Eesti Laul final – the grand preview (19)

2/20/2015 3:30 PM
Category: Culture

After a year of covering conflicts, opinions on conflicts and politics, ERR News staff welcome the chance to suspend journalistic standards and comment on the 10 finalists of the Eesti Laul competition, the gateway show for Estonia's contestant to the Eurovision Song Contest.

As always, staff members (Moonika Oll, Juhan-Markus Laats and Kristopher Rikken this time around) comment and judge each song's likeability (on a 10-point scale) and estimate the song's suitability for the Eurovision contest (also from 1 to 10).

If you do not agree 100 percent with our staff comments, feel free to pollute the comments section, and of course watch the final live here on Saturday at 21:35 local time.

The songs are:

1. Minu päike - Luisa Värk

MO: If ever there was "The Real Housewives of Tallinn Take On X Factor" in the works, this could serve as its promo clip. I imagine most Estonians hate themselves for not hating it more, but it is so ridiculously catchy. (6, 5)

JML: Must not mention the PM. I would be the first commentator not to mention the PM. Would the PM notice? Anyway, nice song, happy, young and non-threatening, (like the PM). (6, 7)

KR: I thought the singer's boyfriend had more of a moon face. In any case, "My Sun" is peppy and warm, reminiscent of some pop single from the early psychedelic era. (9, 9)

2. Üle vesihalli taeva – Maia Vahtramäe

MO: See Elisa (below), minus the power and the slits, but with extra cleavage. (5, 5)

JML: The song has a numbing effect. As an out-of-the-box idea, maybe the track should be blasted out loud across eastern Ukraine for a few weeks, that should solve the conflict. Will be waiting for my Nobel peace prize now. (2, 3)

KR: A minor-key yearning song about seasons changing and waiting in vain. Big punchy blues hook spliced in at the beginning is completely misleading: you won't remember the song's melody a minute after it's finished. (3, 9)  

3. Goodbye to Yesterday – Elina Born and Stig Rästa

MO: There is something very Eurovisiony about it but I don't get the 855,000+ views in Youtube. It has bored me from the second time I heard it. (4, 9)

JML: A quality piece of music. Looking at the words the song is about a guy leaving for work or to walk the dog. A bit melodramatic. (6, 4)

KR: Not quite Gotye & Kimbra doing "Someone I Used to Know" but getting there. A worthwhile duet with distinctive voices, horn section and, with the exception of the line "lying here naked staring at the phone," nothing too cringeworthy in the lyrics. (7, 6)

4. Idiot – Kali Briis Band

MO: Literally adds color to the competition. Still, bored me from the third time I heard it. (5, 4)

JML: Great name; band and song both, but might be about 30 years too late. Might do well at the final concert stealing the protest vote as there seems to be high level of idiocy in the world right now. (5, 8)

KR: From the looks of an ETV performance, the band is a librarian and three lumberjacks. The song is a collection of listenable fragments and keyboard textures and has a good hook. Like, but can't see it as winning. (8, 2)

5. Troubles – Robin Juhkental & The Big Bangers

MO: Not a bad song... but it's like if I've heard it before. (6, 4)

JML: I can not forgive him for the 2010 performance at Eurovision, when he performed will all the confidence of a sober Estonian karaoke singer. The Eesti Laul semifinal showed he has not grown, spending much of the time behind the band members. Not voting for him might make all his troubles go away. (3, 4)

KR: Robin is a lanky, rangy dude who looks a little like Ryan Gosling and Chris Martin. He's got a good upper range with no need for a falsetto (though intonation may be a slight deficit) and a band that looks like it has a good work ethic. (6, 4)

6. Burning Lights – Daniel Levi

MO: Teenage heart-throb Cody Simpson - that's who he reminds me of. The act would stand out in Vienna and Daniel comes with a marketable background story: a devout Christian with runway looks, married to his primary school sweetheart. And the song... well, he's got one. (7, 8)

JML: Definitely could go far at Eurovision – fast pace + bright light + great hair. Just hope the stage is just as close as at his last performance. (5, 8)

KR: High-energy fun house party stuff, but the song really isn't too strong. It's stitched together from segments that went over well with a frat-house focus group. (5, 5)

7. Superlove – Elisa Kolk

MO: It's all there: the power-ballad, the hair, the legs, the piano. But why is her skirt still full length when it's almost the end of the song? No, wait for it - there are slits and a gust of wind... that will do, Elisa, that will do! (5, 5)

JML: A pretty singer singing a pretty tune. What can go wrong? Right? Well in today's competitive Eurovision you need to stand out and she does the opposite. Not even a beard, a wheelchair or a statement on something popular enough. (5, 2)

KR: Another English-language song! But the words sound a little mangled. Singer is glamorous and polished, but there's millions who look and sound like this. (3, 8)

8. Exceptional – The Blurry Lane

MO: Yes. But no. (4, 2)

JML: A no-nonsense piece of music with no surprises. Could the night's most forgettable track be playing on irony? (3, 2)

KR: The lyrics are a daily affirmation that "doggone it, I'm good enough," and the melody plays a game of Twister to try to keep up. (4, 5)

9. Unriddle Me – Elephants From Neptune

MO: It's the 80s coming back. Or is it? I don't know, I wasn't born yet. (4, 3)

JML: A British rock-band copy, but a bit more upbeat. But missing a certain passion, an enemy to rebel against, and thus sounding more like declawed rock. Not for me, thanks. (3, 5)

KR: Gets an extra five points automatically for sounding like a rock band playing through tube amps, instead of an Autotune-laden slick piece of cheese. Otherwise, familiar Jack White Stripes territory, ho-hum.  (8, 3)

10. This is Our Choice – Triin Niitoja & John4

MO: The points that the male lead gains for having built the big red letters JOHN 4 himself are not enough to make up for his poor attempt at dancing. But not to be too harsh, she probably forced him. It would make a solid entry for Eurovision with added bonus of not having to worry too much about winning. (6, 7)

JML: A great tune and there is a lot of authenticity on the stage (as the singers are an actual couple). But the last time Estonia sent a duo to the Eurovision (in 2001) it ended up costing the nation millions. (7, 7)

KR: Easily the best of show. It's a fairly catchy upbeat anthem in a year that produced very few good catchy melodies. It works live, with good chemistry between the singers. The song has good architecture and breathing room - and no weird dark stuff! (9, 10)

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