Eurovision once again is soon to grace our screens and this year, the Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine after the victory of Jamala with the song ‘1944’ last year in Stockholm, Sweden. This year, 42 countries will be taking to the stage in Kyiv and as with last year, I’ve listened to all 42 songs and will be writing my reviews of them. I have been following the season since January when the first songs were released and these reviews have been written just before the first rehearsals.
10. Israel – IMRI, I Feel Alive, Score: 9.3/10
I Feel Alive is an absolute banger and fuses EDM with ethnic sounds after the second chorus which is my most favourite part of the song and the bit I could just have on repeat. The song exudes positivity and it’s performing last in the semi-final so everyone will remember the song, especially if they have shots of the arena dancing – as Italy probably will – making it Israel’s third consecutive year of qualifying. This song also stands out as being one of the best songs to dance to.
9. Albania – Lindita, World, Score: 9.3/10
World is a powerful and stirring song in its message and Lindita’s equally powerful, rich and deep vocal meld together to give one of my favourite songs of this year, helped by strong instrumentation and that amazing long note in the final minute of the song. A part of me sort of prefers the mystery of the Albanian version but the song still has immediacy and a lot of drama and based on vocals alone, should be in the top 5. However in such a strong semi-final and performing in 4th after Australia and before Belgium, Albania may just scrape through.
8. United Kingdom – Lucie Jones, Never Give Up On You, Score: 9.3/10
At the national final Eurovision: You Decide, Lucie was nowhere on my radar. I found the song linear and lacklustre but Lucie brought this song to life in her life performance and I grew to really love the song with its simple piano melody and Lucie’s great vocals which shone in the simplicity of the composition. Since then, a revamped version was released and took a very promising song into a new league, adding in more instrumentation to give a much more rounded song which is much more 2017. Arguably the song is less pure however the melodic strength in the new version makes this all that much better.
7. Switzerland – Timebelle, Apollo, Score: 9.4/10
Switzerland finished last overall in 2015 and second to last overall in 2016 and there will be a riot if Switzerland do not finish in the top 20 this year. This is a very familiar mid-tempo pop song which is, like most of my top 10, also pretty modern and memorable, particularly the “I’ll follow you Apollo” lyric. The lead singer Miruna is actually Romanian and with the Romanian diaspora and the right staging, this should make it to the final with ease.
6. Belgium – Blanche, City Lights, Score: 9.6/10
Blanche’s voice is deep and soulful and creates an intense atmosphere for this song. The electronic sounds and digital quality of the rhythm make this thoroughly modern as well as completely different to most of the songs in Eurovision. Despite how digital it sounds, I find the combination of Blanche’s vocals with the melody very chilled and it has an immediate impact explaining why when it was released, Belgium moved up from the high 30s to second in the odds!
Have you had a listen to these 5 songs? What do you think of them? Does IMRI make you feel alive, does Lindita brighten up your world, will you be giving up on Lucie Jones, are you in love with Timebelle and is there a city light at the end of the tunnel for Blanche? Let me know!
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