Review: “A bit workshoppy, but that’s part of the charm”
This is a fun little retro number, but it feels like two different songs smushed together rather than one flowing piece, which is a turn off for me. Taking the two halves separately, there’s a lot of nice ideas here. I like the soft theatrical feel in the introduction. Siggy does need to work on enunciating the lyrics a little better, as even on the studio version I struggle to make out what she’s singing, but this is very easily fixed. I also like the peppy, upbeat mood in the second half- it’s very cute and very nostalgic. I can’t help but smile along, and the simplicity of the lyrics work quite nicely- this isn’t a deep, profound song about the meaning of life but a cute pop number to shake off your worries and have a little dance to.
If the whole piece was upbeat, I think it’d be a lot higher in my ranking, as there’s a lot to like here. But the transition caught me fully off guard on the first listen- I’d just settled into the slow, gentle chorus and then BAM! We’re taking off, and we’re suddenly a lot faster and a lot louder. There’s no warning or foreshadowing of this, and it confused me on the first listen and prevented me from really getting into the song. Now I’m expecting it, it’s a cute moment and I know it means the song is getting going, but on the first listen, I really wasn’t sure.
It’s so tricky to fit multiple genres into one Eurovision song given the strict time limit, and I do applaud Reddi for trying something a little different. But it just doesn’t quite work for me- the lyrics don’t connect to me, the bridge and key change come a little out of nowhere and it all feels a little bit workshoppy, but then again that’s part of the charm. There’s also something about the chorus that irks me a little- I think it’s that the line ‘Keep up with the show’ feels like a half-beat behind the drums, which feels a little strange as we want to keep up with the band! But I am being very picky here- this isn’t polished professional pop, this is nostalgic fun, and the energy the band put into this is definitely the best thing about this song. Like it or not, it’s impossible not to smile when listening to it.
This could qualify with good staging. It’s very fun, very nostalgic, and the band performs well live. If they can bring high energy and strong vocals, they’re definitely in with a shot, especially as they’ve been given a prime slot in the running order, following Croatia and Portugal (two slower songs) and (probably) going before a commercial break. If Austria doesn’t deliver live, this will also help Denmark stand out. But I do wonder- after two ballads, will people hear the first section and tune out? Or will the sudden transition into pop wake everyone up and boost the song’s chances? This could really go either way, and I’m excited to see how Reddi stages this in Turin.
Photo credit: Agnete Schlichtkrull
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Song 39. Malta- I Am What I Am
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