Stockholm 2016

Xtra Review: Eesti Laul Semi-final 1

Less than two weeks until Estonia is going to start off their national final, Eesti Laul 2016. On social media, there is already quite the discussion going on about who should represent the Baltic state in Stockholm. Brent and Nick divided the two semi-finals and each reviewed one of them. We’re obviously starting with semi-final and you can read below what Nick had to say!

The Jingles – Love A Little Bit

A song which doesn’t really build. Starting the song, it feels as if you entered it right in the middle. Without vocals, this’d be good elevator music. The Australian lead singer, Jonathan Flack, isn’t bad, but he doesn’t really make a difference either. It’s fun, but it doesn’t leave much of an impression. These guys will go on stage to have fun and shouldn’t expect too much of a result.

Würffel – I’m Facing North

Yeah this is one song I quite like. It’s a modern electronic song, led by Rosanna Lints who already has quite a bit of Eesti Laul experience. This’d fit well on many radio stations all across Europe. It reminds me a bit of Blitzkids mvt. who were in Germany’s 2013 national final. There’s an audience for this type of song, but it will be made or broken by their live performance. Electronic music can often become a little awkward in performances, so I’m quite curious about this one.

Mick Pedaja – Seis

Talk about calm and soothing. No song deserves those two words more than this. He says his inspiration comes from nature and that shines through brilliantly. It’s so well done, I like this so much, but there is one thing… The only doubt I have is the visuals regarding this song. You often have some sort of idea how a song should look on stage, but I’m clueless what Mick needs to do with this one.

Indrek Ventmann – Hispaania Tüdruk

Yeah no. This musical actor ft. pharmacy student should stick to pharmacy and musicals. I’m just not a big fan of the entire Spanish summer kind of song. It just doesn’t work for me and this song is a very mild version of the genre. A version which doesn’t really want to choose what it is. It’s not horrible or terrible, it’s just nothingy. I’m all for intercultural things, but Spain and Estonian just don’t really match.

Cartoon ft. Kristel Aaslaid – Immortality

I don’t quite know what to say about this. It’s the typical DJ ft. singer combination we see so often and they do it quite well. It’s not a bad song at all and it’d be good for quite a few albums, for example on a Kerli album. No coincidence there as she is one of the composers. But that’s all it really is: An album filler. Kristel is a good singer, but she can’t make this outstanding either. Maybe a true fan of this genre will see more than I do, but all I thought was: Next. Sadly, this is one of the favourites.

Kéa – Lonely Boy

Not bad. Not bad at all, but I can’t say it’s new or original either. The chorus just consists of nothing but repeating the same over and over. This new face to the music scene hopes to be able to share her music with a large audience and I’m sure she’ll get that someday. Not with Lonely Boy though, as it just falls flat among the competition. I can’t see her going to Stockholm.

Kati Laev & Noorkuu – Kaugel Sinust

It took me quite a while to come up with a few words for this. It took me a good few listens before I realised I had been listening to the James Bond Polka. Can you imagine what this is now? It’s a big brass band kicking in before the chorus, but it’s loaded with trumpets and an accordion which makes it all a little folky. It’s ridiculously addictive and yet so terrible at the same time. I approve.

Zebra Island – How Many Times

This sounds nice and 90s, but it does have a modern electronic twist to it. This band have already been playlisted in the UK by BBC Radio 3, so that’s quite an achievement. The song however doesn’t really do much and is just thirteen in a dozen.  It’s a missed opportunity because some of their other songs are definitely worthy of a Eurovision stage. This, however, is not.

Laura – Supersonic

I know, the fan world has been going mad for this for weeks now and I won’t be the exception. This song has made the Eurovision season for me already. Who would’ve thought a Suntribe singer would be able to achieve this. This song ticks all the boxes, it is rather close to perfection and I will not be happy when Estonia decide to send someone else. This should be in Stockholm.
Are there no negatives at all? Of course there are. The lyrics of the song clearly haven’t been written by an English native, the odd You must have to choose and Dive into deep blue sea can get on your nerves. Stick an –s to sea and you’re there though. No issues there. I love books and poetry, so when Laura sings that life is a book where we have to write our own poetry, I’m sold.
Listen to it twice and you’ll want this on your playlist. On repeat. Until May and long after that.

WINDY BEACH – Salty Wounds

We’re off to the Copacabana in the intro. The Brazilian feel is staying throughout the song, but it’s mixed with stereotype 2015/2016 pop songs. Confusing is a good word for this one. Tuuli Rand (Windy Beach’s real name) was part of Teele, Tuuli & Ula in Eesti Laul before, so she has some experience with that stage, but I doubt the experience can save her this time. This song flies from left to right and ends up right in the middle of confusion.

My qualifiers

I won’t surprise anyone with my first three qualifiers. Looking at my reviews, the first qualifier is easily Laura. Her song is the most convincing of the lot and I really think she should go to Stockholm. Not Jüri Pootsmann (Brent will tell you about that one in semi two).
My second qualifier is Kati Laev & Noorkuu. The James Bond polka is highly addictive and the Estonian language is really nice to use in songs. So that automatically brings me to Mick Pedaja as the third qualifier. Calm and soothing, I liked that a lot.
Two spots to go and one of them has to go to Würffel. If they can do the staging well, they’d be a deserved qualifier. Despite not being a great fan of it, the final qualifier would have to be Cartoon ft. Kristel Aaslaid.

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