Iceland, Norway, Denmark, UK, Georgia, Serbia: Dreg Round Out

The very last (well almost) post of Eurovision entries rounds out all the entries that don't fit into the other categories, should have been in other categories but weren't, or that I've just not had the energy to write about before. All of them should ideally have got their own, well-considered entries but time is running critically short.

Let's start off with four more mysterious retro offers.

I grew up listeing to this sort of music, being a total Eurocheese fan around the age of ten. That was in 1991. And however much Iceland has updated some of the electronics and adapted the song to Eurovision stylistics with that soaring duetting, it's damned hard to look beyond the fact that it's essentially a stylistic borrowing from an era that falls into the Uncool gap. (Usually stuff more than a couple of years old up to maybe fifteen-twenty years old is always going to be uncool. Although the early nineties are possibly on the verge of a pending revival what with the renewed interest in Portishead and stuff.) In any case, it's gonna take some more clever reworking than this to get it contemporary - they could easily make something decent by keeping the vocals and changing the backing.

Norway's entry sorely needs heavy restructuring. Currently it's some sort of ABCABCC', of which the B part is so completely out of place it's ridiculous, with a totally different melodic feel and no apparent connection to the rest. And then C', the repeat of the bit that must tentatively be considered the chorus, goes into the same feel - bombastic broadway rather than popped-up folk song. It's major confusing and won't fly in this competition, where simplicity is utterly the key. They should have just gone for the verse and the chorus, added a Hardangerfela and written different lyrics for the second instance of the worse, walking before attempting to run.

The last Scandinavian entry also suffers from some gelling issues, with a straight-up happy chorus that doesn't really seem to work with the more relaxed verses and a strangely uncompelling bridge (though a decent middle-eight). That and its near-painful Danishness should prevent me from liking it. But the last half is killer: Beatles-like drive at a high level with a great horn part, good voice, lovely harmonies and a compelling singalong quality that could easily have gone along for several more minutes. I think this could be Denmark's most successful entry for years.

Yes, it's memorable and stuff. But the UK's entry falls under my strong aversion to fake old-style music and I'd rather not be poking at it too much. Soul fans might well vote for it anyway. *shudder*

And now for an entry that should have ended up somewhere in the previous two posts but inexplicably was forgotten.

I seem to have, eh, mislaid Georgia's pop entry with rock guitars last time but it fits well enough into that theme, with its touch of Bond-themeishness and its unusual lyrical content the only stand-out features. The eastern-ish chorus is probably the best part.

And finally host country Serbia's entry, which I'm a bit afraid might be the first step towards an Ireland-style development. First they become more and more successful at perfecting a formula, then after they win the quality of the entries slowly starts decreasing as the pattern becomes more superficial and formulaic. This isn't bad but it's nowhere near as dramatic as the best stuff; "low-key" might be the first step towards "smoothed-out". (Actually Greece is doing something similar - haven't their characteristic up-tempo pop songs become way more dull since they won it?) Watch out for a couple of bombs followed by a turkey in years to come.

There. I'm done. In time for the Semis. Phew.

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