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> Returning Artists 2021, Comparison
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Colm
post Mar 16 2021, 01:26 PM
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I thought it might be interesting to present my thoughts on the 26 returning artists' 2021 songs and see if they have improved on their 2020 ranking in my list. Others can use this thread too to add their own

I'll do them in batches as 26 individual posts would be unnecessary.

(I will be using most of the commentary in the rankings thread when I get around to doing a full review on all 39 songs)


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Belgium
Hooverphonic - The Wrong Place

I just find Hooverphonic so unrelentingly stupefying. It's like they take Lana Del Rey songs, change the key and then decide to sing and play it out of key they just chose to do it in. There are more annoying songs to come but this feels so lazy. No move since 2020 because they offered us the only song that I actively hated last year - mostly for the same reasons as I dislike The Wrong Place. I've seen a lot of people predicting this will qualify. If it does that at the expense of Ireland I will be staging a hunger strike by not eating Belgian Waffles until 2022.

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Ukraine
Go_A - Shum
As with last year, they avoid bottom of the pile due to the sonic anesthesia that is Belgium.
The positives - they're certainly interesting and I respect their artistic choices. Negatives - I just can't find anything that I enjoy in this and I often have to press skip while I'm listening to the whole bunch.
Qualification seemed to be a more common opinion last year. This year, I see people predict it being a borderline case or a clear risk of dropping out during the semi-final.
I've always felt that the singer looks and sounds like Nelly Furtado's, permanently vexed Ukrainian cousin.

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The Netherlands
Jeangu Macrooy - Birth of a New Age

I know it's starting to look like my ranking is similar to last year's. I promise there will be more significant climbers/fallers later. laugh.gif

Both the Netherlands entries for this year and last year seem incredibly worthy songs. There's obviously a lot of life experience in the two songs but they do absolutely nothing for me. I've tried hard to find something to like but it ain't happening.

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North Macedonia
Vasil - Here I Stand
The first, but by no means the most tragic disappointment in this chart. I really liked the intimate funkiness of You last year. Here I Stand is just all drama and no hook. I appreciate that he wrote it as a response to the cancellation of last year's contest. Dull, dull, dull.


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Latvia
Samanta Tīna - The Moon Is Rising

Biggest fall from the top 10 and the biggest fall over all. sad.gif
While Still Breathing had lots of hooks and had such potential to be a memorable performance, this is just a disaster. It might come alive on stage but it really is the biggest disappointment in this year's lot. Sure, some people will love it but I can't see it being immediate for enough of the public to vote for it. Maybe that's just my experience.

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Lithuania
The Roop - Discoteque

First of a handful of offenders who did not change their style significantly this year, but crucially, forgot to find an instrumental hook or a vocal refrain as addictive for their new song. I got bored of On Fire but it was still so much better than this is.


This post has been edited by Colm: Mar 16 2021, 02:17 PM
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diva thin muffin
post Mar 16 2021, 02:10 PM
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How funny that we both made threads on comparing the songs of this year and last year with literally minutes apart laugh.gif Although the premise of the threads are quite different but still a funny coincidence.

Personally I think Belgium's entry is much better this year but it's falling down in my ranking quite fast already. Ukraine I liked a lot more last year as I'm not quite getting into it this year. Netherlands I liked last year but I absolutely love Jeangu's new entry and can't wait to see it live! North Macedonia I agree with you, it was okay for me last year but I can't stand "Here I Stand" lmao. Latvia I'm still kind of digesting, I think it'll be interesting live but it's quite all over the place right now. I do agree that "Discoteque" is not as good as "On Fire" though, as the former was quite unique and felt really inspired and authentic but the latter just feels like a cop-out and hasn't managed to win me over yet but maybe that'll change when I see it live.
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Herbs
post Mar 16 2021, 03:01 PM
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I’ve only started listening to this years songs so will definitely compare my thoughts with yours.

Agree on the Vasil song - He definitely thinks the song is something and it is not

Of the ones I’ve listened to, I am intrigued on your thoughts on Australia and Ireland (in my opinion one has a better song, one has a weaker song)
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Colm
post Mar 16 2021, 03:04 PM
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My thoughts on Australia are complex. We'll get to it later.
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nickthenoodle
post Mar 16 2021, 03:45 PM
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My thoughts:

Belgium: for me this is a huge improvement on last year but unfortunately I just find the main guy (Alex?) so unlikable it's hard for me to judge without prejudice. I do, however, think this could qualify with appropriately moody staging.

Ukraine: personally, I loved Solovey and the original Shum but am finding the new Shum difficult to get used to. I do think Ukraine could be at risk of losing their qualifying streak this year.

Netherlands: I personally prefer this year to last year, I think it's more instant and feel as if the lyrics are immediately more powerful. For me it's the perfect host entry because it showcases an underrated element of Dutch music. Whilst I do expect this to come bottom 3 in the final, I think it's by no means an entry the Dutch should be ashamed of.

North Macedonia: You was probably in my bottom 2/3 last year, I thought it sounded really cheap and didn't showcase Vasil well at all. This year for me is an improvement but it's still pretty low for me as it seems Macedonia's 2019 success was more of a fluke than an indication of their direction of travel.

Latvia: Still Breathing is probably the first female Eurovision bop I've ever disliked. I just found it too disjointed and the tone of Samanta's voice a little offputting. I do think Moon is Rising is a step up and more instant but multiple listens still aren't something I would recommend for this song.

Lithuania: I could see this being a shock NQ, they've attempted to repeat last year's success in the same way Iceland has but it comes off sounding like a pretty pale imitation rather than an evolution or a strong song in its own right.
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Colm
post Mar 16 2021, 07:58 PM
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20 | newdown.png [15]
Azerbaijan
Efendi - Mata Hari

There was a part of Cleopatra that was amazing - the pre-chorus. Oh, how I would have loved a song that was as good as that part from Azerbaijan this year.
I got the opposite. They didn't even include a similarly melodic part so what we're left with is total rubbish.
I didn't really have high hopes so it's not as heartbreaking as Latvia.

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Austria
Vincent Bueno - Amen

This climbs because there's so much detritus this year and the fact that I don't dislike Amen as much as I did Alive. Unless there is some sort of miracle (can I get an Amen?), I will never want to hear this after semi-final 2 in May.

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Slovenia
Ana Soklič - Amen

Joint biggest fall. For whatever reason, I loved Voda. Even before the re-vamp. Amen is ok, I guess, but a huge disappointment. I seem to be in the minority in preferring Voda.

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Iceland
Daði og Gagnamagnið - 10 Years

Dropping out of the top 10, this just doesn't cut it. There's a fine pre-chorus but it might as well be the same song so it loses its unique aspect. Also, if you take away the string intro and the 2 seconds silence at the end, the already-short song is really only 2:28 long. Could they not even be bothered to write a full song?

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Spain
Blas Cantó - Voy a quedarme

This is the 3rd and final non-mover in this rundown. I started off liking this a lot more but as more and more songs got released, this just lost its magic.


This post has been edited by Colm: Mar 16 2021, 07:59 PM
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Colm
post Mar 18 2021, 12:21 PM
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United Kingdom
James Newman - Embers

This is quite peculiar. Sometimes I listen to it and think that it doesn't suit his voice. Other times it sounds fine. It is better than last year's effort which I didn't dislike as much as I normally dislike the UK entry. The brass makes it. Have we reached peak brass at Eurovision yet? I have no clue how the staging will work. It could be a disaster if they try something that doesn't suit him.

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Bulgaria
Victoria - Growing Up Is Getting Old

Like Iceland and Lithuania, they seemed to remove the hook out of last year's entry and hoped that people would still like it. I went back to Tears Getting Sober last week and is so much better than this. It is growing on me and I wouldn't mind if it won

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Georgia
Tornike Kipiani - You

This is growing on me every day. It sounds like the slow song that a hard rock band would record and release as the 4th single off an album. It is not instant - well, at least not for me. I'm aware that it is one of many songs that are part of the bland batch that some would place below 30th in their rankings. Its appeal is not something I can explain.

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Israel
Eden Alene - Set Me Free

Another huge disappointment. Feker Libi was my number 1 ethnic bop last year and is still top 3 in my 2020 rankings. Spotify tells me that it was my most played track of the year.
This is ok but I never actively go to listen to it, unlike I do with Georgia which may pass it in my rankings depending on how the revamp of this goes.

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Malta
Destiny - Je Me Casse

I was so confused by this when I first heard of it. I'm not usually someone who gets drawn in by the overtly sassy/attitude-laden songs that Eurovision fans go frothy at the mouth over. This is no exception. Her vocals are perfect and there's yet more brass!

All My Love was amazing and I really prefer it.


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diva thin muffin
post Mar 18 2021, 12:27 PM
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I still mostly agree with you here.

I also think Austria and Georgia are better this year but I don't really like neither of their entries so it's only a slight improvement haha. UK I think I prefer the old one but I think both are nice. Bulgaria's song is a big let down for me as I quite liked her output last year but this is just snooooze, Israel I still like but I LOVED "Feker Libi" and the same goes for Malta as I think "Je Me Casse" is great but "All Of My Love" was my top song last year. I love "10 Years" but of course "Think About Things" was iconic so it's a tough trade. Spain, eh, I wasn't a huge "Universo" fan but I still quite liked it. This just doesn't do anything for me.
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Colm
post Mar 18 2021, 06:56 PM
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Now we're into the songs that I actually enjoy listening to.

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Serbia
Hurricane - Loco Loco

I see people referring to this as trashy. Perhaps it's the video because musically this is far above the quality of Hasta La Vista (which was Atomic Kitten b-side trashy). I'm looking forward to this on stage.

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Greece
Stefania - Last Dance

I was a big fan of Supergirl. The chorus wasn't amazing but everything else was, plus the bridge was monumental. This is great too and I expect it to grow on me more.

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Australia
Montaigne - Technicolour

Despite Montaigne dropping a place, this is better than Don't Break Me for me. When I first heard it, I thought it was a mess, though. The live version, of course is quite a challenge to listen to and I don't expect it to go down well in Rotterdam. I wonder if Marina has heard this. If so, I wonder what she thinks of it.
I can see this sticking with me a lot longer than many other songs from this year.

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Estonia
Uku Suviste - The Lucky One

I really disliked What Love Is. I just listened to it now for research purposes. I just feel that the chord structure is so tired and overdone. The chorus is so pedestrian. I'm sure some people think exactly the same thoughts about The Lucky One.
At least the production here is at least up to date - but perhaps that's not enough for. This might plummet in my estimation by the time the contest comes around.

I fully expect this to drop out at the semi-final stage.

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Czech Republic
Benny Cristo - Omaga

There seems to be mixed feelings about this out there. I really did not like Kemama but this is just so much for me to listen. It's not even the type of music I would normally listen to. I do get Calvin Harris in the verses. I dont know what they're gonna do on stage for this but it could crash out at the semis stage too.


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Colm
post Mar 20 2021, 05:11 PM
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05 | newup.png [13]
Moldova
Natalia Gordienko - Sugar

A big climb but I was a fan of Prison so it's not the biggest climb, this has certainly been the video that I have watched most. I must have watched the it 10 times in a row when I first discovered it. This lives or dies on the visuals accompanying the song - whether that be on YouTube or on stage in Rotterdam. I've been describing it as Maruv x California Gurls + Gangnam Style to anyone who will listen.

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Romania
Roxen - Amnesia

Alcohol You was a great song ruined by a terribly self-conscious chorus. Thankfully, Amnesia does not suffer from that affliction. I am getting fatigued be the vocal processing that goes on in modern production. I suppose it's an arms race - if you don't use it your vocals seem flat and untextured.


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Switzerland
Gjon's Tears - Tout l'Univers

Here's last year's 1st place. Tout l'Univers is very very close to being as good as Répondez-moi. In fact, the verses are better. The piano gives me Pyramid Song chills and the verse melody could not be any more beautiful. It just seems to have fewer sections than Répondez-moi with a weaker chorus.


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Ireland
Lesley Roy- Maps

So many reaction videos featured reviewers becoming emotional while listening to this. It took a few more listens for that to happen to me but I think some of that was national pride at actually sending a song that might get out of the semi-final. I harbour secret hopes that this might end up on the left hand side of the scoreboard. I think what may propel it is that there's touches of the Corrs here and there. There is a traditional underbelly somewhere.

One downside - over processed vocals in the opening lines.

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San Marino
Senhit - Adrenalina

The biggest surprise in Eurovision for a long, long time. It may not have the madness of Mata Hari or the hyperventilating robotics of El Diablo but you cannot argue with the melody in this. Freaky was 100% awful. - edit. I just went back to Freaky. It's not that bad really. 😎


This post has been edited by Colm: Mar 20 2021, 06:28 PM
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Herbs
post Mar 30 2021, 07:41 AM
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I’ve listened to a few more songs for this year.

I found that Hooverphonic improves with more listens. Not sure this will really help it on the night as people look out for an instant hit.

I can actually see a charm to Vasil’s song but it still falls a bit flat

Still love Marina’s song (or is that Montaigne) - although based on betting odds it may miss the final. I do agree with you that it’s better than last years song

I don’t dislike Lesley Roy’s song - I just feel that Story of My Life was more in your face good. Would be nice to see Ireland do well for once

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Colm
post Apr 11 2021, 09:55 PM
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I went back to Cleopatra this evening. The pre-chorus is still solid gold. The whole thing is a much better than this year's disaster.
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