Monday, 29 April 2013

My Top 39

As originally posted on the Message Board, here's my Top 39 for this year, complete with comments, so you can berate me for my opinions and thoughts on the rehearsals of songs I was already predisposed to hate before even flying out to Malmö.

Starting with the crap that can just go away, as far as I'm concerned...

39. Romania
Just… ridiculous. Like a terrible, terrible version of Tornero. Just… no.

38. Greece
Somehow both annoying *and* boring.

37. Switzerland
Just so ploddy and uninspired.

36. Moldova

Continuing with the still-pretty-bad-but-with-some-redeeming-features

35. France
I just get nothing from this. I'm sure it's all very artistic and whatever, but I just don't care.

34. Lithuania
Unremarkable. He also needs to quit with the whole 'expressing random emotions through eyebrow movements' trick he pulls in the video.

33. Slovenia
A cool beginning, but then the actual song itself just isn't particularly good - it's as if someone saw Love Symphony, thought it was a great idea and set about doing the same concept but with dance instead of violins.

32. Netherlands
I feel bad putting this so low. I really wanted to like it, I really did. There's so much about it I should like, but it all just falls very flat to me. I don't get any atmosphere out of it in studio, and the fact the lyrics don't mean anything and the way lines break across musical phrases really bugs me too. I hope they'll get a great stage performance out of it, and make me appreciate it more, because I do want it to do well, but right now I just find it so... underwhelming.

Now we get a big bunching of pleasant, but unremarkable. I'd generally be happy enough to listen to these, but I'd rarely bother to put them on out of choice.

31. Montenegro
I quite like the 'vodim te na igranku' bit…

30. Georgia
I just find this very underwhelming, which is surprising, because it employs a lot of the same tricks that Quedate conmigo did last year. The difference is that Waterfall is missing all the the passion that made Quedate conmigo so great, and instead just becomes an absolute blandfest.

29. Russia

Like Georgia, but I do really like the last ten seconds or so. On the other hand, I can't listen to it without giggling thinking about the video.

28. San Marino
Another one I really wanted to like, and it's not even the slow-fast thing that bothers me (hell, I love Tha'ne erotas). Just... doesn't grab me.

27. Cyprus
Nett, aber irgendwie auch langweilig.

We're now moving into the songs I really quite like (yes, at 26!), but can go both ways on

26. Latvia
I actually thought I hated this. Turns out I don't. What's wrong with me? I probably will hate them on stage though, won't I?

25. Malta
Really one that can go both ways for me, depending on my mood and how I feel. Sometimes he's incredibly annoying, at other times I find is really fresh and cool. I'm currently on the latter.

24. Israel
Whereas with Israel, I waver from 'this is really great' to 'this is kinda underwhelming', and again, I'm mostly at the latter at the moment on this one.

23. Bulgaria
I'm appreciating Bulgaria more each time I listen to it… this is worrying. And after weeks of writing it off, I now have it as a certain qualifier, knowing how good they are on stage from 2007.

And moving on to the beginning of the good songs... :)

22. Finland
Fun, silly pop - I can take it or leave it, but I'm glad it's there, and I hope it does well.

21. Belgium

A genuinely good pop song, especially in studio, but he's like an amateur playing at being a pop star.

20. United Kingdom

Very much like last year's entry, this is slap-bang in the middle of the style of composition and performance I should really like, it's just a slightly second-rate example of the genre. But still, I like it a lot.

19. Ireland
A genuinely good pop song, especially in studio, but he's like an amateur playing at being a pop star.

18. Armenia
17. Albania

Grouping these two together as I have very little to actually say about them, apart from the fact that I really quite like both.

Next we go to the ones that it really pains me to knock out of the Top 10

16. Iceland
Mmmm, such a lovely gorgeous atmosphere and a great video too. Martin singing Für den Frieden der Welt over it isn't helping though.

15. Serbia
Manages to be fun, the first time Serbia has done that at Eurovision since 1991.

14. Austria
Surprisingly good, and really growing on me.

13. Sweden
I went through a phase of loving this, and I still think it has great lyrics and is a very solid, modern pop song.

12. Croatia
Having grown up singing in a choir, anything with big, sweeping harmonies was always going to win me over. Nearly made the Top 10.

11. Azerbaijan
Takes too long to build and so has to rush its ending, but as always with Azerbaijan, it's a good, strong, pop song. And Farid's a hottie, which never hurts.

The top 10 is split into two clear groups - the *really* likes, and the loves...

10. Estonia
Just sneaking in. Totally old-fashioned of course, but it's got a lovely melody and sweeping arrangement that makes me want to swing my arms and sway along.

(Also, I know someone who thinks this could win. He is wrong.)

9. Denmark

I do really like this, I think I might just be tiring of it a little… I'm trying to ignore that and remember my original thoughts about it.

8. Belarus
I started out loving this, and it's gradually dropped down. There's just something very clinical and sterile about it - it just doesn't feel like anybody's having any fun. I'm sure that'll change after I've had free Euroclub prosecco though. CHA CHA.

7. Ukraine
It's a-really shou-teeeeeeeee, it's a-got no structuuuuuuuuuuure, it's brilliant. It's brilliant.

6. Germany
I like this a lot more live than in studio - her live vocals are a little rough, which actually brings out the 'joy' of it a lot more. Either way, it's great, and I'm so glad it's there.

5. Macedonia
#macedoniafanboy. I like this much better than Imperija, it sounds like a song that could actually have come from Lozano's album. I do wish they'd found a way to integrate Esma's part more coherently though, as there are much better example of this genre - even within Macedonia's national final history. 'Ljubov e' would be much higher.

And here come the loves...

4. Hungary
Mmmmm :) Part of me thinks this could do very, very well. That part of me is bigger after five glasses of Malbec.

It also just occurred to me, having not watched the NF and with him not being in the video himself, I don't know what he looks like. Is he a hipster twat?

3. Italy
The first time I've really liked Italy since they came back, though I have a soft spot for both their previous entries. You have to go back to 1990 for the last time I liked an Italian entry as much as this one.

I like the fact that it's just a very normal, unpretentious pop song, and it's just him doing his normal thing - and it's just a plain good song, and that's what matters really :)

2. Spain
I started out finding this very nice, but completely underwhelming. Since watching the previews and listening to it again, it's really grown on me, and it's the one I listen to most at the moment.

There's little to explain really - I just really like it. It's got a lovely melody and a great build, and I really, really hope it does well. It probably won't.

And as if you couldn't have guessed this miles out...

1. Norway
Was cautiously optimistic when she was announced as participating in MGP, finally. Loved the song when I first heard it. Loved the performance even more. Suffered through the voting in MGP when it seemed for a horrifying moment like Sirkus Eliassen were going to win instead...

And now, it's still a great song that I listen to all the time.

So, there you go - now you know my prejudices and biases going into the fortnight, and you can see how that carries over into my blogging.

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