A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Monday, April 23, 2012

The 2012 review, part seven

Four more songs from the second semi, including some of the best and one of the absolute worst of this year's crop.


Loreen - Euphoria

Not since Alexander Rybak in 2009 has there been such a consensus about a probable winner as this year. Loreen is the sky high favourite everywhere - not everyone's top choice, of course, but the eventual overall winner in most polls and rankings around the internet.

There is a danger in that, too. Many songs have been named probably winners and then not recieved the expected response from televoters or juries. Sweden also has an added complication as their numbers are so meticulously planned and perfected already in the national final that there is no room for improvement for the international final. The best possibility is that Loreen performs almost as well as in Melodifestivalen.

All those objections aside - this is one of the strongest entries of the year. Simple and yet powerful, minimalistic and artistic, well sung and with a stylish look.

Yes. Without the shadow of a doubt. And, unless it has a maximum of bad luck in the draw, it will surely make top five. And possibly win the whole thing.

My grade: 5/5


Anri Jokhazde - I'm A Joker

Where do I begin? When a song is bad, you can start the review by pointing out the flaws in the song-writing. That is very hard to do here, as there has been very little song-writing going on. This is just a parade of pointless sounds with no goal, no aim, no point. If the "song" had not been bad enough in its own right, the lyrics are a very cheap re-write of "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band.

And, to add insult to injury, the performance is completely on the same level as the melody and lyrics. How a country that gave us Sopho Khalvashi can decide to inflict something like this on us is a mystery.

No. Georgia has qualified every year, but if this mess hops out of an envelope there must be something severely rotten in the Kingdom of Eurovision. Horrific beyond description.

My grade: 0/5


Can Bonomo - Love Me Back

Luckily the contest takes a sharp turn back to really good entries again as Turkey seems determined to take revenge for last years debacle in Düsseldorf. Exit the rock, in with a song full of oriental, Turkish and Jewish influences. As well as a hint of Pirates of the Caribbean, to be honest.

A fairytale story about pirates and ships set to very jaunty music, performed by the breathtakingly endearing Can Bonomo. He is all smiles and in a very playful mood. Not everyone's cup of tea, perhaps, but surely captivating enough to make into the safe haven of the final.

Yes, oh yes. The sails fill up with ravishing rhythm and this ship will have a very pleasant journey over the Sea of Eurovision.

My grade: 5/5


Ott Lepland - Kuula

There is always room for a big ballad, especially when it is as well-constructed, gripping and stylish as this one. Ott is also a rare asset, as he manages to hold back his notes, delivering it well, singing his heart out without making the vocal chords go pop.

Estonia has also had a way to make lyrics in their own language appeal to the voters. I have a feeling Ott will reach out also to the people who have no idea what he is singing about.

Yes. I didn't believe in it at first, but now I think the final needs Ott and a song like this to find harmony and balance.

My grade: 4/5


  1. It is strange how Estonia manages to make their languate sound appealing and we in Finland rarely manage to do the same. I believe that people who cannot speak finnish really cannot tell the difference between these two languages.

    Am I wrong here, does estonian language sound different, in some way less strange than finnish to foreigners ears?

    1. I seriously think that Finnish is a good language to sing in and that Finlanders might be a bit too heavy on themselves. Having said that, Finnish lyricists have not always taken care to avoid the most difficult sounds and phonems when they write eurovision songs.

      For me, the Abba rule of pop should always be remembered: in pop music, the most important thing is that lyrics sound good. If you can also make the well-sounding lyrics mean something, that is an added bonus.

      Food for thought...

  2. It's quite surprising for me but I can't get along with Loreen's song Euphoria, even loving parts of it. The first 55 seconds are awesome,just perfect, but when she's starting with the repetive ah, ah, ah.... - taking up the dance beat vocaly - my whole "euphoria" is gone. The "dance" character of the song is becoming too dominant and destroyng the fragile balance between the voice and the beats that was creating the fascinating mystic impression in the beginning.
    Looking around in ESC blogs you find freaky reactions nearly all over and nobody seems to notice this or even to share my problems with the song. I feel a bit stumped, perhaps I'm too dated for dance music of our days.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I'm actually happy when somebody dares voicing their concerns about the overall fan favourite, there are years when that practice has not been very welcome at all.

      I do think it is one of the best songs this year, but I'm not really convinced it will have as smooth a ride as most people suggest. We know that it works with the fans and in (parts of) Northern Europe, but how will the rest of the televoters react to it?

      I'm willing to bet that you are not alone feeling like this towards "Euphoria", it will be interesting to see how big a support it really has come the final.

    2. I just made my peace with Loreen's Euphoria: I discovered her acoustic version (live in Nyhetsmorgon)[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0delymSLHsw ]
      Really a great song, without these (for me) irritating dance ingredients. No doubt, she is a deserved winner.
      After all I think the background for my problems with Loreen official song is a certain "phobia" against techno and dance music.

  3. To me it was obvious this is going to get far, when I listened to this Euphoria for the first time in Melodifestivalen. I was in Euphoria in seconds.

    I kept listening to Loreen and many other covers of Euphoria and I liked it a lot. But when I heard other amazing melodies (Albania, Serbia, Iceland) I noticed Euphoria had gone. I knew it was the best produced song and it might win but I don't listen to it any more.

    However some poorer songs have grown and give me much more comfort like Bosnia-H. and Hungary.
    The Babushki-grannies however never lost their charm.

    I'm glad Loreen won, she is amazing artist, but I felt a little sad when the predicted winner took all the points.

  4. Perhaps you are interested in listening to Lena's "euphoric" comment about Loreen (it's German, hope you can understand it)