrew in protest) the best of a bad bunch seemed destined to win. And that's exactly what happened. The song's quite interesting, ie: to listen to once, think oh right, and then never touch again! After 4 years of decent songs, and high placings, I think this is the year that Romania drop back down into the semi-finals. I just don't see how this has got enough attack in it to do well. It's too laid back and performance is a complete mess.
Locomondo - Liubi, Liubi, I Love You
Download the song at this link:- http://www.box.net/public/eva5tlnhxf
Norway's national final took place in Oslo on Saturday night and there were some great songs in there (see previous posts). However, the Norwegian public went with possibly the most predictable song of the bunch. It's a Tommy G:son song, so you pretty much know what you're getting for your money - and yes there is a key change - and a strip - and it sounds like anything else he ever wrote. On that basis alone, it should do pretty well, but Guri I'm not so sure about. She looks like a bit of a good time girl, and, as I wrote earlier, she's determined to show off her vag at every available opportunity. I dunno though, there's something just wrong about her being flung about... she doesn't look entirely comfortable. Maybe she's secretly longing for her blanket, a cup of cocoa and a Ruth Rendell! I reckon Norway's got this one wrong and should have gone with the mighty CRASH! Aah well...
Guri Schanke - Ven A Bailar Conmigo
The mp3 can be found by clicking here:- http://www.box.net/public/0jvd15idz9
Saturday night saw the 2nd Swedish semi-final take place in Göteborg. The two acts that qualified for the national final are below:-
The Ark - The Worrying Kind
Hideous retro song kind of akin to a lite version of The Darkness. I can't stand this sort of shite... but at least it's not schlager.
Marie Lindberg - Trying To Recall
Now this is more like it... a beautifully simple song that isn't trying to be anything other than that. Because of its stripped down melody you actually take more notice of it. In the unlikely event that Sweden pick this to represent them, I reckon they could do extremely well. However it'll be a case of do they dare to be brave, or play it safe and stick to the tried and tested schlager formulaic pop.
The last of the 4 Finnish semi-finals took place in Tampere on Saturday night and the 3 entries that have qualified for the national final are below.
Laura Voutilainen - Take A Chance
Laura's back from her 2002 attempt at Eurovision and still has a bizarre dress sense! The song's ok and one of the better ones in the Finnish selection, but it's lacking something for me. I don't really know what, but it just all seems a little flat.
Beats & Styles - See The Signs
What a complete and utter mess!
Jan Wilde & Rose Avenue - Rock 'n' Roll Dreams
And you thought New Romanticism had died in the 80's! Again another rubbish song in the Finnish selection.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Like their Scandinavian brothers, the Norwegians have also selected two wild-cards to go into their national final taking place in Oslo tonight.
Jannicke Abrahamsen - Rocket Ride
You just know that last week she was 'acting' in a Swedish porno!
Trine Rein feat. Andreas Ljones - Maybe
A country inspired rock song... not doing much for me at all.
The two wild cards to go to the Danish final tonight have been decided and they are as follows:-
DQ - Drama Queen
Doing nothing for making Eurovision less gay, Denmark could end up sending a drag queen. Mind you, we all need a bit of lightness in our lives once in a while. What is it though with drag queens having better legs than girls?! Actually he's got a pretty good voice to be fair, although the song's about as original as anything written by Tommy G:son. If the Danes do decide to go for camp then this'd be the logical choice, but as they didn't vote for it initially I don't see how it'll end up in Helsinki.
Jørgen Olsen - Vi Elsker Bare Danske Piger
Oh for God's sake, when will he just disappear into your gran's stocking drawer? He's had his time now and he's even won Eurovision once already. He's still doing that little point and looking meaningfully at the camera. And I don't even want to talk about the dreadful rap part (which is about whether Jutland or Sealand girls are better)... I mean it's like your Grandad discussing college girls with you... it's WRONG! Ugghh.
His name's Gary and he's fantastic... he interests me on so many levels... and things are looking good ;-)
Sadly my car failed its MOT the other day though and it's gonna cost me £500 to put right... bollox!
Monday, February 05, 2007
The last country to pick their entry on Saturday was Malta, with the Malta Song For Europe Final taking place in Ta' Qali. You can see the songs that qualified from the semi-final in a previous post. In true fashion my favourite came last!!!!
The winner was Olivia Lewis on her 13th attempt to represent the little island in the Med. It's all very dramatic and I'm sure it'll go down quite well across the continent, but I don't think they've got a winner with this. With the right stage show they could do quite well, as it's a very theatrical song and one that has to be seen rather than heard, and I guess that's what Eurovision is nowadays.
Watch her reprise (and faltering voice) from the end of the final below.
Olivia Lewis - Vertigo
The mp3 is here:- http://www.box.net/public/b7hc8nf4gu
The next country to select their entry for Helsinki on Saturday was Poland. They held their
Piosenka Dla Europy contest in Warszawa. Ten songs competed with televoting deciding the winner. As usual for a Polish final, it was a pretty eclectic / bizarre mix of songs depending on your taste.
The public plumped for the most famous group taking part The Jet Set and their mish-mash of a song Time To Party. It's not great. For me it's like three different RnB songs in one and it sounds disjointed and I personally don't think it works. But then I'm not a fan of this type of music in the first place. Unless they pull something spectacular out of the bag I don't see this causing too much trouble in May. Watch the vid (bad quality) below.
The Jet Set - Time To Party
Download an mp3 here:- http://www.box.net/public/5f5m035an1
The second country to pick their entry on Saturday with the EMA Final taking place in Ljubljana. See previous posts for the songs that qualified from the semi-finals. This was the first time that the Slovenes got to pick an entry without the interference of a jury, which has always skewed the vote in the past. So it's the first time that a Slovene entry actually has genuine popular support, which I guess is a good thing.
The winner was Alenka Gotar and her operatic pop song Cvet Z Juga (Flower Of The South). It remains to be seen whether or not they'll translate this into English come May or not. Personally I think it would make little difference... I mean people are used to hearing opera in Italian so why not in Slovenian? I think she could do with replacing the backing singers - especially the screechy one - and also losing the cheesy dance, which adds nothing to the song at all. Overall I reckon that Slovenia have a fighting chance of qualifying this year, she's gonna stand out if nothing else.
Watch the vid from the final of EMA below.
Alenka Gotar - Cvet Z Juga
You can find an mp3 of the song here:- http://www.box.net/public/dcte0qlqu4
The first of four countries to actually pick a song for Helsinki on Saturday night was Estonia, with the annual Eurolaul contest being held in Tallinn. Ten songs were on offer and ETV had put a lot of effort in this year with a great selection on offer. It bemuses me a little as to why the Estonian public went with what they did then. I mean Gerli Padar is quite popular in Estonia at the minute as she's just won some reality celebrity TV show so that could explain it, but she was up against Estonian superstars Ines, Vanilla Ninja and not to mention the gorgeous Hele Kõre and Kristjan Kasearu. It turns out that neither Ines nor Vanilla Ninja ended up in the top three, which I find quite surprising, but then that's the crazy thing about televoting.
Anyway here's a selection of what was on offer in the little Baltic country at the weekend including the winner plus an mp3.
Gerli Padar - Partners In Crime
So here's the winner. This is actually ok and she's a competent performer, but I just fail to see where the hook is in this that can lift it into the top 10 out of 28 songs in the semi-final in May before they can even contemplate taking part in the Eurovision Final. I don't hate this song, far from it, I'd quite happily listen to it on the radio, and it could be a good radio hit, but as a success in Eurovision?... Hmmm something's lacking for me. At best they might scrape into the final. At worst people will just think she's a rip off of Pink.
There's an mp3 of the song at this link:- http://www.box.net/public/d9bgsd1a1l
Hele Kõre & Kristjan Kasearu - Romeo Ja Julia
This came second and in my opinion it should have won. The haunting melody and lyrics just do it for me. The dancers are bizarre, but they could have been lost. There's something about this song that really gets under my skin and the great thing about it is the subtlety of the hook in it despite the fact that the hook is massive. Such a shame.
Vanilla Ninja - Birds Of Peace
The Ninja came 4th with a much more original rock pop song than that performed by Gerli, and they have much stronger voices as well, but I guess the Estonian public just weren't feeling them.
Ines - In Good And Bad
Nice lyrical song, but she ended up a long way down the scoreboard. Her voice seems to waiver a bit, which is a little annoying as she can actually sing, but hey ho... obviously it wasn't to be her night.
The second Latvian semi-final took place on Saturday night (what a busy evening it was) and five songs out of ten on offer were voted into the national final. Unfortunately the show wasn't webcast and I have no music files of any of the songs so am unable to comment on what they've picked.
The last Norwegian semi-final took place on Saturday night in Stokke. The two songs that have progressed to the national final are below.
CRASH! - Wannabe
A great pop rock song, kind of in the style of some of Blink 182's lighter stuff. They give a great performance as well. Norway's had a great year for songs this year I think.
Jenny Jenssen - Vil Du Ha Svar
Well no Scandinavian final would be complete without at least some schlager so I can forgive em for having the one in there. Personally I don't like it, it sounds like any Danish entry to Eurovision from the '80's.
The second Romanian semi-final took place on Saturday night and 6 out of the 11 songs on offer were voted by the public into the national final. I can only find one vid online so here it is.
Andra & Simplu - Dracula, My Love
The song is totally random, but they perform the ass off it. It's definitely got the WOW factor and is very theatrical. I can see this doing pretty well in Helsinki. UPDATE:- It now appeears this song has been disqualified along with two others in the Romanian national final as they were performed prior to 01 October 2006, which is against the rules sadly. Aah well...
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Coфи Mapинoвa И Уcтaтa - Я Tвoя
The last of the Icelandic semi-finals was held in Reykjavík on Saturday night. The top three songs that progress to the national final on 17 February are below.
Ragnheiður Eiriksdóttir - Ég Og Heilinn Minn
She seems to be having a good laugh. I imagine this'll sound much better in English.
Hafsteinn Þórólfsson - Þú Tryllir Mig
Oh God this is fantastic! It's so effortlessly camp it's just amazing.
Andri Bergmann - Bjarta Brosið
Cute blonde boy sings a dull schlager pop song.
The third of Finland's semi-finals was held on Saturday night in Tampere. Watch the three songs that qualified to the final below.
Johanna Kurkela - Olet Uneni Kaunein
Finally a decent song in the Finnish selection! Her voice is flawless and haunting. The stage show is a little overblown, but it's interesting at least. Pretty good.
Lovex - Anyone, Anymore
Another good song, from another Finnish hard rock band. This band are big not only in Finland, but also in much of Central Europe, so they could bring a lot of votes Finland's way in May.
Kentala - Left My Heart Behind
Some Bon Jovi inspired soft rock. It's ok if you like that kind of thing, but this ain't doing it for me.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Katrine Falkenberg - It's A Beautiful Day
James Sampson - Say You Love Me
Me & My - Two Are Stronger Than One
Zlati Muzikanti - Pepelka
On Thursday night, Malta also began looking for a song, with a semi-final of 16 songs being held in Ta' Qali. The six best, as voted by the Maltese public, have made it to the final being held on Saturday night at the same venue. Watch the vids below (the quality ain't great though):-
Kevin Borg - Whenever
Dull ballad. There were better songs than this that failed to qualify. What's with the backing dancers trying to steal the show n all?
Olivia Lewis - Vertigo
Well this bird's the favourite to represent Malta, but then she's been the favourite every other year since 1243 and failed so the odds aren't that much in her favour. To her credit she's got a fine pair of lungs on her and they've put a bit of thought into the stage show (unlike the song above). Just a shame that the sound is out of sync with the picture.
Klinsmann Coleiro - She Gives Me Wings
Do you reckon McFly could sue?
Pamela Bezzina - All About A Life
Her voice is pretty distinctive, but the song's dreadful. At least the backing singers are behaving themselves though.
SCAR - As Long As You Know
This is the one that I want to win. It's just a really great song. Plus how fit is the lead singer?
Trilogy - Starlight
This is the one that I can see winning. Not one that'd ever make it on any pop chart, but I guess it's pretty captivating. And since when was Eurovision ever about pop music anyway?
Friday, February 02, 2007
Zablujena Generacija - Kdo Hoče Plesati Z Menoj?
Sebastian - Naj Svet Zakriči