So today we reach the halfway point of this year’s contestants by jumping into the second semi-final. It might just be me, but I think they saved some of the better music for this semi, and I can’t wait to get see what you all think about it.
1: Serbia: Å½eljko JoksimoviÄ‡ “Nije Ljubav Stvar”
I have to say, I love the music for this song. It starts out soothing, lilting, and beautiful and moves into a very powerful crescendo that I love. The lyrics are simple but really resonate with me. Maybe I’ve been in too many one-sided relationships, but it feels so right to hear someone else say “your love is my shipwreck.”
2: F.Y.R. Macedonia: Kaliopi “Crno I Belo”
Again, I enjoy the music in this piece. The violin is a nice addition that really brings out the power in the song, but I don’t enjoy this songstress’ voice as much. It almost has too much emotion in it, which overpowers what she’s trying to say (for me at least).
3: The Netherlands: Joan Franklin “You and Me”
This song makes me feel all groovy and kind of reminds me of Melanie Safka: very folky and poppy and happy without being super sweet and disgusting. It’s a difficult mix, so I applaud Joan for being able to pull it off. I do, however, really dislike her need to wear Native American garb while singing it. I get that it’s because of a childhood memory, but I feel like her costuming is more of a mockery of that culture than a celebration of her past. And I know this is probably my own feelings, growing up next to a reservation will do that to you, but even knowing it, I can’t put aside the feeling of, “Wow, that’s just inappropriate.”
4: Malta: Kurt Calleja “This is the Night”
This song grates on my nerves, not because of the lyrics or his voice or the music, but because of the combination. I think his voice would serve a different brand of pop better, if he must remain in pop. I can’t really describe what it is about his voice that doesn’t suite this song, maybe it’s the timbre. Whatever it is, I think he could have put forth a good entry for Malta, but instead he put together a rather jarring one.
5: Belarus: Lightsound “We are the Heroes”
For some reason, this song just reminds me of “We Need a Hero” and makes me chuckle. I definitely enjoy the song; it has a fun beat and ridiculous lyrics. What’s not to enjoy? I’m not sure I’d pick it for the big winner, but it’s definitely fun.
6: Portugal: Filipa Sousa “Vida Minha”
This is another of those songs that I really enjoy but wouldn’t necessarily pick to win. Her voice is amazing; the lyrics are inspired, and the music just blows me away. But somehow they don’t mesh perfectly together. Something is missing to make the balance work. Though I do think I’d rank it higher than the first two entries we’ve discussed today.
Overall for this week, I say The Netherlands takes it. I keep coming back to that song. It just feels good to listen to it and makes me think of better times. What do you all think?