Baku Reviews: Part 3 (Greece-Latvia)

Greece

Aphrodisiac/ Eleftheria Eleftheriou

Top 10 material: Yes

The good stuff: After three years of sending middle-aged men, giant staplers and a university lecturer in a baseball cap to Eurovision (though not at the same time) Greece has reverted back to the tried-and-tested formula of a (most-likely) scantily clad young woman singing a generic but infuriatingly catchy pop song with a bit of bouzouki thrown in for adequate measure. This decision is fine by me! I’ve really missed the Helena Paparizou/Sarbel/Kalomira-esque entries that Aphrodisiac is clearly modeled after, even though in 2012 they may sound passé. Every time I hear this song, I can picture an awesome stage show that features traditional line dancing and slick choreography, and maybe a costume reveal. Then again, with the Greek economy in such a shocking state, Eleftheria may be forced to run around the stage in a hessian sack whilst her lone backing singer makes shadow puppets.

Everything else: My one major bone to pick with this has to do with the lyrics. It is three minutes of cliché after cliché about minds and times and dancing and falling and all that tired old jazz. Don’t get me wrong, I’d never expect a song like this to be all poetic and deep. I just think another half-hour or so at the writing desk could have produced some slightly more original lyrics for us all to sing along to.

Winner, loser or grower: Winner – 8 points.

 

Hungary

Sound of Our Hearts/ Compact Disco

[You’ll have to imagine a photo of Compact Disco being here, because my PC has another case of Irefusetouploadthispictureitis]

Best lyric: ‘Harmony can be achieved, just find some way to get connected…’

The good stuff: Firstly, claps for Hungary for coming back after failing to meet expectations last year (although Kati Wolf’s hairdo defied all expectations, and the laws of gravity). This year, they’ve made an interesting choice which could get them a decent result or go absolutely nowhere. Personally, I’m a fan, and I hope it at least gets them out of their semi. It’s a nice, solid pop-rock number with a well-executed chorus which screams “SING ALONG TO ME!”

Everything else: There’s not a lot to do to it – I mean, you can’t really dance to it, and waving a flag/glowstick/pair of underpants would get tedious with that tempo. Because of that, I don’t know how well it will go down in the arena.

Winner, loser or grower: Winner – 8 points.

 

Iceland

Never Forget/ Greta Salomé & Jónsi

Reminds me of: Scarborough Fair, for some reason.

The good stuff: I feel like Iceland want to win bad this year, and I’m wishing them the best of luck (how amazing would a Reykjavik Eurovsion be?) Greta and Jónsi – a.k.a. His Royal Hotness, who has already stepped on the ESC stage, back in 2004 – could well make it happen with this epic effort that makes the best use of violins since Rybak’s Fairytale. Plus, it has one of the best videos of this year’s contest. If they don’t bring the aurora borealis with them to Baku I’ll be crushed.

Everything else: I knew it was coming. After the Icelandic final, the winning song is always put back into English (if that was the original language) or is translated into it for whatever reason. But that doesn’t stop me from missing Mundu Eftir Mér, which had a little extra magic, just like Aftur Heim (which became Coming Home) in 2011, and many previous Icelandic entries. The English version in this case is at the better end of the scale, but I just don’t feel quite as strongly about it.  

Winner, loser or grower: Winner – 10 points.

 

Ireland

Waterline/ Jedward

Top 10 material: No

The good stuff: This isn’t that bad considering it has been passed over more than once, allegedly, by other artists, including Eric Saade (if he’d gone to Düsseldorf with it, he wouldn’t have proved quite as Popular. Get me?). Can Jedward improve on last year’s 8th place with it, though? I’m not so sure. It’s an inoffensive poppy number that the twosome will undoubtedly throw all their energy (which is about 100x the amount that us regular folk possess) into performing, while their hard-working backing singers throw all their energy into making John and Edward sound like their vocals are up to scratch. I like the whole watery metaphor going on in this too, although I don’t think any woman would like to go down as ‘the big one’.

Everything else: It’s both tiring and tired to have the twins back in Eurovision with no respite. At least Zdob şi Zdub gave us a break! Since they’re back with an entry that’s more album-filler than contest winner (especially in comparison to Lipstick) I think they’ll struggle to make the top 10. Europe might be over seeing double.

Winner, loser or grower: Grower – 6 points.

 

Israel

Time/ Izabo

Better than 2011: No

The good stuff: This is such a charming little ditty. I realise that using the word ‘ditty’ ages me about fifty years, but it fits Time so nicely. It’s a strange choice of song for Eurovision, but it definitely stands out from the rest in the way Malcolm Lincoln’s song did inOslo. First-time listeners will hang around to hear where it goes. The mix of Hebrew and English works well. All in all, the song wouldn’t be out of place on [Australian indie radio station] Triple J.

Everything else: With a preview video reminiscent of Daniel Diges’ for Algo Pequenito, let’s hope the Israeli Jimmy Jump doesn’t get any stage-invading ideas. Then again,Ukraine’s 2011 video was also set at the circus, so perhaps Izabo will hire a sand artist to accompany them.

Winner, loser or grower: Grower – 7 points.

 

Latvia

Beautiful Song/ Anmary

Better than 2011: No

The good stuff: Songs that tell you something usually tell you wrong – think We Are The Winners (yeah, not quite) or That Sounds Good To Me (which sounded good to nobody). But I’ve got to admit, lyrics aside, Anmary’s Beautiful Song doesn’t fall too short of being just that. It’s almost like a slower, more melodious version of Alejandro by Lady Gaga, only this songstress is too sensible to wear those ridiculous lobster claw shoes (which says a lot). I really like the way the song develops. If the lyrics were different and not acted out just so it’s clear how silly they are, I’d say Latvia made a great choice.

Everything else: Unfortunately, Anmary was born in distant 1980 when Irish Johnny Logan won, so the lyrics tell us. If only she’d been born in 1979, because ‘Milk & Honey with Gali Atari’ is much harder to fit into a song. Also, what is up with that wide-eyed look this women adopts when she’s singing (at least in the NF performance I saw)? I can only assume she was engaged in a staring contest with somebody in the audience. It’s safe to say you won, Anmary…you can blink again.

Winner, loser or grower: Winner – 8 points.

 

NEXT TIME: Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro and the Netherlands – it’s your time to be criticised and/or praised!

 

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 26, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on May 3, 2012, in Eurovision 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. i’m absolutly in love with greece & iceland this year<3 I really hope Elftheria can sing live.. I think I will also love the performence, if she doesn't because she looks awesome! *-* (her haaair!) just would be great if she also sings well:'D
    And baaah jedward. ._. please not. Lipstick was okay but Waterline isn't.

    Like

    • Ivi Adamou has performed “La La Love” live now, and apparently she was pretty bad, so Eleftheria may sound amazing in comparison even if she’s not vocally great!

      Like

  2. Congratulations Jaz, you made me listen to that Gaga song in full…That’s quite an achievement 😛 I’m laughing so hard at the staring contest comment xD I’ve decided that I hate the Latvian song though, but yeah you know that. Totally agree on Hungary, and Ireland..and Iceland…I agree it sounded more magical in Icelandic, but I still love it in English…and they are adorable together *inserts a million of little hearts here* xD And Greece, oh Greece…you already know what I think of this song, but I feel the need to add that I prefer their giant stapler riders, middle-aged men saying opa and baseball caped rappers ruining epic zeibekiko music to this Kalomira #2 thing…I love Sarbel and Helena though.

    Like

    • Jonsi is adorable all by himself ❤ but they do make a good pair.
      "Giant stapler riders"….loooooooooool. Sakis certainly did enjoy himself with oversized stationary. So much so, if I remember correctly, that he danced his way out of his own shirt. Almost. I feel like I shouldn't like Aphrodisiac because it is so cliched and dated…but then it starts up and I forget all of that rational nonsense, ahaha. If it was in the second semi I actually wouldn't want it to qualify (even though it probably would), coz with so many strong songs there it would mainly be getting through because it's from Greece. But since it's in the first, if it does it won't be so bad.

      Like

  3. Lady Rosa de Vere

    i admit early on i heard compact disco and i really like their song, its a great radio song but i also agree i am not sure it will be on stage. i only really have started listening to iceland since i got the cd and it is a truly beautiful song, i hope it does really well and who knows maybe it might..a duet won last yr.

    Like

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