On Tuesday, the 3rd of March 2020, Israel will select a song for Eurovision 2020.
On the 4th of February 2020, Eden Alene won the latest season of “Hacochav Haba La’Eurovision 2020″ (Eng: “The Rising Star For Eurovision 2020”). She has received 52% of the votes in the final of the show. Therefore, Eden has been chosen to represent Israel in Eurovision 2020
The Israeli broadcaster received 248 songs for Eurovision 2020.
4 among them, will be included in the national final.
The results of the final will be decided by a mechanism of 50% public voting and 50% expert jury voting.
The four songs have been released last Thursday.
In this post, I will review the four competing songs.
The songs will be presented according to the running order.
#1 – Eden Alene – Savior In The Sound
(Written and composed by Oren Emanuel, Talia Londoner, and Ori Avni)
It’s a ballad. The melody is based on piano playing. The first verses are being sung in a low voice (considering Eden’s voice, but not in general). However, in the bridge, she sings even lower. There is an echo effect in the production. The chorus is catchy and powerful but the melody isn’t changed in it. Afterward, she moves on almost immediately to the next verses. That verses and the chorus contain drums playing which adds a rhythm to the song. After the second occurrence of the chorus, there is a transition with a different melody and electronic beat. The 20 last seconds have a stamp of electro-dance music.
To sum up, it’s a radio-friendly power ballad with an American production. I would like to include it in my playlist but I think that it lacks a component in aim to be competitive. If it would be revamped with more electro beat than the song could have been much better.
#2 – Eden Alene – Roots
(Written and composed by Natan Goshen and Stav Beger)
It’s an uptempo pop ballad with ethnic motives. The song begins with the captivating sound of flute playing. The first verse’s melody is relying on keyboards and guitar with the computerized production. Before the bridge, there is a short middle-east music instrumental section.
In the bridge, the keyboard playing is powerful as well as her singing. She is using a higher voice. The second part of the chorus is a surprising drop with a computerized and childish voice. However, it’s important to emphasize that Eden won’t perform that part live: she will be dancing while a backing vocalist will perform it.
The second verse has more African and rhythmic character. The second occurrence of the chorus is catchy, powerful and blended in a good production. The song ends out of the blue.
An honorable mention must be given to the lyrics. The lyrics in the song describe the life story and heritage of Eden. Nevertheless, they tell a wide story which everyone can feel connected to. Everyone has roots and origins that he loves and can’t forget. The roots characterize us in ebb and flow, for bitter or worse.
Overall, I loved the song from the first time I heard it. I had an aversion to the drop part in the chorus. However, I learned to love it and unleashed my fears of live performance.
The song provides proof that even an uptempo song can be emotional.
#3 – Eden Alene – Rakata
(Written and composed by Gal “Jo” Cohen. Eyal Ishay, Tzlil Kalipi, and Eran Kashi)
It’s an uptempo ethnic pop song with Middle- East, African and Caribian motives.
The song has a basic melody with more complicated production.
The first two verses have a weak beat and they namely rely on Eden’s voice.
The bridge is modern and contains percussion instruments and again some African vibes. The chorus is catchy, loud (in a good way) and powerful. In the chorus, Eden shows her vocal abilities. The chorus has foundations of Middle-East and Israeli popular music.
After the chorus, we have a special section that’s all dedicated to African music and culture in all of the parameters: lyrics, melody, and style of singing.
Subsequently, the chorus arrives again with a massive beat that is been cut in two lines of powerful singing without any melody. In the end, we have again the chorus and an instrumental section with oriental Middle-East vibes.
One of the advantages of the song is its danceability which means that everyone would like to dance while it will be performed live. From the four songs in the line-up, it’s the easy one to remember and it the least complicated. However, it may be a little bit repetitive.
It resembles other songs with the same attributes: Israel 2015 (9th place in the final), Cyprus 2018 (2nd place in the final) and Switzerland 2019 (4th place in the final). With the right staging (emphasis on the dancing) it would do well.
#4 – Eden Alene – Feker Libi
(Written and composed by Doron Medali, and Idan Raichel)
The song contains lyrics of 5 different songs: Amharic, English, Hebrew, Arabic and an African Gibberish language. The first verse’s melody is based on traditional African music foundations. Afterward, there is a dominant drop that stopped by a water drop sound. The second verse just belongs to the pop genre. The chorus has more Middle-East character and it includes a repeating of the phrase “feker libi” (the love of my heart) in several languages. Moreover, some parts of it have Caribian vibes. The chorus ends in a loud beat. Afterward, Eden sings in English and an African Gibberish. The last half-minute was composed as a traditional Ethiopian music. The atmosphere of the song reminds of plenty of cultures, Africa, tradition, and nature. The song is decent and stands out. However, for me, it is too brimful. It feels like trying to include as many ingredients as possible and beyond: 5 languages, plenty of music genres (African, Europe pop, Ethnic pop, Middle-East, Caribian music and more). You can observe that a lot of efforts were invested in production (even too much). The song is a little bit complicated in the first listening.
My Personal Ranking
In my opinion, we have come across 4 decent songs. The majority of them can do really well in Eurovision. Israel was allocated to perform in the first semi-final.
I would be glad to see another song in the running that satisfy al least one of the following conditions:
A power ballad where Eden shows her strengths in terms of vocal abilities
Another uptempo song that hasn’t African motives.
At the moment, it seems like the majority of semi-final 1 songs will be ballads. Therefore, an uptempo song can stand out.
3 of the songs rely on African music motives. There is no doubt that it’s related to the origin of Eden as an Ethiopian.
I believe that risks can be taken in Eurovision but only if they have the right ground to arise from.
Moreover, competitive and special songs should get more positive points.
Throughout all these considerations, my personal ranking will be:
#1 – Eden Alene – Roots
#2 – Eden Alene – Rakata
#3 – Eden Alene – Savior In The Sound
#4 – Eden Alene – Feker Libi
In my opinion, “Rakata” and “Roots” are the better options.
Which one is your favorite?
Which song will be the right choice for Israel?
Will Israel perform in the final like in the previous 5 consecutive years?
Meanwhile, you can watch a snippet from the rehearsals: