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.
In this third edition, I’m discussing my top 5 songs. I have been listening to most of these all the time and a couple of them wouldn’t be out of place in the charts!
5. France – Alma, Requiem, Score: 9.7/10
Requiem takes a completely different musical style than the other songs in my top 5 but it’s hard not to love this light pop song. The English in the chorus reminds me of France’s entry last year which switched between French and English fluidly; Requiem’s transitions are arguably more clunky in this video as the verses and chorus sound noticeably different but despite this, the strong instrumentation with the powerful beat and strings make up for it. I don’t think France will win with this song however I don’t think another 6th place is unreasonable.
4. Estonia – Koit Toome & Laura, Verona, Score: 9.7/10
I find Verona an absolutely addictive listen. I found that Estonia eclipsed every other country in my first rankings but whereas the extra instrumentation from France strengthened the song, the official version of Verona adds too much instrumentation in the first verse, specifically the bits where the camera switches to Koit. I find it very out of place but even so, I cannot stop listening to the song. This duet is full of drama(aaaaa) and should perform fantastically at Eurovision.
3. Azerbaijan – Dihaj, Skeletons, Score: 9.8/10
This dark synthpop song is years ahead of Eurovision and I love listening to it. It captures your attention immediately and I get flashes of Rihanna in the chorus although in the verses, Dihaj’s vocal is far superior with much more depth and raspiness. The music video is similarly dark and moody and I hope that this is reflected on the stage. Azerbaijan won with a much weaker song than Skeletons and is pretty much another top 10 finish for Azerbaijan is on the cards but they could even steal another surprise victory if it has enough support.
2. Denmark – Anja Nissen, Where I Am, Score: 10/10
For a long time, Anja was my winner. Not only are both the vocal the delivery of the song powerful, Anja’s video is very well polished and she shines throughout and I defy anyone not to watch this and be utterly impressed with Anja’s vocals! What’s more, it takes the classic ballad and gives it a modern flourish and I never get bored of listening to it. Anja’s delivery gives it an anthemic quality and it sticks in my mind.
1. Bulgaria – Kristian Kostov, Beautiful Mess, Score: 10/10
Kristian Kostov says “And we don’t have a thing to lose” and I sincerely believe that after Bulgaria’s success last year with Poli Genova, Bulgaria could certainly win this year’s Eurovision. You’d be surprised with Kristian’s rich voice and how he delivers the song that he is just 17 years old. His young age could explain why the song, to me, feels incredibly modern which will appeal to the audience. While the ballad is also quite dark, there are also really appealing ethnic sounding instruments after the chorus which seem to reflect the peaks and valleys this song takes me through. This is not a beautiful mess, this is a beautiful masterpiece!
Have you listened to these 5 songs? Do you like my top 5? Will the Eurovision trophy be a requiem for Alma, will Koit Toome and Laura or Dihaj take Estonia and Azerbaijan’s second Eurovision victory respectively, will Anja do it right and win for Denmark or will Kristian’s beautiful mess take us to Sofia for 2018? Let me know!
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