My mum’s happy enough to listen to the songs once (I swear I didn’t tie her down. Not this year, anyway) and occasionally ask me questions that make me laugh smugly in a ‘Oh what a ridiculous question to ask, you song-contest novice!’ manner, before actually answering the question. But her interest ventures no further than that. I thought it would be interesting to compare her reactions to the entries as a non-fan with mine as a slightly obsessed one in a quick review. So here it is…enjoy!
Here are the songs my mum felt the need to comment on:
Azerbaijan – She said: ‘This is nice isn’t it?’
Belarus – She said: ‘They aren’t from Belarus, by any chance, are they?’
France – She said: ‘Hmm. Very dramatic!’ Yeah, thanks, I hadn’t picked up on that.
UK – She said: ‘Is this the Blue one? It’s good!’ She had heard it once before on The Graham Norton Show and then found it just okay.
Georgia – She said: ‘She’s got a powerful voice.’
Hungary – She said: ‘She has a nice voice.’ Such supreme adjective use, Mama! Just kidding. I do love you really.
Ireland – She said: ‘I like this!’ about 15 seconds in. Then ‘I LOVE this!’ about 10 seconds later.
Italy – She said: ‘Mmm. No, I don’t like this one. It’s too…mishy-mashy.’ I did tell her that I hated Madness of Love on my first listen and now love it, but she refused to budge.
Latvia – She said: Nothing. But she did start dancing to it, which I took as a promising sign. If I’d had a camcorder handy I’d have made Musiqq famous on Australia’s Funniest Home Videos.
Norway – She said: ‘This African stuff is so happy! It just makes you feel good!’ And none more so than African-inspired music from Norway!
Slovenia – She said: ‘This is very Christina Aguilera.’ It’s offical. There is No One on the planet who can’t hear the Xtina in Maja!
Ukraine – She said: ‘She sounds a bit like [Australian singer who sounds nothing like Mika Newton] Delta Goodrem.’
So, based on the above, this is My Mother calling, and here are the first points from…well, My Mother:
And now the top three: 8 points go to…United Kingdom! (applause). 10 points go to…Norway! (more applause). And finally, the 12 points go to…IRELAND! (riotous applause and virtual flag-waving. Ouch, you just poked me in the virtual eye.)
Rightio, it’s my turn now. I’m not going to cover every song in depth: I’m saving that for my Retrospective Reviews, to be posted within the next few weeks. I’ll just put my two cents in on…
…the songs that worked really well on disc: Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, UK, Ireland, Latvia, Macedonia, Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, San Marino
…the songs that are better with sight and sound: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine
All in all, I think what started out as a mundane contest (musically speaking) has ended up being a really strong one, as showcased on the album – perhaps not to everyone, but definitely to moi! All of the studio tracks are listenable to varying extents, and there’s nothing that comes across awfully on the CD as there has been in previous years (if you don’t believe me, grab the 2004 album and have a listen to Albania. It is truly terrible).
If you still haven’t grabbed your copy, head to the official Eurovision.tv shop, Amazon, eBay, JB Hifi online or any of your good, local music stores.
What do your parents, or your non-fan friends think about Eurovision or this year’s entries? Let me know down below!