Monday, April 18, 2016


For the first time the Blogilkar panel has six people reviewing, and quite an international team it is: a Finn, a Brit, an Irish living in Belgium, a Dutch, an Italian living in Sweden and as a cherry on the cake, a German living in the UK! In coming days we will review all the entries with out personal notes. 
Four foxy ladies to kick of this year's Eurovision song presentations. Enjoy!

(Olsa Toqi)
This was the first chosen song for this year. When it won the Festivali i Këngës it was in Albanian and titled Përrallë. It has gone through a major revamp since and unfortunately not succesfully it seems...

Blogilkar: Albania in original arrangement and in Albanian was somewhat interesting; a bit mysterious and intriguing. The new mix in English falls flat by the time the chorus kicks in. Even Eneda has lost the sparkle in her voice with it. This can be now saved only by an owesome staging that will take away from the 13-in-a-dozen standardized entry. And all the Albanians living abroad voting for her. Very long three minutes.....  3
Jack: Albania was my favourite in 2015 with Elhaida so I was really excited to see what they'd send this year however I'm afraid I was left disappointed. Fairytale isn't a bad song but a bit dull. And why must she sing in English? The Albanian version was much more interesting and stronger. I doubt we'll see Albania in the final... 4
Peter: Pretty boring entry, it seems like they purposely went out of their way to manufacture a song and build it up. Not sure it works - it certainly doesn't leave an impression with me. 4,5 
Robert: I love the Albanian version; the expression and the intensity of her singing, the melody. I didn't understand what it was about but it didn't matter, I knew from the beginning it would be one of my favourites. Then months later Eneda released this revamp in English for Eurovision. I never heard a more disappointing makeover! In English it totally disappear from my radar; the song and the singer just sound less intense. Pity. In this way I can't give more than 3 points.
Michele:  I never found this entry particularly strong, but in the original version in Albanian it still had something fascinating. The revamp has completely killed it. The arrangement is cheesy and amateurish, the refrains never seem to take off and the English text does not contribute anything to that. This becomes a generic song like many others. Final? I'd say no. 4
Markus: Very secure voice technique with a little bit too much screaming ... I miss the highlight in the song ….I am afraid this is in my opinion way too average. 3
(Amir Aly, Jakke "T.I Jakke" Erixson, Henrik Wikström)
Səmra Rəhimli was chosen internally and the song shopped from Sweden as usual.

Blogilkar: Very standard radio friendly pop tune that makes me think of the fabulous 80's and its real popstars. Hopefully her vocals live are more like Sabina or Dilara and not like Safura as then this can turn out rather sad effort. All in all very unoriginal, not very memorable but this is Azerbaijan so we will hear this in the final for sure. A solid safe entry from Sweden. 6+
Jack: Even though many believe Samra is going to take the trophy back to Baku, I can't see it myself. It's a great song and I'm really looking forward to see her live but there's something lacking to make her a winner. She will do pretty well though I guess. Maybe. 7
Peter: Good entrance, confident and Samra has a good voice… good beat and different sound - it will stand out, but will it stand out enough? If its sound can get people's attention and the refrain is catchy enough it will probably go to the final. 6
Robert: Nice songs that starts very promising but also a bit repetitive towards the end. The chorus does not really catch me as Samra would maybe like. But certainly not bad. I do not predict a top 10 though. 7-
Michele: Without infamy and without praise. Azeris buy yet another entry from  Sweden, without particular personality. It is a radio friendly and attractive but fairly anonymous, convincing to a certain point, and certainly goes into the final. But there is likely to go unnoticed. 6
Markus: Typical Swedish factory production like 1000 others. Well arranged and she's got an amazing voice. I am sure the televoters will dial for her but I doubt the jury will... I listen to these songs too many times before so its only 6
(Lisa Desmond, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren, Molly Pettersson-Hammar & Ira Losco)
This year's major nonsense drama comes from Malta. As usual the national final selection was held, with semifinal and all, and two dozen of singers with original songs. Ira won - as if there was ever a doubt about it - and later changed her song. Many think this is unacceptable behaviour for many reasons, even if there has been a small print in the national final rules this could happen. And yes, they also went shopping in Sweden for the song.

Blogilkar: Ira is good. This said it's a shame her song isn't better. Don't know if it's the poor sound quality of Youtube (that is all I have heard of any entries so far and my judgement is based on that) but I found the arrangement very messy and confusional. Like Azerbaijan this is a very safe, 80's pop inspired radio friendly middle of the road entry. Rather uninteresting one, too. Can't give more votes as if this was not an Eurovision song I wouldn't ever care to listen to this.  6,5
Jack: I know there was some drama when she changed her song but I do believe it was the right decision. Walk On Water is among my favourites - maybe even my #1 - and I really hope Ira will make the final and do well there. It will be interesting to see how they stage it. 10
Peter:  Good strong entrance,  the beat moves throughout the song, though the refrain is not so strong, it does have a good beat and that makes for a good song. Not sure it will get to the final though. 5,5
Robert: Malta is definately sending the most professional singer since ages to the contest. Having said that, the song is just ok, certainly not bad but not exceptional. Also the strange change of song in the end gives a bit of a negative twist to it. I feel there are just too many songs like this in the contest and there are better ones. 6,5
Michele: It's a very modern song and uptodate, without a doubt the most modern ever presented by Malta. You hear the Swedish production and even the pen of the same authors of Hunger by Molly Pettersson Hammar. Wanting to be critical you could say that it's basically the same idea of ​​the song. In the left side of the scoreboard in the final standings. 7
Markus: Ira Losco … what can I say … Not happy about the way they chose her song. Malta should not make a song contest if they change the song afterwards. They try hard this year without any doubt. She is maybe the most successful female singer on the Island but I do not understand the hype around her. Final yes but she will struggle there in my opinion 5
(Lilith Navasardyan, Levon Navasardyan,Iveta Mukuchyan, Stephanie Crutchfield)
Iveta was chosen internally and against all odds the song is a local product.

Blogilkar: The intro is like some J.Lo hit from the 90's. The arrangement gives a lot of hooks for a great staging and at least it's very bold and interesting. A LOT depends on her vocal performance as she goes from whispers to husky nearly screamed parts ... The violins are fabulous. But is there much of a song after all? For sure there's no dull seconds and the three minutes are full even before you are ready for it. I'm still on the edge to fall in love totally or dismiss this. A bit risky but that's much better than playing it too safe (look above!). At the moment 6,5. After seeing the live it can go either way.
Jack: The beautiful Iveta will be hoping to bring Eurovision to Yerevan for the first time ever - and I don't think it's impossible. This song is unique, edgy and I think they will create an amazing show. And isn't the instrumental just stunning? Maybe one to watch. 8
Peter: I like the opening, though the narration is still a bit corny. The buildup is solid and it gets to a nice crescendo… and then it goes downhill from there … not very memorable, and a bit over the top on the "you"s … not much of a melody or captivating song here. 4
Robert: Very daring, mysterious and intriguing song from Armenia this year. Beuatiful video as is the singer. With the right staging this could be a big surprise. I start loving it more and more. 8
Michele: This is a song that takes several listenings. At first it left me perplexed,  it seems to be there more to create a very suggestive television staging but the melody remains weak. It is well produced, it has a distinctive arrangement that mixes a modern sound to a more folk ... but overall it does not convince me and gives me little. 5,5
Markus: Love the violin part towards the end of the song..... Another song without any highlight and hard to remember after I listen to it …..3

Check out the other reviews: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

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