World of Chig   

UK songs unleashed

"Dramatic energetic disco with a heavy bass. Double chorus sections, spoken seductive part by Marina, and of course a key change. Madonna meets Boney M meets Abba at their darkest. Fireworks, elevators, bombs. And Marina on a long bright red couch, from which she will never move one bit, except when she mumbles or plays the synthesizer solo. 100% show, 100% drama."

Doesn't that just sound like the most fantabulous Eurovision entry ever? Whoopee! Sadly, it's the BWO song, 'Lay Your Love On Me' in tomorrow's Melodifestivalen heat in Sweden, not one of ours, as described by the band's loveable lunatic Alexander Bard to the Schlagerboys. It's my favourite song of the year and I haven't even heard it yet.

Fear not though, the UK's songs for Eurovision have been revealed today to a salivating public on the new, super-duper BBC Eurovision website. (If you thought you'd seen it earlier in the week, look again and blink. That was just the warm-up act. Today's version is the proper one.)

The clips on the BBC website are only 30 seconds long, but the full versions are available in all the usual places. In all honesty, the clips are quite misleading and don't give enough of an impression to make any proper judgements.

Luckily for you, I've played the full versions in order to have an opinion to share with you. Unluckily for you, I've played them in heavy rotation and lost all objectivity, forgetting to make any comments on them after just one hearing, which is how they will be judged next Saturday and how one of them will be judged in Beograd (if there's any of the city left by May).

All the songs are good. There's no turkey. (That's Ireland tomorrow.) But none of them are brilliant. This bodes extremely well for the TV show, because I haven't a clue what's going to win now, but there's nothing here which will hoover up points in Serbia.

Andy Abraham and The Revelations both have really strong songs, when taken out of the Eurovision context, but that's where they're best. I just can't envisage either of them on a Eurovision stage. But I can imagine The Revelations representing us, about 25 years ago. As a catchy Motown pastiche, their song is fabulous, and I'm enjoying it over and over again, but it's not what we should be sending to Eurovision. Andy's is funky and catchy, but this type of song would just sink without trace in Beograd, sad to say.

Rob McVeigh's power ballad is good, but it just doesn't achieve its full potential. It promises to go somewhere, then backs down again, then has a sort of fireworks moment, but it's more of a sparkler than a Roman candle. It needs a bit more punch, but that could easily be done before May, if he manages to scrape through next week. Rob should definitely wear his shirt open like this though. That will help.

Michelle Gayle's song, already with the disadvantage of the stupid title Woo (U Make Me), gets off to a very sudden start and reaches the chorus in record time, but the chorus is a load of nonsense. This is the kind of song that only exists in Eurovision preselections, in the same vein as Liz McAtomicKitten's effort last year, which also had a daft title with brackets in, namely (Don't It Make You) Happy! Michelle's song would never be played on the radio in this country and would never be a hit (except it if were to win this, but I don't think it will).

Simona's song is the weakest of the lot and I don't like her voice. It's rather screechy on this. Listen to the recording and it sounds like a high risk song for a live performance. It's not a song I expected from a former Maria contestant, which is brave of her, but if the judges put this through to the televote and not Rob's song, there will be rioting in the studio.

Which leaves LoveShy. Welcome to Serbia, Aimee and Emma. I think this is strong enough to do it, if the live vocals can cut the mustard with the beefy backing track. To be honest, the production on this recorded version sounds a bit muddy and muffled, but I think it may sound clearer on stage. They have also promised to have at least one 'Mr Gorgeous' on stage with them, which may just swing it. I intend to find out in the next few days if any of them will be familiar faces.

So, there we go. My prediction, having heard the songs, is exactly the same final (LoveShy vs. Rob) as I predicted two days ago before hearing more than a snippet of all of them. How odd, or strangely prescient, depending on your point of view.

Now, what will it take to get BWO (right) to represent us next year? (Failure in Sweden is probably the realistic answer to that question. Now I don't know whether or not to support them in the Melodifestivalen. Oh, life is full of dilemmas.)

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