Mixtapes for Hookers

My Eurovision Picks
May 4, 2011, 4:17 pm
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The Eurovision Song Contest is little more than a week away, and I think I’ve been remiss so far in letting you know who my favorites are.  Unfortunately I’ll be missing the televised final this year, although actually it’s not that unfortunate since I’m going to be on a plane to The Big Easy to celebrate my 30th birthday.  Nevertheless!  I’ve watched the videos for all 43 entries and, while I was initially kind of disappointed in the overall quality of this year’s contestants, I’ve come to like about half of this year’s 43 contestants.  After the jump, my top six:

While there are pretty good entrants this year from men (Italy) and bands (Moldova), my favorite songs are all performed by solo women.  Which is maybe not a surprise, knowing my tastes in popular music.  The best of this year’s bombastic ballads, Slovenia’s “Vanilija” is performed by Maja Keuc, runner-up on the last season of Slovenia’s Got Talent.

There’s something quite Shakira-esque about Armenia’s Emmy, whose kitschy, bouncy “Boom Boom” is, I suspect, probably already all over the dancefloors of Eastern Europe.  Unlike the Colombian wonder’s verbose hits, “Boom Boom” has maybe one too many repeated choruses.  Still, it’s extremely catchy without being cloying at all, a rare feat for a song this bubbly.

(Also, can we hope that the hot, hot man from this video makes an appearance on the Eurovision stage?)

Thirty-one year old Magdalena Tul, representing Poland, came of age during the millennial teen-pop years, and it’s pretty evident in this delightfully traditional pop number, which Tul will perform in her native Polish.  However, she’s also recorded in English with the title “First Class Ticket To Heaven.”  The chorus is pretty killer.

With a voice as large and dramatic as her eyelashes, Albanian Aurela Gace’s “Kenga Ime,” which she’s performing in English as “Feel The Passion,” has all the bombast and yelliness of a real Eurovision anthem.  The promotional video is something to behold, as well.

Germany’s Lena Meyer-Landrut unexpectedly won Eurovision last year with “Satellite,” and very shortly after it was announced that the young singer return in 2011 to defend her crown, something that’s quite rare in this competition.  So in a sense I don’t really want to see her win again, since no one has ever won twice and it’s sort of nice that way.  On the other hand, the ominous, minimal “Taken By A Stranger” is basically perfect.  It’s not standard Eurovision fare, sure, and I have no idea how it will be staged.  But of all this year’s contestants, this is the one song I most want to hear every day.

The nadir of the sixties soul revival is still Cee-Lo’s completely unafuckingvoidable “Forget You,” but petite Serbian singer Nina’s “Čaroban” serves as a cheery reminder that the retro trend is not actually as bad as, say, the ungodly swing revival of 1998.  Written by Kristina Kovac, half of popular 90’s dance duo K2, this song is adorable, and, happily, so is Nina.


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