Review: “Benidorm Fest 2022” (Spain)

For the first time in years, Spain will hold a national selection this year!
In the past, Spain used to choose its entry and artist internally or via the reality show “Operación Triunfo“.
This year, Spanish broadcaster RTVE will hold a music festival: “Benidorm Fest 2022“.
14 artists (established artists, as well as emerging artists) will compete on the right to represent the country at Eurovision 2022.

The festival will include 3 shows: 2 semi-finals and grand final that will be held on 26th, 27th and 29th of January 2022 respectively.
In each semi-fina, 7 artists will compete for 3 spots in the final.
In the final, 6 artists will compete for the trophy.

In this post, I will review the 14 songs in the line-up:

#.1 Azúcar Moreno – Postureo (Eng: Posture)

It’s a Spanish flamenco song with Latin elements and Arab music influences.
The song starts with an instrumental part that’s composed of ethnic sting instruments alongside Spanish guitar. There’s a unique beat that builds the introduction.
Afterwards, the first verse starts. The 2 sisters sing together with their low remarkable voices.
The first verse’s melody is based on guitar playing, cyclic festive beat (with the sound of clapping).
One can say they tell a story, regarding their interpatition. The verse has the flavor of a dramatic flamenco piece. The chorus is festive and upbeat. We can hear a combination of different musical instruments. Their singing in the chorus is even more powerful, and they sing it in a higher tone. The ethnic part from the beginning comes back and is the connection between the chorus and the second verse.
The second verse has a similar structure to the first one, but this time we can hear keyboards playing as well. The second chorus is less rhythmic, but we get the upbeat ethnic instrumental part right after.
The bridge is built on tension and we can hear more of their vocals, as the melody is almost muted.
The song ends with another occurrence of the chorus.
I think it is a catchy song. I love the combination of Latin music, flamenco and Arab instruments.
Their distinctive voices blend well in the production and melody of the song.
It is heartwarming to see the duo trying to compete at Eurovision again, after 32 years

#2 Blanca Paloma – Secreto del agua (Eng: The Secret of Water)

It’s an emotional flamenco ballad with electronic elements.
The song tells the story of a young woman that was murdered by her ex boy-friend.
After the murder, her sister is trying to fight for justice and tells the story.
The song starts with a dramatic introduction that is built on deep piano playing, alongside guitar playing and pre-recorded vocals. The singer enters the song slowly. Her singing is characterized by long pronunciations. During the first verse, we can hear wind instruments as well (maybe trombone).
The production becomes richer as the song advances.
We can hear a combination of wind and string instruments. As the song continues, it becomes clearer: the song doesn’t have the stadartic structure of song.
It is hard to put a line or border between the verses and the chorus.
Nevertheless, the chorus includes more words. It has a different flow: less “tribal to traditional”, and more storytelling. We get a clearer impression of her vocal abilities.
Thereafter, there is an instrumental part that closes the song.
There’s a cinematic atmosphere in the song. The song is original and creates a moment, but I think this is a song that requires sometimes to deeply understand and remember.

#3.Chanel – SloMo (Eng: Slow Motion)

It’s an upbeat Latin pop song.
The song starts with a theatrical instrumental part that is being finalized by an upbeat beat.
This beat continues to the first verse. Chanel sings it at a fast rate and has a lot of vocal charisma.
The dance beat and the rhyme in the lyrics are the main motives in the first verse.
The pre-chorus includes backing vocals, and the beat changes into the sound of clapping.
The chorus is performed in a lower tone and at a faster rate. It has the vibe of a dance floor in club.
The chorus includes lyrics in English and Spanish.
The second verse has a similar structure to the first one, but the majority of its lyrics are in English.
The chorus suggests a Latin party to be addicted too and it makes you dance.
In the last pre-chorus, we can hear some vocal improvisations alongside backing vocals.
It ends with another occurrence of the chorus.
I think the song is catchy and had a happy vibe. However, it lacks uniqueness.
I am not a big fan of the lyrics. That sometimes seems like an effort to make rhymes.
With a good performance and some female dancers on stage, it can be as memorable as “Fuego” by Eleni.

#4. Gonzalo Hermida – Quién lo diría (Eng: Who would say it?)

It’s a romantic pop ballad.
The song starts with an instrumental past that’s composed of piano playing.
It continues to the first verse, where we can hear Gonzalo‘s pleasant voice. He puts a lot of emotions in his singing and it is suitable for a love song.
The chorus starts with string instruments that are mixed with violin playing later on.
Gonzalo shows impressive vocal abilities in the chorus.
The chorus ends with a solo of cello playing. The second verse has more acoustic sound, with emphasis on simple guitar playing. It is much shorter than the first verse, and then we get another occurrence of the emotional chorus.
The post-chorus breaks the structure of the song up to this point. It includes fast singing and ends out of the blue.
In my opinion, Gonzalo is a talented singer who knows how to deliver a message through his music.
The song is a typical love ballad, but it stands out for the rich production which almost includes an entire orchestra.
Should Spain send it to Eurovision? It is a question because in some ways it is an improved version of Spanish songs at Eurovision 2018, 2020, 2021.

#5. Javiera Mena – Culpa (Eng: Guilt)

It’s a dance-pop song with influences of French house music.
There’s no time to waste at all. The song starts with an upbeat dance beat and digital production.
Javiera‘s voice is blown into effect for a few seconds until we can hear her purely.
She sings in a low voice with a lot of air and clarity.
The pre-chorus relies on a stronger beat with a faster rate. She sings it with a higher tone.
The sound effects play a significant role in the melody’s design. The chorus is a dance club soundtrack with a throwback to 1990’s music.
After the chorus, we can hear a dance house beat that is one of the catchiest parts of the song.
This part includes pre-recorded and mixed male backing singing.
The second verse has a stronger beat and rhythm than the first one.
In its beginning, her voice is mixed in the digital production. Afterward, the natural singing comes back and she uses more power. Another danceable chorus arrives.
Right after this, the instrumental peak of the song arrives – it is a powerful section with string instruments, keyboards, and an electronic beat.
The song continues with another half chorus and Janiera sings it with high notes.
Listening to the song makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the dance floor in the best club the city has to suggest.
The song conquered my heart and ears during the first listening session already.
I think it should be slightly edited, regarding the digital vocals involved.
There must be a convincing staging that will engage the listener and viewer, while there’s no singing in the background.

#6. Luna Ki – Quiero Morir (Eng: I want to die)

It’s an alternative electro dance-pop song.
The song starts with an electric guitar playing alongside an echo sound effect.
The guitar playing builds the frame of the introduction (which is the first occurrence of the chorus).
The first verse is less rhythmic than the chorus. It has a slower rate, the guitar playing is still the main element, but this time is joined by drum playing. Once again, we get some sound effects that hide Luna’s natural voice.
The chorus suggests a more rhythmic beat. In the second verse, the rate becomes slower and we can hear the “exposure” side of the song. In parallel, there are some backing vocals to support her. Thereafter, the song transfers into a happier direction (melody wisely), sometimes her voice sounds a little bit childish. Out of the blue, the second last chorus is performed in French, and in some sense, it was a spice the song requires before it can be considered repetitive.
The further parts in the chorus are performed in English and Spanish.
On the bridge, she pulls the sounds longer, which sheds another light on the vocal performance.
The song ends with the last chorus, which is very similar to the first one.
The song has a different style from the others in the line-up.
I appreciate the idea of combining quite sad words lyrics with uplifting melody. In some ways, it makes the whole thing deeper.
I found Luna‘s personality interesting, but something in the song is overproduced and I’m afraid it won’t work in live performance.

#7. Marta Sango – Sigues en mi mente (Eng: You’re still on my mind)

It’s a mid-tempo love song in the shape of a pop ballad. The production is in the style of 1980’s and 1990’s music.
The song starts with a soft electronic beat, some ringing bells sound and electric keyboards.
In the first verse, we can initially hear a weakened version of the beat from the beginning that afterwards is joined by keyboard playing. The second verse continues the line of the first one, but its beat is more noticeable. The chorus starts in an acoustic way, even raw at some point.
In the second half of the chorus, we can hear the beat gaining power until it transforms into the instrumental part in the introduction. This time, we can hear the second voice accompanying the instrumental part. The second verse is more rhythmic, the melody doesn’t change a lot, and Marta sings it with a mid-low voice.
In the second chorus, the beat is muted, and there is more place for feelings.
We can hear the electric guitar towards the end of it.
Afterwards the melody explodes into an uplifting dance-pop beat and there’s modulation.
The last part is performed in a higher tune.
I love the vibe of the song, and the throwback it gives us to the 1980’s and 1990’s music.
The structure of the song isn’t uniform, which is a good thing to have.
However, there’s something forgetable in the whole package.

#8. Rayden – Calle de la llorería (Eng: Streets of the teras)

It’s an urban rap song.
The song starts with a short instrumental section. The first verse’s melody is built on acoustic guitar playing. Rayden‘s interpretation is a little bit theatrical. He tries to tell a story. His singing sounds like a fast speaking or recitation. In the second part of the verse, it accelerates velocity and beat.
It becomes a little bit more interesting in the pre-chorus. The focus is on some ethnic elements alongside backing vocals.
The chorus is catchy and upbeat. Based on the clapping effects, Rayden sings short sentences and is accompanied by backing vocals. The second verse is much faster and it is nothing else but pure rap. The rate is determined by Latin guitars.
Later on, the guitar playing reached its peak and then we got the chorus.
The song ends in a silent closure.
I know it might not be popular: but for me the song is weak.
The only exciting moment is the chorus. I couldn’t remember the other parts.
Rap is a genre that you can like or not. Therefore, I think the song should be changed a little bit.
In my opinion, the song gets a lot of attention thanks to the video-clip as well.
I’m sorry, but I don’t see 10 people sitting near the table on the Eurovision stage and clapping while eating dinner.

#9. Rigoberta Bandini – Ay Mama

It’s a modern ballad.
The song starts with piano playing and singing at a slow rate. Her voice sounds unique, and in some parts you can doubt whether it is edited or not. There’s something calming in the song which resembles a lullaby in some parts.
Towards the end of the pre-chorus, the melody changes and has a little bit of drama. She repeats the word “mama” as the tension is built by the keyboards. Then, out of the blue, the song transforms into a happier direction. The chorus is fast and includes namely one word – “mama”.
The second verse relies on a dance-pop beat with the 1980’s style.
Thereafter, we get again the pre-chorus and chorus is the same shape as before.
This time, some backing vocals have been added and the production is richer.
Towards the end, we can hear a choir singing, as Rigoberta continues leading the song.
The song ends with a loud choir singing in what we can define as closure of musical.
I find the message of the song important. The song is non-trivial and has some development as it lasts. The chorus and second half of the song are more memorable.
Its fate will be affected by the staging.

#10. Sara Deop – Make you say

It’s an upbeat pop song, performed in English and Spanish.
The song starts immediately with Sara‘s high voice. The first part is the chorus and it shows us the style and main idea of the song.
The first verse is performed in Spanish, it has a Caribian style with a light beat and backing vocals.
Thereafter, we get the chorus, which is pretty similar to the introduction. I think it could be more powerful, but it ends with a short semi-instrumental part which elevates it.
The second verse relies again on the same beat as the first one, Sara sings it effortlessly.
The song ends with a low voice singing and pre-recorded processed vocals.
The song is decent, I don’t have bad words to describe it.
However, I see it as a little bit generic. The main problem here is that it doesn’t represent the actual Spanish music at all. Spain has one of the most beautiful languages and culture to share with us.
Therefore, I think Spain should send a song in Spanish.

#11. Tanxugueiras – Terra (Eng: Earth)

It’s an electro folk song, performed in the Galician language.
The song starts with a short instrumental part composed of wind instruments and piano.
A few seconds later, we can hear the band members sing with impressive and massive voices, the introduction of “Ailaralalá”.
The first verse is based on ethnic beat sounds. The girls sing in a clear white voice (this is the name of the genre, like Poland 2019). The melody sometimes includes a special sound of a tiny drum that becomes one of the elements in the melody.
The chorus is powerful, even though it is based on one word only.
The second verse has a simple melody, but its uniqueness is derived from the band’s harmonies.
The bridge is dramatic, they sing with a lot of breath and power. The rate becomes faster, and at the same time we get musch more words in the lyrics. There’s a short instrumental part that hints about melody change. They sing “Veñen pra quedar”, while the beat is denser. At some point, we can hear high and thin voices as one of the backing vocals.
The song ends with a thundery sound.
It is one of the special songs in the line-up. I love the bravery it takes to perform it.
Their voices are perfect, I consider them part of the production as well.
It is refreshing to hear the Galician language in the Spanish selection.
The song is catchy and creates an extra-ordinary atmosphere.
Watching their live performances, I can tell you they will be accurate live.
“Terra” is a pearl that is worth sending to Eurovision. It could be a lifeline for Spain, after 6 years of low scores. In fact, choosing this song with proper staging can end woth top10 result for Spain.

#12. Unique – Mejores (Eng: Best)

It’s a boy-band mid-tempo pop song.
The song starts with basic keyboards playing. One of the members sings with a husky voice.
Very quickly, he is replaced with another member that has a similar color of voice.
One of them sings the faster parts, which are on the bobundary between R&B and rap. From time to time, we can hear some backing vocals that sing the longer notes.
The chorus starts with drum playing. Each time, one of the members sings while the others support him. They try to create harmonies that are added as an additional layer to the melody.
The outro includes humming “Eh, eeeh” alongside tribal drums playing.
In the second verse, we get other members of the band as the lead singers.
At this point, the melody relies on gentle guitar stringing and mostly on the beat the was presented previously. The main element in this song is the backing vocals.
Once again we have the drums playing before the chorus. This time the chorus ends with an electronic beat (that maybe should have come even before).
The very last part of the song sounds like a hymn (even football hymn). In this part, their voice comes to their peak.
I found the song a little bit generic. I think the melody is too basic (at least in the first half). The idea of adding a lot of backing vocals is logical, but it can’t be the main concept of the song.
About the song itself, it feels like something I’ve heard in the past. It lacks a stamp that will define it uniquely.

#13.Varry Brava – Raffaella

It’s an Indie-pop song. The song was influenced by the Italian artist Raffaella Carrà.
It starts with a recorded speaking section. The singer has a husky low voice that sounds like something theatratical that we could have heard in the 1980’s (or even before).
The melody is very thin, and in some parts it seems like it doesn’t exist at all.
In the pre-chorus, we can hear trumpet as well.
The chorus starts with an irresistible electronic beat. I found it to be the “alarm clock” of the song, in a sense it is much more energetic than the previous part of the song. The melody of the chorus is a dance-pop piece that will make you dance. It is reprtitve and catchy.
The second verse is more rhythmic than the previous one. Right after, we get another chorus.
This time it ended a little bit differently. The song ends with some vocal improvisations.
The huge differences between the verses and the chorus make the song a little bit unstable.
I think the chorus is effective, but something is missing in the verses.
The advantage of the song is that it is different from the others.

#14.Xeinn – Eco (Eng: Echo)

It is an electro dance-pop song with influences of the 1980’s music.
The song starts with pre-recorded vocals and a dance club instrumental part.
The singer starts the song with a mid-high voice. The beat is gently built and sometimes he lengthens the pronunciation of some words. The end of the lines is performed in a higher tone.
The pre-chorus is very short (one line) and it prepares us for the chorus.
The chorus shares the same melody as the previous parts, but it is shed by more progressive production. Xeinn suggests some vocal virtuosity that I hope will do well live.
The beat in the shorus is continuous.
The second verse is similar to the first one but it is more interesting vocal wisely.
The chorus repeats again and this time it ends with an instrumental part combined with some vocal improvisations. The bridge, starts with falsetto singing in English, the emphasis in on his vocals.
The chorus arrives once again, this time stronger and with more layers.
It is a decent radio-friendly song. I appreciate the vocal risks it takes to perform it.
The combination of 2 languages doesn’t bother me.
I just hope it will be perfectly live.

My Personal Ranking

  1. Tanxugueiras – Terra (Eng: Earth)
  2. Javiera Mena – Culpa (Eng: Guilt)
  3. Xeinn – Eco (Eng: Echo)
  4. Azúcar Moreno – Postureo (Eng: Posture)
  5. Blanca Paloma – Secreto del agua
  6. Gonzalo Hermida – Quién lo diría (Eng: Who would say it?)
  7. Chanel – SloMo (Eng: Slow Motion)
  8. Luna Ki – Quiero Morir 
  9. Marta Sango – Sigues en mi mente
  10. Rigoberta Bandini – Ay Mama
  11. Sara Deop – Make you say
  12. Varry Brava – Raffaella
  13. Unique – Mejores (Eng: Best)
  14. Rayden – Calle de la llorería (Eng: Streets of the teras)


I must confess: this is a really good selection by Spain, or let me add: the best Spanish selection for years.
There’s a diversity of genres. Some of the songs are high quality.
In fact, there are some songs here that can lead Spain to the left side of the scoreboard.

I think the potential winners are: Tanxugueiras , Azúcar Moreno, Rayden, Chanel .

Doron Lahav is 30-year-old, who lives in Israel. Doron has been watching the Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and shows interest in singing and writing.

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