Friday, January 02, 2015

The 2014-50: No.30 - No.21

No.30: "Resignal" - Wilhelm.

I didn't initially like this in Eesti Laul and wrote it off as a kind of "Poundland Adele", but it strangely grew on me, although I don't really like this acoustic/folky kind of thing and the word "resignal" really annoys me.  I guess this is one of those songs which I like, but I can't explain why I like it. The best thing in Eesti Laul in 2014 was, of course, those clowns :))

No.29: "Coming Home" - Firelight. 

Having enjoyed their mini-concert on the Malta national final a few weeks back, it reminded me just how much I enjoyed their 2014 ESC entry.  Very on-trend with that folk/acoustic sound, the family group fronted by Richard Micallef really seemed to enjoy their performance in Copenhagen although did not fare so well in the grand final.  Unlike the next song in my countdown....

No.28: "Calm After The Storm" - The Common Linnets. 

*Adopts Rene-from-Allo-Allo-voice* "you are probably wondering why the Common Linnets with their excellent country-flavoured duet are at no. 28 behind that Cheesecake song?".  Well, folks, that question may never be answered.  In the meantime I will say that it took a while for this song to grow on me, and it wasn't until after the contest that I really began to appreciate it.  It's a pity they were eclipsed by the Conchita phenomenon, otherwise this would have been the contest's most credible winner in years.

No.27:  "Cheesecake" - Teo.

"I don't wanna be your twerpy hamster Dave".

That was the moment when a randomly average Belarussian ESC entry became legendary, thanks to a cult Twitter misheard lyric .  Teo went from being a dodgy Robin Thicke tribute act in the national final, to a slick boyband-style frontman by the time May came round.  The transformation worked and the song made the final, but we know the real reason why this song made it, don't we? It was all about the twerpy hamsters :)

No.26: "Hero" - Donkeyboy.

Outwith blogland, and Norway, Donkeyboy remain one of the world's best-kept musical secrets.  I'm glad that they continue to possess this effortless understanding of how to create a perfect pop song. Here is yet another example, with a singalong chorus.  This reminds me of the Pet Shop Boys, and that's a big compliment indeed.

No.25: "Something Better" - Softengine. 

Before you ask, I haven't heard any of their other songs yet so that's on my (lengthy) to-do list.  This was one of the most pleasant surprises of this year's Eurovision Song Contest thanks to its very effective staging and impressive performance by this young band.  We cheered very loudly here at EuropeCrazy HQ when it qualified for the final.  Hope Finland can continue to send such quality acts in future.

No.24: "Als Wärs Das Erste Mal" - Unheilig.

2014's German national final became a battle between the 'David' of unknowns Elaiza and the 'Goliath' of Unheilig, the electronic act led by 'The Count'.  Unheilig have been a massive act in Germany for a few years so I thought it would be a foregone conclusion that they would go to ESC. Oh well....anyway this was my favourite of their two songs in Unser Song für Dänemark, but it was the other one ("Wir Sind Alle Wie Eins") which made the superfinal   One more USFD song will appear later on in the countdown, and no, it isn't "Is It S****"!!

No.23: "High Hopes" - Linnea Dale.

I want to mention four things here: firstly, this song is so cool that it's ice cold.  Secondly, her dress matches my living room curtains and cushions.  Thirdly, I have spent all these years thinking her name is pronounced "Dale" but in fact it is pronounced "Daaaa-le" (Pitbull style!!) And if I might mention one more thing...this song should be compulsive listening for all those criminally out-of-touch people who still have this skewed vision of Eurovision.  In which case you may want to check out a few national finals, like this year's Norwegian one for example, from which this fine song came.

No.22: "Wait On Me" - Rixton.

Perhaps the fate of this song is a perfect indication of the state of British radio/broadcast media, and their reluctance to support a band or artist through the early stages of their career, if they're not one of the playlisted 'chosen ones'.  "Me And My Broken Heart" may have been a massive radio hit, but this was also a goodie.  It cemented their reputation as the UK's no.1 Maroon 5 tribute act maybe, but I was impressed nonetheless.

No.21: "Good Gracious Abbey" - The Madden Brothers.

So what happens when your best emo mate of old goes all civilised and boring?  That's basically the theme of this cracking track from Joel and Benji's latest project, reuniting them with Pharrell Williams (remember their brilliant collaborations on NERD's "Fly Or Die"?) and it's an absolute winner. (audio only as this is an album track)

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