Friday, May 20, 2011

Eurovision Song Contest 2011

I was asked to do a review of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. So I thought why not. I decided to introduce my favourite 10 of the year. By the way, I left Rockefeller Street out because I have talked about the song about three times at least. 

TOP TEN


10. UNITED KINGDOM: Blue - I Can
Tenth place goes to recently reunited successful British boy band Blue and their entry "I Can". 

The song is a decent pop song. It's catchy and the studio version of it sounds good. (Check out the official music video here) But the live performance in Düsseldorf was horrendous. Firstly some members have surprisingly weak voices, secondly they had bad backing singers, they sang more out of tune than the boys. And what I hate about reunited boy bands is that they usually forget they have actually grown older and they're not in their twenties anymore. I know that teen girls are crazy about semi-nude fit guys, but not about semi-nude men, who could easily be their fathers. On stage they had some clothes on, thank god for that, but their music video and on the screens they had on stage. 



9. FINLAND: Paradise Oskar - Da Da Dam
9th place in my top10 is awarded to Finland and their new star Paradise Oskar with his "Da Da Dam" which finished undeservedly low, only 21th place.

Behind Paradise Oskar we find a 20 years old Axel Ehnström, who sings about some young boy Peter, who got brainwashed by his teacher and decided to start fighting about saving our Mother Earth. No-one listened to Peter, but mumbled about other not so important thing - yes, that's the Da Da Dam part. Well, what can I say, the lyrics are silly. Songs about saving the world are always foolish though. Oskar is acting a silly unspoiled kid on stage and I must say he does that well.

Anyway, I've always been a fan of nice melodic guitar ballads and that's why it has instant appeal on me too.


 

8. HUNGARY: Kati Wolf  - What about my dreams?

Eight place is awarded to Hungary. Hungarians decided to send Kati Wolf with "What About My Dreams?" to Düsseldorf.

It's a catchy and powerful pop song. Unfortunately Kati's vocal abilties are not good enough for a powerful song like this, and therefore the performance was rather weak. That's why I recommend everyone to listen to the studio version (check out the official video here). There's that something in that song which makes you want to listen to it all over again and again.



 

7. IRELAND: Jedward - Lipstick
Seventh place is taken by Jedward and their entry "Lipstick". 

The Irish twins John and Edward are known from the British talent show, The X Factor. They reached quite far, although their vocal abilities are nearly nonexistent. That's why they need quite a lot help from backing singers. To be honest I didn't really listen what the song is about. The studio version of the song is quite good (watch the official music video here) and surprisingly the live performance was listenable as well.. Why the song is here? Well, it's a catchy song and like it or not, but the twins are very good performers. Their weird dancing, hairstyle and seeing how much they enjoy being on stage - that's what I like about it. 


 

6. LATVIA: Musiqq - Angel In Disguise
Sixth place goes to Latvia and their entry "Angel in Disguise". Actually the song has been posted here few months ago. I introduced you the popular Latvian group Musiqq and to be honest they are my favourite Latvian group. Yes, I like them more than Brainstorm. The song was my favourite song for some weeks and I listened to it all over again and again. Anyway it was unfortunately very underrated in Düsseldorf. It should have qualified.

5. ITALY: Raphael Gualazzi - Madness of Love
My personal 5th was Italy. Italians came back after many years with a pop jazz something song, sung by Raphael Gualazzi. The song was called Follia d'Amore or in English Madness of Love.

I didn't like the song before the performance in Düsseldorf. It really wasn't even that genre of music I really appreciate. But there was something in that performance... Maybe it caught my eye and stood out, because there's no running and jumping around, no massive beats, breaking glasses, pyro or choreography. There's Raphael who's playing piano and singing... then there's brass instruments and there was that awesome piano part. The song is sung 2/3 in Italian and 1/3 in English... usually I don't like songs in two or three languages, but as I love Italian that much, I even didn't notice that there was English as well.. Surprising, but deserved second place!



  

4. FRANCE: Amaury Vassili - Sognu
Fourth is France, who was represented by Amaury Vassili. They say it's the world's youngest professional tenor. The song was in Corsican and was called "Sognu". It's a powerful operatic pop song. It was a hot favourite, leading in betting odds and everything, but finished 15th. The studio version of it is amazing and I'm pretty sure that Amaury had no vocal problems as a professional opera singer, but somehow the live performance was boring and weak. Both the backing track and his vocals were weak. Plus Amaury unfortunately doesn't have much performance skills, meaning that it's boring to watch him on stage.. He's just there singing and giving you nothing more than his voice.. Even no facial expressions what so ever. Yeah, it sounds very negative. But that's because it was a very dissapointing performance... I guess the sound techicians should get some bashing as well.. I don't know why, but amazing backing track was weak as well.. You should all check out his official video to compare. It's here. The song is fourth because it's amazing, that's it.


3. GERMANY: Lena - Taken By A Stranger

Third in my personal raking is the German entry "Taken By A Stranger". The song was sung by Lena Meyer-Landrut, who by the way won the contest in 2010. I like this song a lot and I love the performance. Now I should explain why, but the funny or sad thing is that I don't know how. It's really difficult for me to describe why I like it. I guess the song is just quirky enough... it has that dark shade and over all that mysterious feeling.. and the beat it has *insert heart symbol*. I guess the most important is Lena herself. She's such a performer.. On stage she had these girls dancing behind her. Well I can't remember what they did, cause my eyes were only on Lena. And that's exactly how she won the contest in 2010.


 

2. SWEDEN: Eric Saade - Popular
Second is Sweden. Swedes were represented by their own Justin Bieber... Well, he's name is Eric Saade and Eric sung about how much he believes that one day he will be popular. The song has absolutely ridiculous lyrics. "Don't tell me it's impossible, cause I know it's possible" and "My body wants you girl, my body wants you girl.." are only few examples what can be found there. The song doesn't have much melody as well.. So what I actually do like about the song is that it's so well produced! The song was mostly made for the dance routines and other cool things like breaking some glass on stage. That's why the song had the most amazing beats of the whole contest.. Just listen to the beginning... aah, that's the part I love the most (I mean before he starts singing). Don't think I have anything against Eric. No, I have kinda liked Eric's music for a year already. He's a good performer, though he seem to be quite cocky after getting as popular as he is... Don't know why is he singing about getting popular, he would die because of his large ego.


  

 1. DENMARK: A Friend In London - New Tomorrow
*Drum roll* And the Oscar goes to... or should we say "Douze pointe" goes to Denmark. Yes, Danes were this time represented by inded pop and rock group A Friend in London with their pop rock song "New Tomorrow", which basically is another "Let's make the world a better place" type of song. The song has been accused for plagiarism and it sound similar to numerous songs. But I don't care.. really, I love it just the way it is.. Catchy tune, lyrics that are easy to sing along.. I guess the fifth position shows that all.. I'm not a fan of their performance, because the studio version sounds so much better. But I think this was the only group on stage who were exactly who they were and did their own thing and I guess that brought them quite a lot of points. I'm not sure that I like that much more than Swedish, German or Italian song... but that's just how I decided today.


   

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getter Jaani - Rockefeller Street


The Yellow Rubber Boot is finally back. I'm sorry for not posting for quite a long time.

We're starting with a new Estonian album. The most popular artist in Estonian music industry at the moment is  Getter Jaani, who recently represented Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. But few days before going to Düsseldorf she gave out her debut album. The album was named after her Eurovision entry, Rockefeller Street.

About Getter Jaani
Source: Getter Jaani's Facebook page. 
She's 18 years old (born on February 3, 1993) girl from Tallinn. She came to stardom at the third season of Estonian Idol, where she finished fourth. After that she had the role of Sharpay Evans in Estonian version of "High School Musical" and has taken acting classes at the Kaari Sillamaa School of Fine Arts. She studies at the Tallinn Centre of Vocatuonal Disciplines to become a tailor-stylist.

After the Idol show she started collaborating with Sven Lõhmus, who is one of the most successful Estonian songwriters and producers. In June 2010 she gave out EP album - "Parim Päev". In February 2011 she took part of song contest "Eesti laul 2011" with "Rockefeller Street". She won the contest and was therefore sent to represent Estonia to Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. She was initally one of the favourites and qualified to the grand final, where she ended up second last -  on 24th position. (Which is still a good position, considering that Estonia has been in the grand final only twice since introducing semi-finals). 

Rockefeller Street (album)
The album was released on May 2nd, 2011. It consists of 12 songs, the first one of these is Rockefeller Street itself. The song has been a big radio hit since winning Eesti laul song contest, leaving the initial favourite of the contest, Ithaka Maria, with almost no radio airplay. As the song was a huge favourite to finish in top 5, Estonians were waiting a sure qualification to the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest and many believed it will win the whole thing, including well-known musicians. The song itself is a catchy up-tempo pop song which talks about magical show which should take place on Rockefeller Street in New York City. We should mention that there's no such street in NYC. After listening to that once or twice you may later found yourself singing in your head 'One-Two-Seven-Three down the Rockefeller Street...'

Getter's performance in the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest


2011 Estonian biggest summer hit will come from this album. It's the track number two - "Valged ööd", featuring Koit Toome. Two singers have come out with a good up-tempo song, which talks about warm summer nights, beaches and calls people up to enjoy summer. A real radio and club hit is on it's way.. By the end of August everyone knows the lyrics by heart, I'm pretty sure about that.




There are many other very catchy up-tempo songs like Grammofon, Parim päev, Ebareaalne. While there are also slow songs like Must klaver or ballads Alles alguses and Me kõik jääme vanaks. There's also some eastern spice ("Teater") and electronic music ("Robot"). Every song is individually good and is different from another and that is something that makes an album a good album for me.

Here's a preview of all songs from the album:


 
Getter's Official Homepage: www.getterjaani.com

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Sound of Arrows - Nova

We're back with a Swedish electronic music group named The Sound of Arrows. The group consists of Oskar Gullstrand and Stefan Storm, both from Gävle. There's not much information about the group. But what we do know is that they're about to release their debut album on April 25, 2011 via Geffen Records. Their first single from the album is already released. It's called Nova. It's an amazing track... It's kind of uptempo dreamy stuff..  It's that good, that I don't even know how to actually comment that. You should definitely check it out...


If you liked that, you may also want to check out one of their first hits, Into the Clouds. Just as amazing as Nova!



    

Friday, March 11, 2011

Capital Cities

This time I'm extremely thrilled that I can introduce you a musical group Capital Cities, which is definitely one of my personal favourites... and that based on only three-four songs.

Capital Cities is basically a duo from Los Angeles, USA. Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, who are the members of the group, have been collaborating since 2008. At first they did music for advertising. They're doing this kinda mixed stuff of Pop, Rock, Dance and Electro. And it sound amazing!

The first song I ever heard  from them was One Minute More and I instantly fell in love with it. Unfortunately there's no information about that track. Neither on their official website, facebook nor their official bandcamp website. Nowhere. Only the video of the song on Youtube, which was by the way uploaded by me. You definitely have to check out that one, you're gonna love it.



Capital Cities is also about to release their debut single. Not sure, but it's name should be Safe and Sound. That's how one of their tracks is called. Safe and Sound is also on free download, so if any of you like the song, you can easily download it. The song was originally a demo for Coca Cola commercial, but was rejected.



You can check out Capital Cities' other tracks on their bandcamp website: http://capitalcities.bandcamp.com

Their Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/capitalcities

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Wanted - Gold Forever

So back to new releases... (Haven't wrote about any for some time).  British-Irish boy band The Wanted is about to out release their fourth single - Gold Forever.

The single is the official Comic Relief single for Red Nose Day, 2011. It will be released officially on March 13, 2011.  As far as we understood, Comic Relief should be a charity which was founded in 1985 in the UK by two comedians in response to famine in Ethiopia. And the highlight of the whole thing is the Red Nose Day, which is a biennial telethon held in March.

They have already given out music video for the single. You can see a lot of red noses there. Video is definitely fun to watch as it looks really natural, because they're kinda fun behind the cameras as well.. Love that they have kept the bloopers in.

Track itself is a very good pop song like most of The Wanted's songs from their debut album. It definitely will reach high and hopefully brings in a lot of money for charity!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Laura Põldvere


If so far we have always posted about Estonian artists who has recently released something, then this time we're introducing an Estonian artist who is soon to release her new studio album. We're talking about Laura Põldvere (born 30 August 1988), who is an Estonian jazz, blues and soul singer.

2005: MOONWALK
Laura was only sixteen when she took part of Radio Sky Plus' competition to find a singer who would take part of Estonian national final for Eurovision Song Contest, Eurolaul 2005 with Sven Lõhmus' song. Laura won it and participated in Eurolaul with a song named Moonwalk, reaching 2nd place. Laura also participated in Eurolaul with another Lõhmus' song, being part of girls group Suntribe. Suntribe won the contest with Let's Get Loud. Laura together with four other girls represented Estonia in Kiev. They finished 20th in the semi-final.




2006: KAKS TAKTI ETTE
Eurolaul 2005 wasn't the last contest Laura took part. In 2006 she took part one of the most important singer's contest in Estonia. Most of Estonian well-known singer have compeated there. The song contest is called "Kaks Takti Ette" and means "Two Bars Forward" (musically ofc). If in Eurolaul, Laura sang a pop ballad and a cheerful 100% pop song. Then in Kaks Takti Ette she sang her favourite - jazz! Laura won the contest!



2007: SUNFLOWERS and MUUSA
Sven Lõhmus was asked to participate in Eurolaul 2007. He said yes and came to the contest with Laura. The song was called "Sunflowers" and Lõhmus said that it was specially made to be similar with Moonwalk. Laura came third in the contest.

On September 1, 2007 she gave out her debut album. It was called Muusa (Muse in English). The album has 11 song, including Moonwalk and Sunflowers. Also songs "Muusa", "581C" and "Lihtsad asjad" featuring Raivo Tafenau were given out as singles. A music video to Laura's "Muusa" was also filmed.


Laura Põldvere - Muusa
Uploaded by sirenablava. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

2009: DESTINY and ULTRA
In 2009 Laura took part of the song contest which replaced Eurolaul, Eesti Laul 2009 (Estonian Song 2009). Laura's song was called "Destiny" and it talked about future, technology, robots and all that stuff. Laura was the public favourite, recieveing the most votes from televoters. But the contest also had a jury. Concluding the jury's and public votes, Laura came once again third.

Later that year Laura gave out her second studio album named "Ultra". The album consists of 14 songs, including Destiny. Songs "Ultra", "Südasuve rohtunud teed" and "Pühakud" were also released as singles.



2010: VÕID KINDEL OLLA
In the end of 2010, Laura's newest single "Võid kindel olla" (You Can Be Sure) was released. The song is involved with politics! Yes, that's right!. Although Laura has said that she is apolitical. Võid kindel olla is the slogan of Estonian Reform Party's campaign for the 2011 Parliamentary Elections which are held today (March 06, 2011). The song is played in the background of Reform party's commercials. Laura has said that the song was not written for the campaign. She has nothing to do with the song being used in political campaign and she doesn't get a single euro cent for it being used.



So this is Laura Põldvere! She's definitely one of the best Estonian artist. We love her to bits.. Laura is a wonderful person, though sometimes it seems that she doesn't have enough ambition to climb higher, which is sad. I hope she doesn't end up like Maarja-Liis Ilus, who today is only singing in musicals, being a judge in a tv show and once in a while recording a christmas album - basically just making money. Next time, when we're talking about an Estonian artist, it will be Maarja-Liis Ilus!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Getter Jaani - Rockefeller Street

After posting about the both semi-finals of Eesti Laul 2011, it would be only fair to talk about the winner. The winner of Eesti Laul 2011 was Getter Jaani with her "Rockefeller Street".

Getter Jaani is 18 years old and is from Tallinn. She raised to fame in Estonian Idol - she finished 4th. Right after being eliminated, one of the most successful songwriters in Estonia, Sven Lõhmus, contacted Getter. After the Estonian Idol, Getter had a role in Estonian version of High School Musical. In January 2010 she gave out her debut single "Parim päev". In June her debut album "Parim päev EP" was released together with her second single "Grammofon". 

Now about Eesti Laul.. She participated in first semi-final and won it. She was the televoters favourite and second place in the jury's ranking. Recieved more than 5800 votes. 
In the final Getter was only fourth in the jury's ranking, but won the televote with 15 600 votes. She went through to the super final together with our favourite, Outloudz. In the superfinal she recieved 62% of all votes and won the show. 

The results of the final:
10th - Mimicry "Storm"
9th - Noorkuu "Be My Saturday Night"
8th - Rolf Junior "All & Now"
7th - MID "Smile"
6th - Victoria "Baby Had You"
5th - Ithaka Maria "Hopa'pa-rei!"
4th - Jana Kask "Don't Want Anything"
3rd - Orelipoiss "Valss"
2nd - Outloudz "I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan"
1st - Getter Jaani "Rockefeller Street"

And here's the Estonian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, which will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany. Check out, Getter's live performance: