Copenhagen 2014

Eurostars Review 2014 – Tajči

With the rehearsals kicking off in Copenhagen, we’re going to continue our series of Eurostars Reviews. In the fifth of our series, we’re going to see what one of the last Yugoslavian entrants has to say. She entered the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 for Yugoslavia, where she finished seventh with Hajde Da Ludujemo: it’s Tajči!
MontenegroMontenegroSergej Ćetković – Moj Svijet
“Moj Svijet” (“My World”) a big ballad about unfulfilled love arranged with ethnic instruments. Sergej has a beautiful and very musical voice. The arrangement builds nicely and it all makes a perfect musical sense, but it doesn’t move me. It feels I’ve heard the song and the arrangement before. The chorus ‘hook’ is nice, singable and powerful but then I missed hearing it repeated at the end.
The song works best if you are watching the video which shifts the perspective of ‘longing’ for the lost love, and makes it more interesting. The problem is that the song is competing not the video. However, melodious ballads like this one can be very powerful in a live setting. It will be interesting to see what happens.

NorwayNorway: Carl Espen – Silent Storm
​Hauntingly beautiful song​! It’s artistic and well-crafted poetry is thought provoking and inspiring. The melody has both the vulnerability and power to allow Carl Espen to complete it with his own story, experience and emotion. The arrangement beautifully supports the song and the singer – I would love to hear it performed with a live string orchestra. The sudden reduction of orchestration after the final chorus works for me big time, as well as ending the song a’cappella. Great job!
For me, this song is a winner. Although it’s not a ‘typical’ Eurovision song, it’s one that will find it’s fans and make a difference in many people’s souls. Thank you Carl Espen and Josefin Winter for this gift!

GreeceGreece: Freaky Fortune ft. RiskyKidd – Rise Up
​I can hear this song flooding the dance clubs​ in Europe and wider this coming summer. It’s got all the right ingredients: a bit of quirkiness, a bit of spoken word/ rap, catchy two-word rally call, pulsing dance loops and ‘interest’ elements sprinkled all over. RiskyKidd is indeed very talented in expressing both the edgy and limitless needs of the YOLO crowd and the ‘day-time’ empowerment of his generation to be the driving force of positive changes in the world. I’d like to hear more of the later in the balance, but that’s probably because I am a mother of three sons and have a great respect for the youth…  😉
What’s really exciting is to see how all the different styles of songs fit together in this one competition.

San MarinoSan Marino: Valentina Monetta – Maybe (Forse)
​I struggle with this song. I so much want to love it… Valentina is a likable performer, obviously very skilled and talented​ and I love her energy and lightness. The song has a beautiful thought it conveys – a question humans have been pondering through arts since the beginning of ages. The arrangement starts out simple and current but then it starts sounding dated (especially in the treatment of lead vocal and in the writing of back-up parts). I have to believe this was a conscious choice – to evoke some time gone by when life and dreams seemed different and to take us back in time of Abba’s “Winner Takes It All”.
I want people like Valentina to reach people across the globe – with her Light and sense of freedom. So good luck and  “Thank you for the music” 😉

SpainSpain: Ruth Lorenzo – Dancing In The Rain
​This is a great, uplifting song. I love it’s positive message. The poetry of the Spanish lyrics is especially powerful to me – it sounds strong and grounded. The song has a great build and I especially love the use of strings in the choruses. Ruth’s voice is beautiful and powerful. She is a great singer and I have no doubt the live performance will be just as impressive as the recording.
After only a few listens, I found myself humming this song – and feeling uplifted by it. That’s the whole reason why we make music, isn’t it? Good luck!

HungaryHungary: András Kállay-Saunders – Running
This is a good​, balanced song that tells a ​hard ​story. The simple story-telling melody in the beginning develops into ​a repetitious hook which successfully accents the urgency of ​in the lyrics. The line: “I can see the angels standing by your side​, it’ll be alright​” pops up beautifully bringing the right balance of hope and light into the dark topic without being cheesy. The mix of acoustic piano and clubby-techno arrangement is an interesting production choice, which didn’t work for me the first time I heard it – but grew on me as I listened more.
​Bringing this song into the Eurovision arena is a beautiful way to raise awareness of child abuse and domestic violence – much gratitude to the Kallay-Saunders’ team.

We would just like thank Tajči for sharing her opinions and furthermore, to state that these opinions are that of Tajči herself, and not of everyone at escXtra. Feel free to give your own opinion in the comments below! Stay tuned for day six tomorrow!

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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