Let’s not mess about, the Eurovision is great. Actually, truly, un-ironically great. All those trendy nostalgia fiends laughing in their hipster bars at the bizarre nature of it all miss the point entirely. It is not to be laughed at, it is to be enjoyed and raised. So in no particular order, here are 7 awesome songs to fill your ears with ahead of Saturday’s final. Hoorah
1. Ruslana – Wild Dances
The second greatest Eurovision song ever and unique to this day; Ukraine’s 2004 winner is a phenomenal riot of primal rhythms, folk melodies and a simply genius pop chorus. It’s stop-start aggression stomps over you with glee and abandon. Listening to it now, I’m so happy I could cry.
Yes, I know it only won last year and that I’ve already written about it at length. I also know that I am achingly biased as I have more than a passing interest in Sweden. That said, this is still a brilliantly crafted song that holds off the drop until my soul breaks from anticipation. It’s so good that everyone this year is ripping it off. Call it Lordi syndrome. I love it.
3. Laka – Pukosaj
Now for the greatest Eurovision performance there ever has and ever will be: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 2008 entry, brimming with ideas and energy. That a sizeable chunk of the allowed 3 minutes is dedicated to a slow build-up shows the confidence Laka has in his craft. What a build-up. When it breaks it is as if the clouds are falling after months of drought. I stand under it, mouth agape as it washes the arid past away. The ashes blowing in the wind. The bud opening in the morning light. I could go on. I probably shouldn’t.
2008 was a vintage year and France’s Sebastien Tellier (a genuinely phenomenal composer in his own right) got into the spirit with aplomb. This performance has everything; a cheery melody, doo-wop backing, golf cart entrance, helium, and singers in beards. Despite this madness, the most interesting and controversial decision was to sing in English, a first for the French entry which strangely makes it more charming than it need be.
5. Pollopönk – No Prejudice
Man, this should have won. This should have won SO bad. Though if you arere going to be beat then you might as well be beat by Conchita Wurst (which in of itself was a phenomenal song). This song makes me so happy; an Icelandic ball of summer and colour and life all wrapped up with the most positive message ever put before Europe.
Forgive me my personal nostalgia. 2002, I am only 17 and it’s my first Eurovision party. This song starts to play in all of it’s Grecian surrealism and melodic strangeness. I am forever hooked. That is all.
7. LT United – We Are The Winners Of Eurovision
There’s always one that tries to demand the win with tongue marginally in cheek, but this was different. It’s just so simple and charming with a gloriously subtle presentation by 6 suave, middle aged Lithuanians. It shouldn’t work at all. It should just throw all glam rock pretensions onto the pyre; but by the time the electric violin solo comes (from out of nowhere I might add) there is nothing to do. You are broke. I search frantically in my pockets for any spare points I can give them without success. Vote, vote, vote for the winners!
Enjoy your Eurovision one and all! But before you go be sure to like and subscribe and blah, blah, blah. You know how social media works. Here are the click links for Twitter, Facebook and Soundcloud. I trust you and your judgement; we wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.