Eurovision 2021 Songs Review – Part #6 (Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, and Portugal)

Welcome to our new series of posts!
The moment of truth has come, and all of the 39 competing songs of Eurovision 2021 have been revealed.
Therefore, we are ready for an extended review of them and of course ranking the songs.
Each post in the series will focus on 5-6 songs.
5 chapters have already been published (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5).
This post in the series will focus on 6 countries that will participate in the second semi-final:
Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, and Portugal.

Artist: Vincent Bueno


Vincent Mendoza Bueno is a 35-year-old Austrian singer and composer of Filipino descent.
He became known in 2008, when he participated and won in “Musical! Die Show” (Musical! The Show). At the age of 4, he started learning dancing. But, later on, he moved to learn music.
At the age of 11, he was already able to play piano, guitar, drums, and bass guitar.
In 2016, he participated in the national selection for Eurovision 2016 with the song “All We Need Is That Love“. However, he didn’t manage to win. In 2017, he was one of the backing vocalists of Nathan Trent who represented Austria with the song “Running On Air“.
So far, he has released 4 studio albums: Step by Step (2009), Wieder Leben (2016), Invincible (2018), On the Run (2020).
In 2020, he was internally selected by the Austrian broadcaster ORF.

Selection Process: Vincent Bueno was internally selected by the Austrian broadcaster ORF for Eurovision 2021 after he should have represented the country at Eurovision 2020.
The song for Eurovision 2021 is “Amen” (and not only “Amen” this year).
Pele Loriano from Switzerland is a producer as well as a backing vocalist. Pele Loriano isn’t a stranger to the Eurovision scene: He was one of the writers of “Run With The Lions” by Jurij (Lithuania 2019) and one of the producers of the Swiss national selection in the past.
An additional producer of the song is Jonas Thander from Sweden.
The British Ashley Hicklin wrote the lyrics and composed the song.

Allocation in Semi-Final: Austria was allocated to perform in the first half of semi-final 2. Vincent will perform in the 5th position, after Greece, and before Poland.

Musical Review: It’s an acoustic ballad. The song starts with a low pitch singing. In the beginning, the melody is based on low pitch accords of the piano (the left side of the piano). Vincent sings with a low voice, he maintains a clear expression of the words at a slow rate. Sometimes, it sounds like a monologue. The sentences are being split in a smart way that keeps us in tension. The pre-chorus melody is based on simple guitar stringing. Right after the pre-chorus, there is a short break in the song. The chorus is powerful (but not that much). It namely relies on the singer’s voice. However, we can hear a drumbeat as well in the chorus. The second verse starts with acoustic guitar playing, Vincent sings it with a slightly higher voice. There’s kind of a military beat before the chorus and then we can hear the second chorus. The second chorus includes backing vocals as well. Nevertheless, the melody changes right after that: it becomes richer with a stronger beat and powerful singing.
After that, the melody includes only keyboards playing and that’s just for returning to another occurrence of the chorus. The song ends with a siren sound.
One thing that I didn’t like here was the overuse of the word “Amen”, sometimes it was out of context and even forced.
The general style and genre remind me of Irish/ British/ American boy bands from the 1990s.
There is a drama that is being built into the song. I would be happy to get a chorus that has more lyrics to suggest.
Vincent is a good vocalist, but the song doesn’t stand out. Saying that I must confess the song grew on me so much and I started appreciating it even more. My main concern here is the first impression which may be not good enough.

Lyrics

Amen, I guess
You said that it’s time for us to put
Our love to rest
Dressed in black, you left my neighborhood

No, I never thought you’d bury me and you
No, I never thought we’d die

But amen, amen
Tell me, is this what you wanted?
Is this what you wanted?
Amen, amen
Tell me, is this what you wanted?
Is this what you wanted?
Amen

I bet it’s just another funeral to you
But for me it’s the end
The marching band are playing “Gone Too Soon”

No, I never thought you’d bury me and you
No, I nevеr thought we’d die

But amen, amеn
Tell me, is this what you wanted?
Is this what you wanted?
Amen (Yeah), amen
Tell me, is this what you wanted?
Is this what you wanted?

‘Cause it all feels like you didn’t even try
Oh try, oh try, try to save us
All this time wasted on a lie

But amen, amen
Tell me, is this what you wanted?
Tell me, is this what you wanted?
Amen, amen, yeah
Are you getting what you wanted?
Are you getting what you wanted?
Amen

Poetry Analysis: The song presents the story of a relationship that surprisingly ends. The structure of the song is a monologue. The end of this love is described in the metaphor of death. His lover left the neighborhood while wearing black. The description shows the difficulty in 2 different layers: mental and physical- “You said that it’s time for us to put/ Our love to rest/ Dressed in black, you left my neighborhood“.
The end of the relationship was out of the blue. The spokesperson thought they could have a mutual future together. The break-up made him feeling like dead inside. He blames his lover for that death –
No, I never thought you’d bury me and you/ No, I never thought we’d die“.
The spokesperson still wonders if his lover wanted the break-up or is there any other reason for that.
Amen, amen/ Tell me, is this what you wanted?/ Is this what you wanted“.
The use of the word “Amen” can be understood in 2 different ways: hope for the best to come or even as a prayer. The song engages in the theme of death (more as a metaphor). When someone dies, it is a custom of praying.
In the second verse, the spokesperson criticizes his ex-lover. While for him the break-up is a heavy burden, she/he gets used to break-ups. He thinks that the relationship ended too soon and he strongly believes that he should have got another chance: I bet it’s just another funeral for you/ But for me, it’s the end/ The marching band are playing “Gone Too Soon”.
Looking back. it seems to him that his lover gave up too soon. He considered himself the one that cared more about the relationship. At one point, their relationship became something that needed to be saved: “‘Cause it all feels like you didn’t even try/ Oh try, oh try, try to save us/ All this time wasted on a lie“.
In the last chorus, the spokesperson understood his fate and the fact that their relationship ended. He has moved from talking in the past to talking in the present. “Tell me, is this what you wanted?/ Amen, amen, yeah/ Are you getting what you wanted?”

Initial Personal Ranking: 31st overall, 13th in the semi-final.

The impact of the allocation in semi-final 2: 6 countries that tend to vote for Austria will vote in semi-final 2: Bulgaria, Georgia, Estonia, the UK, Iceland, and Switzerland

Odds Table: The song was released on the 10th of March 2021. On that date, Austria was 28th with betting odds. Thereafter, it was in 30th place for days in a row. On the 14th of March, Austria was in 26th place. Thereafter, it increased and has stayed in 23rd place for 2 weeks, another 2 weeks in 24th place. Since the 13th of April, Austria is 25th with betting odds.

Early Prediction: If I had been asked that question just after the song was released, I would have said this is a certain non-qualifier. However, the song grew on me. I think that Vincent has the potential to give us a good vocal performance. A game-changer might be staging that will be memorable enough. We have to recall as well that that semi-final 2 has more than 1-2 ballads / slow songs: Bulgaria, Portugal, Georgia, Albania, Switzerland, and Austria itself.
I’m sure that several of them won’t qualify. At the moment, I see Austria as one of the border qualifiers. In fact, there are 5 songs that I will put in the category of “3 out of 5” – 5 countries that only 3 of them will qualify. I predict Austria will end in place 8-12 in the semi-final.
If Austria qualifies, it will end in place 18-24.

Artist: Fyr & Flamme


Fyr & Flamme or Fyr og Flamme is Danish music duo. They mostly perform Dance-pop music with influences of 1980’s music. The duo have been active since 2020, it includes 2 members: Jesper Groth (32 years old) and Laurits Emanuel. They have released 3 singles so far, all of them picked the top charts in Denmark: “Menneskeforbruger” (12th place), “Kamæleon” (7th place), “Øve os på hinanden” (1st place).

Selection Process: As usual, Denmark chose its Eurovision act via national selection “Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2021“. 8 artists competed in this year’s selection. Fyr & Flamme won the public vote with 37% of the votes. They will sing a song in the Danish language – “Øve os på hinanden” (Eng: “Practice on each other“).

Allocation in Semi-Final: Denmark was allocated to perform in the second half of semi-final 2.
Fyr & Flamme will perform in the last position (17th), after Switzerland.

Musical Review: It’s a disco dance-pop song which is performed in Danish. The song is highly influenced by 1980’s music. The song starts with an instrumental section based on guitars playing and electric keyboards. The first verse contains a cyclic beat alongside keyboards playing. One singer sings the lead vocals, while the other does the backing vocals. They sing the chorus together. The melody in the chorus is based on a thin production and drums playing. The next verse includes the disco elements in the production as well as the same. After the chorus, there is almost a constant instrumental part that is changing towards the end where there’s a key change.
The song is catchy, but I think it is quite repetitive at some point. I love the voice of the lead singer and think he has tons of charisma. In this case, the chorus is much stronger than the verses.

Translated Lyrics (Thanks to LyricsTranslate)

Time has stopped
What is it we’re waiting for?
Your eyes are saying the same thing as mine
So I started dancing
I’ve practiced it at home
I pray for my creator that it takes hold of me

(A dancefloor)
Rivals stretch their legs and wage war
(On the dancefloor)
If you don’t let go of me, then we rise

No one knows how it’s done
So let’s practice on each other
Soon we’re two adults
You’re the woman, I’m the man
The whole floor has lost its mind
Let’s practice with each other

Time has stopped
Your dress is light blue
You say something, I can’t hear while the rhythm is going

(On a dancefloor)
Where hearts swell and break in two
(On a dance-dancefloor)
We’ll never be more alive than right now

No one knows how it’s done
So let’s practice with each other
Soon we’re two adults
You’re the woman, I’m the man
The whole floor has lost its mind
Let’s practice with each other

A dancefloor where hearts swell and break in two
We’ll never be more alive than right here and now
The whole floor has lost its mind
Let’s practice with each other

No one knows how it’s done
So let’s practice on each other
Soon we’re two adults
You’re the woman, I’m the man
The whole floor has lost its mind
Let’s practice with each other

Poetry Analysis: The song tells the story of 2 teenagers falling in love. Their first meeting is in the club, they see each other on the dance floor. Their glances meet and they immediately. The spokesperson is so excited that for him the time stopped: “Time has stopped/ What is it we’re waiting for?/ Your eyes are saying the same thing as mine / So I started dancing / I’ve practiced it at home/ I pray for my creator that it takes hold of me“.
The spokesperson described the courtship as a “war” – the lovers competing who will be the first to make the other side give up. If they manage to be together, they both will win in this game –
Rivals stretch their legs and wage war/ (On the dancefloor)/ If you don’t let go of me, then we rise“.
Love is a story with an unknown end, it’s an adventure and a lesson that everyone should learn. There can be risks, but time flies: the dance floor will be forgotten and they must try to fulfill their love:
No one knows how it’s done/ So let’s practice on each other/ Soon we’re two adults/ You’re the woman, I’m the man/ The whole floor has lost its mind“.
His mind was distracted. He remembers her appearance: a light blue dress. “Time has stopped/ Your dress is light blue/ You say something, I can’t hear while the rhythm is going“.
The dancefloor can be a place where lovers meet, but break up or get disappointed as well.
The first moment where glances meet is the most exciting one. But the magic can survive as well since lovers can work together and collaborate.
A dancefloor where hearts swell and break in two/ We’ll never be more alive than right here and now / The whole floor has lost its mind/ Let’s practice with each other

Initial Personal Ranking: 24th overall, 10th in the semi-final.

The impact of the allocation in semi-final 2: 3 countries that tend to vote for Denmark will vote in semi-final 2: Iceland, Estonia, Latvia

Odds Table: The song was officially announced as the Danish entry for Eurovision 2021 on Saturday night the 6th of March 2021. Between the 7th of March and the 12th of March, Denmark was in place 28-30. Between the 13th of March and the 18th of March, Denmark was 30-33 with betting odds. Between the 19th of March and the 26th of March, Denmark was 27-29 with betting odds. Between the 27th of March and the 8th of April, it was in places 25-27. Since the 9th of April, Denmark has been in place 27-29 once again. At the moment, Denmark is in 28th place.

Early Prediction: When it comes to Denmark, the answer is uncertain. Closing the show may be a boost for qualifying (although we have Serbia 2013 + Latvia 2017). Denmark has proven before that it manages to qualify even if it isn’t what others predict (for example: in 2019).
Parts of the Nordic / Scandinavian countries in the same semi-final: Estonia, Iceland, and Finland may be helpful as well. The song will have an appeal to those who were alive in 1980s.
On the other hand, there are stronger songs in the running.
Therefore, I predict Denmark will end in place 8-12 in the semi-final. If Denmark qualifies, it will end in place 18-24.

Artist: Uku Suviste

Uku Suviste is a 38-years-old Estonian singer-songwriter, pianist, and music producer. At the age of 6, he began his musical education. he has also attended the Tallinn Boys Choir. He specialized in piano playing. In the years 2001-2005, he studied Information Technology.
In 2005, he participated in the well-known Estonian singing contest “Kaks Takti Ette” and ended up in 3rd place. After that, he had the opportunity to work as a music producer with others and he wrote some original songs for himself as well. In 2005, he released his first solo album; “It’s Christmas Time”. During 2006, he was a member of “Lament” – Estonian R&B and ’80s disco music.
In 2008, he released an album with Birgit Õigemeel (the winner of “Estonian Idol 2007″ and Estonian representative for Eurovision 2013).
The album’s name was “Ilus Aeg” (“Beautiful time”).
In 2010, he participated in the Russian music competition “The New Wave”. Over the years, Uku has performed on stage in several musicals, including in “Oliver Twist“, “Chicago“, and “West Side Story“.
In 2018, he competed in “The Voice of Russia“, where he was mentored by Ani Lorak. He was eliminated in the semi-final.

Uku has competed in the “Eesti Laul” several times. In “Eesti Laul 2017″he competed with the song “Supernatural”, but was eliminated in the first semi-final.
Suviste participated in “Eesti Laul 2019“, with the song “Pretty Little Liar“, placed second in the final. Suviste competed again in “Eesti Laul 2020” with his song “What Love Is” and won the national final, becoming the Estonian entry at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. When Eurovision was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suviste was not named the Estonian artist for Eurovision 2021, as happened in some other countries. He was, however, offered a spot in the semi-finals for “Eesti Laul 2021“, which he accepted.



Selection Process: As always, Estonia chose its artist and song via “Eesti Laul”.
24 artists competed in the national selection this year. The selection included 2 semi-finals and a grand final. 12 artists qualified for the final. The results of each show were determined by a combination of jury and public vote (in grand final: international jury, in semi-finals: national jury).
The winner of the super-final was Uku Suviste with 46.4% of the public votes. Uku will represent Estonia with the song “The Lucky One“.

Allocation in Semi-Final: Estonia was allocated to perform in the first half of semi-final 2.
Uku will perform in 2nd position, after San Marino, and before the Czech Republic.

Musical Review: Uku Suviste tried his luck for the 4th time in “Eesti Laul“.
In 2017, he performed “Supernatural” and didn’t qualify for the final.
In 2019, he ended up as the runner-up with “Pretty Little Liar”.
In 2020, he won the national selection with “What Love Is“, but didn’t manage to represent Estonia due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, Uku is bringing us an electro-pop song. The song starts with a mysterious atmosphere. The style reminds me of Russian Pop from the 1990s. I’m not sure that I’m good with rhyme.
The chorus is much stronger. There is a use of computer-processed vocals.
The beat is being built gradually until the chorus explodes.
Uku sounds good in the song, but the final outcome is a little bit too dated for me.
Sometimes, it seems like the song lacks a key moment, where a significant change comes.
Uku gave a powerful and effective performance to this song. Vocally, it didn’t disappoint me. The only remark I have here is that the staging included too many elements: chains, video effects, blueness, messy lights, and more. However, those are things that can be easily fixed.

Lyrics

Wonder if it ever crossed your mind
That what we had was really unbelievable, unbeatable, a miracle
Why’d you have to go and mess it up?
Why’d you have to make what was unbreakable shakable, unsavable?
And now it’s too late to cross your fingers
I’m wide awake and not a dreamer
Hate it, but it seems the dreams were never true
For a little while the fates were with us
Wonder why they had to turn against us
I could make a wish, but there is no use

I can feel
Even though I’m numb
The change to come will hurt someone
I can see
This time it isn’t me
I might be the lucky one

I don’t need a crystal ball to show me
Baby, it is plain that you don’t know me
When it comes to you I’m better off alone (Better off alone)
I don’t need a crystal ball to make me
Realize that if I stay you’ll break me
Every sign is saying I should be gone
I should be gone

Thought I had a cloud over my head
It had to be my fault that it kept raining down
Until now, I figured out
That if I had the nerve to say goodbye
I could look for clearer skies up over head
Weather says sun instead

I don’t need a crystal ball to show me
Baby, it is plain that you don’t know me
When it comes to you I’m better off alone (Better off alone)
I don’t need a crystal ball to make me
Realize that if I stay you’ll break me
Every sign is saying I should be gone
I should be gone

I can feel (Even though I’m numb)
The change to come will hurt someone
I can see (I can feel)
This time it isn’t me
I might be the lucky one

I don’t need a crystal ball to show me
Baby, it is plain that you don’t know me
When it comes to you I’m better off alone (Better off alone)
I don’t need a crystal ball to make me
Realize that if I stay you’ll break me
Every sign is saying I should be gone
I should be gone

Poetry Analysis: It’s a song about being able to see you’re in a bad relationship. In this situation, you have to be brave enough to break up and hope for a better future, however, others may get hurt.
A spokesperson is a man that tells us about a love he had. In the beginning, it looked promising, dreamy, and too good to be true: “Wonder if it ever crossed your mind/ That what we had was really unbelievable, unbeatable, a miracle/ Why’d you have to go and mess it up?/ Why’d you have to make what was unbreakable, shakable, unsavable?”
However, the truth has been revealed, but it was too late to act and solve things. The spokesperson has been hurt, he doesn’t dare to dream. He blames his ex-lover for ruining things. Now he understands that there is no chance to go back in time when they tend to fit into each other:
And now it’s too late to cross your fingers/ I’m wide awake and not a dreamer/ Hate it, but it seems the dreams were never true/ For a little while the fates were with us/ Wonder why they had to turn against us/ I could make a wish, but there is no use“.
He has been hurt, lost in his senses, and lost some of his feelings, but he is sober enough to see the future. This time he won’t be treated. Lyrics hint that he will be the first to say goodbye”
I can feel/ Even though I’m numb/ The change to come will hurt someone/ I can see/ This time it isn’t me/ I might be the lucky one“.
In the chorus, there are no more hints. Everything is crystal clear: He is better off alone. This relationship can’t help him anyway. It isn’t hard to predict the future: They aren’t meant for each other and it will be better to end this story as soon as possible:
I don’t need a crystal ball to show me/ Baby, it is plain that you don’t know me/ When it comes to you I’m better off alone (Better off alone)/ I don’t need a crystal ball to make me/Realize that if I stay you’ll break me/ Every sign is saying I should be gone/I should be gone
Thereafter, he describes his situation with a metaphor of the weather world. In the beginning, he felt like there were clouds above his head. He saw things in a dark and sad way, feeling blurred and insecure about the relationship. However, he blames himself for not being able to see the truth and being brave enough to escape. After doing the required steps, life looks better, the sun shines and there is a place for hope and optimism: “Thought I had a cloud over my head/ It had to be my fault that it kept raining down/ Until now, I figured out/ That if I had the nerve to say goodbye/ I could look for clearer skies up overhead/ Weather says sun instead“.

Initial Personal Ranking: 27th overall, 11th in the semi-final.

The impact of the allocation in semi-final 2: 7 countries that tend to vote for Estonia will vote in semi-final 2: Latvia, Finland, Iceland, Portugal, Georgia, Denmark, and the UK.

Odds Table: The song was announced as the Estonian song for Eurovision 2021 on the 6th of March 2021. On that day Estonia was 30th with betting odds. In the 2 following days, Estonia was in 31st place and then 32nd place. Between the 10th and the 15th of March, Estonia was in place 33-35 in the table. On the 16th of March, Estonia was in 36th place. Since then, the country is in the range of 35-37 places. Since the 21st of April, Estonia has been 36th with betting odds.

Early Prediction: Uku Suviste is charismatic and good-looking. It seems like he is fully connected to the song. However, the song itself isn’t memorable enough. Sometimes, his high notes can be not that accurate. Being allocated to the 2nd slot isn’t a good sign, especially when it comes after Sam Marino that will probably give a good staging. I think that other songs in that semi-final will get more attention. Therefore, I predict Estonia won’t qualify for the final this year.

Artist: Blind Channel

Blind Channel is a band from Oulu, Finland. It was set up in 2013. The band plays violent pop, which is heavy music, with pop elements, blinkers, and lighter songs.
The members of the band are: Joel Hokka, Niko Moilanen, Joonas Porko, Olli Matela, Tommi Lalli, and Aleksi Kaunisvesi.
The band first appeared to the public in 2013. In March 2016, the band signed a keynote deal with German Dragon Productions.
So far, the band has released 3 studio albums: “Revolutions” (2016), “Blood Brothers” (2018), “Violent Pop” (2020), and 20 singles.

Selection Process: Finland has chosen its song and artist via national final: “UMK 2021“.
7 artists competed in the national selection. The results were determined by 75% public vote and 25% international jury vote. The winners were Blind Channel with the song “Dark Side“.
They ended up with 551 points, while the runner-up got only 180 points.

Allocation in Semi-Final: Finland was allocated to perform in the second half of semi-final 2.
Blind Channel will perform in the 14th position, after Bulgaria, and before Latvia.

Musical Review: It’s a metal rock song with wide influences of the 2004-2008 rock scene.
The song is opened with a mysterious instrumental section which is based on a combination of electric guitar, bass, drums, and techno-electronic beat. The first piece of lyrics we encounter is the chorus: it has a strong sound with a massive guitar playing and almost “growling” rock voice by the lead vocalist. The first verse is performed in the rap genre as the lead vocalist is speaking-talking. The second verse is less aggressive – the guitars have a more calm sound and the focus is on the processed keyboard sound. Very quickly, we are getting to the chorus again. The part after the chorus includes growling singing by the band members. The verse that comes after that part has a more stable and interesting structure as we can hear a beautiful side of the singer’s voice.
In the lyrics, they mention the “27 club” – the club of some music legends that have passed away way too early (Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and more).
The last minute of the song starts with a dramatic sound that is “clean” of drums and electric- guitars.
The singing is accompanied by processed backing vocals. The song is closed by the chorus and closure of the verse with the shouting of the singer.
To sum up, it’s a decent metal rock song. The golden time of that genre has passed, unfortunately. The chorus is much stronger and catchier than the verses. In my opinion, the structure of the song should be reconsidered. I think the song is good, but it becomes slightly predictable at a certain point.
On the other hand, I’m glad to see rock bands/singers representing Finland at Eurovision.


Lyrics

Put your middle fingers up
Take a shot, throw it up and don’t stop
I’m, I’m, I’m living that life on the dark side

(Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo)
Every psycho in the scene
Hands up and follow me saying (Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo)
Empire of the freaks, all drinks on me

Just another night in my pitch black paradise
Don’t wanna cry, so I gotta get paralyzed
My body is my weapon, so I keep it loaded
‘Til I’m all over the place like my head exploded
Don’t waste your prayers, they can’t save us
Lifestyles of the sick and dangerous

Put your middle fingers up
Take a shot, throw it up and don’t stop
I’m, I’m, I’m living that life on the dark side
Likе the 27 Club, headshot
We don’t wanna grow up
I’m, I’m, I’m living that lifе on the dark side
Life on the dark side
(Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo)
Every psycho in the scene
Hands up and follow me saying (Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo)
Empire of the freaks, all drinks on me

I’m in a cave of man-made misery
Digging a grave for myself and my enemies
Of all the dark things that keep me wasted
You’re the sweetest I’ve ever tasted

Put your middle fingers up
Take a shot, throw it up and don’t stop
I’m, I’m, I’m living that life on the dark side
Like the 27 Club, headshot
We don’t wanna grow up
I’m, I’m, I’m living that life on the dark side
Life on the dark side

Just another night in my pitch black paradise
Don’t wanna cry so I gotta get paralyzed
Don’t waste your prayers, they can’t save us
Lifestyles of the sick and dangerous

Put your middle fingers up
Take a shot, throw it up and don’t stop
I’m, I’m, I’m living that life on the dark side
Like the 27 Club, headshot
We don’t wanna grow up
I’m, I’m, I’m living that life on the dark side
Life on the dark side

(Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo)
Every psycho in the scene
Hands up and follow me saying (Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo)
Empire of the freaks
All drinks on me

Poetry Analysis: It’s an anthem for darkness, although the main message might seem a little bit negative, it is positive. According to the song, it is OK to live on the dark side.
The spokesperson encourages readers to live life as they wish, they should not care what others will think – “Put your middle fingers up/ Take a shot, throw it up and don’t stop/ I’m, I’m, I’m living that life on the dark side“. In the first verse (actually the second “paragraph” of the song, as it starts with the chorus), there is a description of a party. At this party, everyone is a freak in his own way, and yet they accept each other and celebrate. It comes to proving that there is a place for everyone in this world, no matter how different he is – “Every psycho in the scene/ Hands up and follow me saying (Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo)/ Empire of the freaks, all drinks on me“.
In the second verse, there is an appointment to the “simple people” those who don’t live on the dark side. The spokesperson gets used to his life which he describes by the oxymoron “Black Heaven”.
There is something bad that bothers him. However, there is no futuristic solution, so he just chooses to ignore part of his feelings. He sees his body as a weapon in the sense of a defense tool. As thoughts can drive him crazy, he knows that his physical health will be there to save him.
He asks the reader to pray for him because his life is more complicated and risky.
Just another night in my pitch-black paradise/ Don’t wanna cry, so I gotta get paralyzed/ My body is my weapon, so I keep it loaded/ ‘Til I’m all over the place like my head exploded/ Don’t waste your prayers, they can’t save us/ Lifestyles of the sick and dangerous“.
That part is in fact dedicated to Joel (one of the band members) who turned 27 during the Covid-19 pandemic and wished to survive that year. However, that part can also be understood as a hint for the “27 club” – the club of some music legends that have passed away way too early (Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and more). For people who experience severe difficulties in their life, sometimes surviving can be a question. The spokesperson says those people don’t want to grow up and it can be understood in 2 different ways: the fear of turning 27 which is “the danger age” or the willingness to die at 27 any stay forever young: “I’m living that life on the dark side/ Like the 27 Club, headshot/ We don’t wanna grow up

Initial Personal Ranking: 13th overall, 4th in the semi-final.

The impact of the allocation in semi-final 2: 4 countries that tend to vote for Finland will vote in semi-final 2: Estonia, Iceland, Poland, and Latvia.

Odds Table: The song was announced as the Finnish entry for Eurovision 2021 on the 20th of February 2021. On that day, Finland was in 12th place on the table. A day later, the country increased to 10th place. From the 22nd of February to the 2nd of March, Finland was the 8th with betting odds. Then, it was the 9th for 2 days and the 10th for another 2 days.
From the 8th of March to the 17th of March, Finland was 11th with betting odds.
Between the 18th of March and 27th of March, it increased to 10th place.
Since the 29th of March, Finland is in the range of place 12-13 on the table.

Early Prediction: Qualifying isn’t a question this year. Finland has finally come up with a convincing and memorable song. If there a country that is an expert in rock music, it is Finland.
The lead vocalists are professional and have already proved that they know how to perform live.
This is the only metal/rock song in semi-final 2, and it will definitely shine after 4 ballads in a row.
I predict Finland will end in the top 5 of semi-final 2 and will end in place 3-10 in the grand final.

Artist: Daði Freyr & Gagnamagnið

Daði Frey is a 28-years-old Icelandic singer, music producer, composer, and writer who lives in Germany. Daði was born in Iceland but grew up in Denmark until the age of 9. Afterward, his family was back in Iceland. In 20417, he has finished his B.A. in Music Management and Audio Production in Berlin. Daði practiced drums and played the piano and bass guitar during his youth years. He co-founded the band RetRoBot that won in 2012 the “Icelandic Music Experiments” award. The singer was chosen as the best electronic musician of the year. In 2013, the band released their debut (and only) album: “Blackout“.
In 2011, he married the Icelandic musician  Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir. SInce 2017, Daði collobaretes with Gagnamagnið (Icelandic: Data Plan). Gagnamagnið have 5 members:
Sigrún Birna Pétursdóttir (his sister, a backing vocalist),  Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir (his wife, dancer and player), Hulda Kristín Kolbrúnardóttir (a backing vocalist), Stefán Hannesson (a dancer), and Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson (a dancer).
In 2017, they competed in the national selection for Eurovision 2017: “Söngvakeppnin 2017” with the song “Is This Love“, and finished in 2nd place. In 2020, Daði Freyr & Gagnamagnið competed with the song “Think About Things” and won the national selection.

Selection Process: In 2020, Iceland held a national selection – “Söngvakeppnin 2020“.
10 artists competed in the selection. The winners were Daði Freyr & Gagnamagnið with the song “Think About Things“. However, Eurovision 2020 was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Icelandic broadcaster RÚV decided to cancel the national selection for Eurovision 2021 and select Daði Freyr & Gagnamagnið in an internal selection. Their song for Eurovision 2021 is “10 Years“.

Allocation in Semi-Final: Iceland was allocated to perform in the first half of semi-final 2.
Daði & Gagnamagnið will perform in 8th position, after Moldova, and before Serbia.

Musical Review: It’s a disco indie dance song influenced by 1980s songs.
The song starts with a magnificent instrumental part that is a harmony of violin and a cello.
Then the first verse starts, the melody is based on electric guitar, electronic keyboards, keyboards, and drums. There is a cyclic disco dance beat that is dominant in the composition. The first verse is being performed as fast-talking with a low voice rather than singing. The second half of the first verse is more rhythmic and the singing is really fast while relying on 2 female backing vocalists.
The pre-chorus is slower and its melody is based on acoustic musical instruments. Daði ends the pre-chorus with an extremely low voice. The chorus is catchy, danceable, and more memorable than the verses. The melody is based on guitar playing and a softer disco beat. The second verse is similar to the first verse but it is more rhythmic. Then again, we get really fast singing in the pre-chorus which ends with a solo of drums. The last chorus starts with the playing of electronic keyboards. The production is different, it puts the song in the field of ballads. The opening of the chorus is with choir (that was pre-recorded, a thing which is allowed this year in Eurovision). However, after a few seconds, the chorus becomes rhythmic again and the song ends with electronic guitar playing. There is something “less immediate” in this song. It looks like it had a lot of potential in the beginning, but thereafter it fell to each possible cliche: generic and sticky words too influenced by the disco and 1980 music. In addition, I think that Daði‘ low voice doesn’t fit that kind of song.
I was impressed by the production, but not from the song, the singing, or any other components.
Although I personally prefer this song over “Think About Things“, I find it less impactful. Iceland won’t be a contender for the trophy this year. In some parts, it sounds to me like an unfinished version that was submitted in a hurry. There is an attempt to copy some components from the 2020 entry, but sometimes it doesn’t connect.

Lyrics

We’ve been together for a decade now
Still everyday I’m lovin’ you more
If I could do it all again
I’d probably do it all the same as before
I don’t wanna know what would’ve happened if I never had had your love
I didn’t become myself before I met you
I don’t wanna know what would’ve happened if I never had felt your love
Everything about you I like

We started out so fast
Now we can take it slower
Love takes some timе
Takes a little time, so takе a little time
As it ages like wine

How does it keep getting better?
Everyday our love finds a new way to grow
The time we spend together
Hmm, simply feels good
We got a good thing going

And just when I thought that my heart was full
I found places that I never explored
You’re so fascinating
And I can’t remember the last time I was bored
I don’t wanna know what would’ve happened if I never had had your love
I didn’t become myself before I met you
I don’t wanna know what would’ve happened if I never had felt your love
Everything about you I like

How does it keep getting better?
Everyday our love finds a new way to grow (Finds a new way to grow)
The time we spend together
Hmm, feels good

How does it keep getting better?
Every day our love finds a new way to grow
The time we spend together
Hmm, simply feels good
We got a good thing going

Poetry Analysis: It’s a cliche love song (but a cute one) where the spokesperson shows his appreciation to his lover. He says that their love keeps on growing, the flames are still burning after all these years. He couldn’t imagine his life without her and regrets anything.

Initial Personal Ranking: 33th overall, 14th in the semi-final.

The impact of the allocation in semi-final 2: 6 countries that tend to vote for Iceland will vote in semi-final 2: Denmark, Finland, Estonia, San Marino, the UK, and Latvia.

Odds Table: The song was released on the 13th of March 2021. On that date, Iceland was 3rd with betting odds. However, on the 2 following days, it decreased to the 5th and then 8th places.
Between the 15th of March and the 26th of March, the song was in 8th place.
Between the 27th of March and the 15th of April, the song was in 7th place.
Since the 16th of April, the song has been in 8th place.

Early Prediction: I am almost sure Iceland will qualify this year. However, I don’t see it as a potential winner or ending up in the top 5. I think Iceland will qualify for the final and end up in 9-15 place in the final.


Artist: The Black Mamba

The Black Mamba is a Portuguese band that was formed in 2010. There are 5 members in the band (in the past 6): Pedro Tatanka, Miguel Casais, Marco Pombinho, Rui Pedro “Pity” Vaz,
and Guilherme “Gui” Salgueir. So far, the band has released 3 studio albums: “The Black Mamba” (2010), “Dirty Little Brother” (2014, picked 15th place in the national chart), “The Mamba” (2018, picked 5th place in the national chart).


Selection Process: As always, Portugal chose its Eurovision act via the “Festival da Canção“.
20 artists competed in the national selection this year. The contest included 2 semi-finals and a grand final. The results were determined by 50% public vote and 50% jury voting.
The Black Mamba won the selection, after finishing in 2nd place in the public vote and in jury voting.
They will perform the song “Love Is On My Side”.

Allocation in Semi-Final: Portugal was allocated to perform in the second half of semi-final 2. The Black Mamba will perform in the 12th position, after Albania, and before Bulgaria.

Musical Review: It’s a rock pop song with influences of the 1990’s music and soul genre.
The song opens with a classical introduction that’s heavily based on violin, cello, and piano playing. The lead singer has a beautiful husky voice. Classical motives can also be felt in the verses. The chorus melody is based on piano playing. The lyrics in the chorus are quite repetitive.
The second verse has a stronger “rock” character with electric guitars.
The closure of the song is a short section of string instruments.
I loved the way they mixed it into a rock-pop song with classical elements, which in fact elevates the song into a good classic rock song.
The song gives us a personal experience: unrequited love, teenage life, self-acceptance, and more. It is the first time that a song in English wins “Festival Da Canção 2021” and is used at the Portuguese entry for Eurovision.
I usually prefer Portugal sending songs in the language of Portuguese, but I won’t ignore this one.
I found it very similar to “I’m yours” by the Makemakers that represented Austria at Eurovision 2015. However, I am sure Eurovision voters will support this one.


Lyrics

Left home when I was only sweet sixteen
Chasing blind love and a bunch of broken dreams
Don’t know how I thought I’d be a queen
I could do anything
And somehow I end up here, I don’t know why
I still believe that

Love is on my side
Love is on my side
Love is on my side
Maybe not tonight

I can feel it when it rains
I can feel it still runnin’ through my veins
Ran so fast I couldn’t even grow
Forgot where I belong
Sold my body on a dirty cold floor
Yet, I believe that
I believe that

Love is on my side
Love is on my side
Love is on my side
My side

Oh, maybе not tonight
(Love is on my side) Love is
(Lovе is on my side) Love is, love is
(Love is on my side) Love is on my side

Maybe not tonight

Poetry Analysis: The song tells the story of an old lady the band met in Amsterdam in 2019, during their tour. When she was younger, she ended up addicted to drugs and that led to prostitution.
The song tries to keep us optimistic (“Lovе is on my side“) but yet realistic (“maybе not tonight“).
The song tells her story, starting with her youth years – she was innocent, 16 years old, and believed in true love “Left home when I was only sweet sixteen/ Chasing blind love and a bunch of broken dreams“. Somehow, as the years went by, she found herself with nothing, broken and even without dreams: “Don’t know how I thought I’d be a queen/ I could do anything And somehow I end up here, I don’t know why“.
She still believes in love, but also knows how hard it is to achieve: “Love is on my side/ Maybe not tonight“.
|The second verse tells the accurate story, without masks and hints. Every rain reminds her of the nights in the streets. The drugs she used were running in her veins. Time has passed quickly and she feels like her life was wasted. She dedicated herself to drugs, and was even ready to sell her body for that goal: “I can feel it when it rains/ I can feel it still runnin’ through my veins/ Ran so fast I couldn’t even grow/ Forgot where I belong/ Sold my body on a dirty cold floor

Initial Personal Ranking: 16th overall, 7th in the semi-final.

The impact of the allocation in semi-final 2: 7 countries that tend to vote for Portugal will vote in semi-final 2: France, Spain, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Georgia, Latvia and Moldova

Odds Table: The song was announced as the Portuguese entry for Eurovision 2021 at the late night of the 6th of March or let’s call it on the 7th of March 2021. In the first few days after the national selection, it was in place 22,23,25, and 26 places. Then it decreased to 29th place for a single day.
But very quickly returned placed 25-27. Since the 18th of April, it has been stable in 26th place.

Early Prediction: For me, Portugal is one of the good songs this year. The country has made a brave choice, and even though I am a fan of the Portuguese language, I appreciate their choice to pick a song in English for the first time. The lead singer has a magnificent voice and it stands out.
Nevertheless, I don’t see a lot of voters that will go after that song. I’ve seen some fans that got bored of the song and felt the song is a little bit dated. In addition, I think that the running order wouldn’t help either. Portugal will be the 3rd ballad in a row of 4 in semi-final 2. The ballad that comes after is Bulgaria, which for sure will impress the jury and the public. It isn’t a secret that Portugal has struggled to qualify (putting aside Eurovision 2017 when Portugal won).
Considering all that, I barely believe Portugal will qualify for the final this year. In fact, I think Portugal will end in place 14-17 in semi-final 2.

 the next chapter, we will discuss the automatic qualifiers for Eurovision 2021, stay tuned!

You can find all the relevant information on our Eurovision 2021 homepage:

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I live in Israel and watch Eurovision since the early 2000s. I work as a mathematician but have a big interest in singing, music, and writing

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