Some of the highlights, in my opinion:
Best video: Belarus, "Work your Magic"
Best pop: Denmark's "Drama Queen" beats out the UK's "Flying the flag".
Best rock: Finland, "Leave me Alone"
Most dramatic (rock/opera): Slovenia, "Svet Z Juga"
Most unexpected: Operatic boy band, Latvia, "Questa notte"; a close second was the 2000 gangsta crossed with 1920s gangsta piece from Poland, "Time to Party"
Best dramatic soundtrack: Close call. Either Moldova, "Fight" (rock violin!), or Bulgaria, "Water" (New age dance/rave)
Silliest: Switzerland, "Vampires are alive"
Albania - "Hear my Plea" - Ritualistic lounge pop with nice water reflections and the "required' folk instruments.
Andorra - Salvem El Món" - Green Day? Avril Lavigne? No, it's Anonymous. Perky rock.
Armenia - "Anytime you need" - Boy ballad. Typically instrospective. Folk instruments incorporated.
Austria - "Get a Life, Get Alive" - Rock/country. I don't know why this is an AIDS video, but there's a red large ribbon in the background.
Belarus - "Work your Magic" - Pop/rock. Really creepy zombie maid creatures waiting on modern princess captive by evil queen character. Disturbing fantasy/funhouse look. Pyrotechnics. "Lost in a good book" video moral. Quite possibly the best video of the batch, and a reasonable song with it.
Belgium - "LovePower" - Right out of the '70s. Hippy love crossed with disco. Dull.
Bosnia & Herzgovina - "Rijeka Bez Imena" - I want to play beach volleyball on a boat sailing on a wooded canal! With a balalaika player in a lifeboat! And french horns really do resemble circular barbecues! Introspective little pop ballad.
Bulgaria - "Water" - New Age dance/rave number. Hypnotic. Leather, wings, and water. This could be a fantastic soundtrack number.
Croatia - "Vjerujem U Ljubav" - Jazz/pop/rock. Guitar intensive. I got bored.
Cyprus - "Comme Ci, Comme Ça" - Anguished dance/rock number. The video shows lots of bored lightly gothy types staring blankly ahead. Another limited color palette one; popular cinematographic style this year.
Czech Republic - "Mála Dáma" - Boring heavy rock number.
Denmark - "Drama Queen" - Still quite catchy on the second listen. I can remember this tune. Cross-dressing main singer can sing. Basic song is straightforward, mainstream pop.
Estonia - "Partners in Crime" - Pop, potential for catchiness. My suspicion is that this has little distinctive by Eurovision standards other than a bit of minor earworming.
Finland - "Leave me alone" - Earnest rock with a lead singer who looks far more casually realistically goth than the Swiss participants can ever aspire to. It's like a real song! In Eurovision! I like the singing in the cold breath effect.
France - "L'amour à la Française" - Wacky all-male band. Upbeat song in Franglais.
FYR Macedonia - ""Mojot Svet" - Folk meets pop, with ballet dancers. Reasonably strong tune.
Georgia - "Visionary Dream" - Ritualistic drama pop with ballet dancers. Also rave-like interludes.
Germany - "Frauen Regier'n Die Welt" - Lounge singer with big band sound. Striking mostly for being a different style than the others, but not for much else.
Greece - "Yassou Maria" - Cool boy gets the girl, people naturally dance when they meet each other. A song about how wonderful Maria is. Latinate pop. Not bad actually, a little repetitious.
Hungary - "Unsubstantial Blues" - A girl and her guitar. Bluesy ballad with a beat. Another limited color palette video.
Iceland - "Valentine Lost" - Nicely limited color palette. Despairing rock ballad.
Ireland - "They can't stop the spring" - Very Irish. Accordion (again), bodhran, and fiddle; playing against a backdrop of children wallpainting. Fine, but uninspiring. Dull, even.
Israel - "Push the Button" - The Political One. In Hebrew, French, and English, about nuclear war, with cheesy lyrics. Lively.
Latvia - "Questa notte" - Boy band singing boy band lyrics operatically in jeans and top hats. Compellingly odd although I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe it's the boy band/opera combo?
Lithuania - "Love or Leave" - Earnest sophisticated guitar-playing woman singing of the inevitability of loss. With bongos.
Malta - "Vertigo" - Video is a blend of implied fairy tales: sleeping woman, running woman, sweeping black cloak. Ghost story? Romance? Lyrics are poor. Tango-themed. Dramatic.
Moldova - "Fight" - Rock violin and naked flame! Passionate woman fighting with song. Video has some sort of heavy-handed rat race plotline with white-color workers.
Montenegro - "Hajde Kroci" - Rock. Fluffy white wedding dresses are very dramatic when riding on a motorcycle. If I understood the lyrics, they could really make or break this song. Has some potential.
Netherlands - "On top of the World" -Melancholy dance number which starts off threatening to be a ballad. Very earnest.
Norway - "Ven a Bailar Conmigo" - Salsa again. Largely a rip-off of Latvia's winning 2002 number, including the mid-dance costume change. This time the song itself is about dancing and the singer dances too. All in all, much more interesting than the Portuguese entry.
Poland - "Time to Party" - Leather underwear. Gold chains. Gangsta intermixed with lounge singer/Flapper stylin'. Saxophones. Very temporarily enthrallingly odd. "You've got the right to party."
Portugal - "Dança Comigo (Vem Ser Feliz) - Fun salsa dancing in the background. I like the cut of the singer's shirt. Nothing particular to distinguish the song other than the salsa beat. Not bad, not special.
Romania - "Liubi, Liubi, I love you" - Love means the same thing around the world, especially when sung with an accordion in several European languages. I feel educated.
Russia - "Song #1" - (Didn't work on the Eurovision site, YouTube only had audio) - Rock/dance. Very breathy girls. "I'll take your money, honey."
Serbia - "Molitva" - Singer can sing, decent song. She reminds me of hawkida. Lots of circus performers doing shadow plays behind large-scale abstract art.
Slovenia - "Svet Z Juga" - Rock opera! Lovely effects of black confetti rising into the air! Black ballgown! Empty opera house! Operatic/pop voice! Some sort of affair in a hotel room?
Spain - "I love you mi vida" - Love me, I'm a boy band!
Sweden - "The Worrying Kind" - Very feminine male singer. Not a cross-dresser. Otherwise, very reminiscent of Denmark's "Drama Queen" entry.
Switzerland - "Vampires are Alive" - Cheesy perky dance singers do the vampire thing. Pretty good tune, painfully funny lyrics. Very wrong.
Turkey - "Shake it up Shekerim" - I like the limited color palette in the video. Very repetitious dance thing with traditional Middle Eastern musical elements.
Ukraine - "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" - Umm. Short people dressed in shiny silver costumes with pointed hats with accordions in the background. Was the song any good? Who knows? My eyes were so distracted, my ears failed to register much.
United Kingdom - "Flying the Flag (For You) - Fun! Happy! Camp! Innuendo-laden! Full of Eurovision references.
The easiest way to listen to all of these is via the official Eurovision site.
- Go to the Eurovision site's Media Centre page.
- Click "Launch Media Centre".
- Choose the "Video" tab. (The audio tab will only give you excerpts.)
- Pick your country of choice and listen/watch.