Friday, February 20, 2009

That's just the way my life goes

Let's try to play some catch up on the Eurovision entries I haven't had a chance to write about yet. I won't get to go through all of them, but here are my thoughts on a few.

Ireland just chose their entry, Sinead Mulvey & Black Daisy performing "Et Cetera" (written by some of the same people as Hera Björk's "Someday"), and it's so close to being something I could completely love. Upbeat '80's pop-rock-meets-90s-American-teen-movie-soundtrack sprinkled with synths, swirling surf guitars, and hand claps--it all reads like a dream on paper. The chorus just lacks the catchiness I want from it; given the number of hooks in the rest of the song, it's such a shame that (to steal a comment made by a commenter about another song) the title phrase's hook is so weak. "Et Cetera" doesn't say Eurovision to me, but it's still a good song. It's just not the fun fantastic one that it could have been.

That performance mix has the instrumental part turned down pretty low, though, so you might be better off listening to the studio version.

I've written before about how much I enjoy songs written by Greek songwriter Dimitris Kontopoulos--he's an incredibly underappreciated songwriter who usually makes particularly great hard-hitting electronic up-tempo pop music. Elli Kokkinou's "Ise oti thelo," one of my favorite singles of 2007, is a prime example.

By rights, then, Greece choosing to have him write all three of the songs for their national final, with Sakis Rouvas having been internally selected to be the performer, should have been an all-win situation for me. Sadly, that's not quite how it played out in the end. Maybe after writing the dreamy-but-uptempo "Stous 31 Dromous," the siren-featuring "Ola Giro Sou Girizoun," and the revvy "Kai Se Thelo," Dimitris had used up all his "writing great songs for Sakis" ability, as every one of those earlier singles was better than the admittedly also dancey song ultimately chosen, "This Is Our Night."

I think there might be a great song somewhere in there, but my main problem is that I'm not yet convinced by Dimitris's decision to place such heavy emphasis on the short opening word ("fly," "time") of the second line of each part of the chorus. Then again, maybe I'd just like it a lot more if it was in Greek. It's still not a bad song, but knowing Dimitris has done so much better and the potential of the musical backing track makes it frustrating that can't fully love "This Is Our Night." Still, I expect it's going to have a great presentation to go with it in Moscow.

After getting my hopes up for Belgian singer but Turkish entrant Hadise's entry, too, I'm a little let down with the current version of "Düm Tek Tek," but apparently the pop song--kind of in the mode of something like Kalomoira's "Secret Combination" (so really, by that I mean it's from the post-Helena Paparizou "My Number One" school of Eurovision pop songs)--is going to have some tweaking done to it. Last-minute tweaking worked successfully with Turkey back in 2003, so I'm hoping for a similar result to take this OK song to a great or fantastic one.


Damian said...

"Et Cetera" is already second swedish song on Eurovision (first one is "Always" - Arash+Aysel from Azerbaijan).
"Ise oti thelo" - is very beautiful, reminds me of Shady Lady a little by arrangement.
"This Is Our Night" is very good song but it lacks blast in chorus, it's like growing-growing in verse, you're waiting for blast but it doesn't happen, hope they'll change arrangement. And Sakis vocal is not actually great live so I can't be sure he'll be able to move and sing good in the same time. But I'm sure Hadise will be able to sound as perfect as in studio version. Check her performance on Maltese national final.

Poster Girl said...

I'd forgotten about Arash's song for the moment! I think Dimitris produced "Shady Lady," if I'm remembering correctly, and the first time I heard that song I thought of him. You're right about the problem with "This Is Our Night," too. Thanks for the link to Hadise's performance--I'm counting on her to put on a fantastic show at Eurovision (she's a great performer and I'm sure Turkey will come up with a good visual accompaniment), so it's a relief to know she'll be able to pull off the singing!

Damian said...

It's rumoured that it was Dimitris who wrote "Shady Lady" but Kirkorov has totally bought his rights for this song with credits.

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