Review: “Benidorm Fest 2023” (Spain)

Spain will choose an artist and a song for Eurovision 2023 via “Benidorm Fest 2023”.
18 artists will take part in the selection.
The festival will be held on the 31st of January, 2nd of February and 4th of February 2023.

In this article, I will review the 18 competing songs:


#1. Agoney – Quiero Arder (Eng: I want to burn)


It will be Agoney‘s second attempt to represent Spain at Eurovision.
At the end on 2017. he participated in “Operacion Triunfo 2017” which was the Spanish selection for Eurovision 2018.
It is a dance club pop song.
The song starts with a strong combination of string elements, like cello and violin.
Thereafter, we can hear monotonous string playing that’s developed into an upbeat rhythm. This beat will guide us along with the song.
The first verse is performed in the form of reciting, with special cutting of the words into different musical bars. There’s an echo effect. The second verse gives us an atmosphere of reproaching, with an outcry of a feminine voice.
The first chorus starts unplugged, this time Agoney uses a very high tone of voice, the melody is based on keyboards and then an orchestra guided beat. We can hear some backing vocals supporting him, until a drum beat takes control.
The outro after the chorus is a techno-dance beat with the word “arder”.
The third verse is performed again in a singing-reciting style, this time we hear Agoney alone.
The chorus starts with singing with his beautiful voice, we can hear the tension built by string instruments in parallel.
Ourtro is once again a dance club beat.
The bridge relies on a different beat and we get some strong vocals that break into a whistling high voice.
My first impression of the song was that it is too messy. However, I got used to it after the second listening session. I think it will stand out and we will have staging potential.
In some parts, it sounds like a mixture of “Siren Song” by Maruv and “I.M” by Michael Ben David. It is even influenced by RaPaul’s Drag race.
I guess it will be one of the top 3 of the festival.

#2. Alfred García – Desde Que Tú Estás (Eng: Since You Are)

In 2018, Alfred García represented Spain as part a duo with Amaia.
This is a mid-tempo ballad.
The song starts with piano playing and shortly after we get the singing part.
He sings the first verse in a mid-high voice, effortlessly.
The melody is quite monotonous.
The second verse is performed with a much higher tone of voice. We can hear some backing vocals at this part.
The chorus sounds like a direct continuation of the verses. It is a bit faster and this time we have a soft drum beat with the melody. The third verse’s melody includes the drum beat from the previous parts. Thereafter, the high voice singing arrives and it breaks the song interestingly.
The chorus is radio-friendly and at the same time not strong enough.
The last part of the song repeats on the first live again and again.
The song isn’t bad, but it is quite forgetable. The verses are stronger than the chorus and it lays down

#3. Alice Wonder – Yo Quisiera (Eng: I Would)


It’s an indie mid-tempo ballad.
The song starts with acapella – Alice sings alone, without any melody and captivates us.
Little by little, the melody starts to fill the space with piano playing.
She sings the first part with a mid-low voice that strokes the listener’s ears.
The chorus starts with a higher tone of voice, and it feels intimate.
The second part of the chorus is more emotional, especially when she reaches a peak point with her voice.
Thereafter, we get humming with a drum beat that hints at the change of direction.
The second verse is performed at a much higher rate. We can hear the secondary voice supporting her. The chorus is powerful and more melodic. She gives us a variery of vocal abilities.
The melody is based on keyboards and percussion elements.
The last part of the song is rich instrument wisely, the drum beat is getting stronger, until disappearing and replaced by piano playing.
This song shouts quality. It grows slowly, but never gets you bored. Alice has a unique voice which lifts this song up. I want to give her a compliment and say it resembles the songs of Katerine Duska
Well done!

#4. Aritz Aren – Flamenco


This is a billengual song, performed in English and Spanish.
It is a radio-friendly pop with light elements of Latin American pop.
The song starts with guitar stringing and singing with echo effect.
The first verse includes some Latin elements, he sings it with a low and clear voice. The melody relies on percussion elements. The chorus relies on guitar playing and he sings it with a mid-high tone of voice. Trumpet and guitar lead to the melody of the part that comes after the chorus.
The next verse is quite similar to the previous one. The second chorus includes some echo and backing vocals. The bridge starts like a flamenco dance and we can hear the counting of “1,2,3”.
The last chorus relies more on percussion elements.
It is one of the typical “Latin American songs” that we can find nowadays on the radio.
Something that could have been a collaboration between Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello.
I think the lyrics are quite basic, and it doesn’t bring anything new, but at least it is decent.

#5. Blanca Paloma – Eaea

It is a flamenco song.
The song starts with a beautiful vocal decoration that is joined by traditional percussion instruments (Castanets among them I believe).
Fading backing vocals guiding us to the first verse. She sings it with a thick and crystal clear voice that becomes higher between the lines. The first verse is upbeat and thrilling.
Thereafter, comes the chorus which is built on electric keyboards and percussion elements. We can hear a choir of female vocalists singing the “Eaea”.
The clap beat continues along with the chorus.
She sings the second verse with a soft and higher tone of voice.
The part that comes after relies more on the ethnic elements.
The second chorus includes some more effects.
Towards the end, she gives us a very impressive vocal ability.
What I love about this song is its “curve” shape, the melody is catchy but not simple. You can’t predict the next phase and it keeps on delivering high quality.
And maybe more important: it shows the attractive Spanish music heritage.

#6. E’Femme – Uff!

It is a dance club pop song.
The song starts with a keyboard beat. The girls sing separately, and then together.
The pre-chorus is more melodic and we get to hear more of their vocal abilities.
This part is performed both in English and Spanish.
The rate of the beat is faster in the chorus. The chorus is catchier and the lyrics include some rhyming.
The second verse is performed in a more hip-hop style, with fast speaking-singing.
The beat from previously continues to be an integral part of the melody.
As the second pre-chorus arrives, we can hear another girl as the lead singer, her voice thinner.
The second chorus is quite similar to the first one. This time, we got a short instrumental part with drum beat afterwards. They sing another hip-hop piece after the chorus. The song ends with a bridge which in the pre-chorus and another chorus. In the last chorus, they split between singing 2 different parts of lyrics.
The song is radio-friendly. It is a typical song for a young girl band (for good and for bad).
There’s no doubt that the strongest part is the pre-chorus;
I think the final outcome would have been better, if they had given us more of their vocals.

#7. Famous – La Lola

Famous has also competed in “Operacion Triunfo”.
He won the edition he participated in, but hasn’t been chosen for Eurovision.
It is a Latin pop song.
The song opens with humming and trumpet playing.
The first verse is performed with a husky voice. The singing is quite fast, and we can hear a kind of ethnic beat guiding the melody. In the pre-chorus, we get more of his vocal abilities. The beat is getting faster. The chorus is a kind of football hymn with male backing vocalists. The drum beat and the choir singing join keyboard and wind instruments.
The second verse is more rhythmic. We can hear some improvisations and laughs in the background. The chorus once again relies on massive backing vocals.
The bridge suggests a change in the melody. It has a slower rate and Famous gives us more of his voice. Thereafter, we get another chorus.
In general, I’m not the biggest supporter of stadium hymn songs. I think they develop predictably, and it isn’t different for this song. This is the classic case when the singer is better than the song.

#8. Fusa Nocta – Mi Familia (Eng: My Family)


It is a trap pop Reggaeton song.
The song starts with guitar singing.
The first part is the chorus of the song. Fusa performs it with a warm voice and some ethnic elements in the singing. The first part is performed in a spoken word with some effects.
The first part of the first verse resembles the chorus a lot, and in some senses sound almost the same. The second part of the verse relies on guitar playing. She keeps on speaking-singing in a trap pop style. The clap beat continues to fill the melody. With a wide use of effects like reverb, echo and fading beat we get another chorus. I feel like it is too processed, so it lost its natural basis.
a short fast drum beat leads us to the third verse. It includes some rapping and some vocal improvisations like “Ehh ehh”. This chorus includes some flamenco elements and guitar playing.
The outro relies heavily on auto-tune and maybe it is the reason why she sings and doesn’t speak.
I doubt this song can be performed properly live, due to the fact the studio version has a wide basis of studio effects. It feels like the song started as an instrumental studio-cut that has waited for lyrics and singing.

#9. José Otero – Inviernos En Marte (Eng: Winter On Mars)


It is a power ballad.
The song starts with a short instrumental part that’s composed of keyboard playing with a light use of guitar. Then the singing part starts, and his low and stable voice stands out. The first verse is slow, romantic and puts the focus on his voice. He ends the first verse with some manners.
The pre-chorus is more melodical, the melody is based on keyboards playing.
The chorus starts with almost no production in the background.
We can hear him giving us some high notes.
The second chorus is more emotional and faster. It sounds like he wants to showcase a little bit of madness in his interpretation. This part is more mid-tempo thanks to the drum beat that accompanies it. He uses longer notes this time and it continues for the choros as well.
The bridge relies on keyboards playing, and José uses another color of his voice, this time it is more fragile. Thereafter, we get a very impressive high note that combines pretty well with the backing vocals and the instrumental part which includes electric guitar as well.
First of all, José Otero is one of the most impressive vocalists in the festival this year.
This is the right way to build a power ballad. Some might find it similar to Blas Canto’s efforts. However, I think this one is more engaging and interesting.

#10. Karmento – Quiero Y Duelo (Eng: I want and duel)



It is a mid-tempo ballad with ethnic flamenco elements.
The song starts with humming. The first verse is characterised by guitar playing and soft voice singing. Her singing isn’t flat, and this is what makes it more interesting. The first verse is quite lone and you can tell she tells a story.
The guitar playing creates the build up for the chorus. The chorus is more festive and rhythmic.
The flamenco beat wraps the melody. The atmoshpere of the song transforms from warm and calm to uplifting and comforting. Towards the end, we get another chorus with some backing vocals.
The song ends with percussion elements.
The advantage of this song is its sincerity and originality. However, I’m afraid it isn’t competitive enough.

#11. Megara – Arcadia (Eng: Arcade)


This is an industrial rock song.
The song starts with a solo of bass guitar and electronic production.
The first verse starts with a raspy voice singing and guitar playing. Little by little, we get more of the lead singer’s voice. The second half of the first verse has a more theatratical interpretation, and we get additional colors of her voice. The chorus is more catchy and melofical, we can hear backing vocals, some studio effects and electric guitar. After the chorus, we get an instrumental part.
The second verse includes fewer effects over the voice, but suggests richer production with electric keyboards. The second chorus is catachy as well. The bridge of the song is quite strange, but in a good way: we can hear processed vocals that sound like they were mixed with megaphones and space or galaxy effects.
Bass guitars welcome us back to the original melody. The song ends with the same effects.
The song stands out due to the fact it is different from the others. Megara also has the ability to create interesting visuals. Even though it isn’t the classic type of rock, it is still a contender.

#12. Meler – No Nos Moverán (Eng: They Won’t Move Us)


This is a radio-friendly pop song.
The song starts with what sounds like the opening line of the chorus, where all the members sing together.
The first verse is based on a light beat drum and keyboards. As guitar playing is added, we can hear another vocalist. Pre-chorus is more of a stadium hymn, and all of them sing together again.
The chorus is quite simple with naimly “na na na” in the lyrics.
The second verse is faster and the melody is based on the guitar playing and it goes faster as the second part of it arrives.
Towards the end, we have an instrumental part of guitar and drums that precedes another chorus, this time with electric guitar.
In my opinion, it has the sin of being too simple or too accessible. I didn’t find anything special about this.

#13. Rakky Ripper –Tracción (Eng: Traction)

This is a synth electro pop song.
The first verse starts with a processed voice and tons of autotune (how will it be possible live?).
She sings the rest of this verse with a sweet voice, and from time to time the effects continue.
The next part has a similar structure. The chorus is characterised by fast singing and fast drum beats. The second verse goes more in the electronic direction.
Recorded backing vocals closes the second chorus. Thereafter, we get a spoken word part that brings us to 2 additional choruses.
Is it memorable? Yes, but thanks for the reptitiveness of the first line on the chorus.
The massive use of effects, including auto-tune, makes me wonder it will fail in live performance.

#14. Sharonne – Aire (Eng: Air)


The song starts with a drum beat.
Thereafter, we can hear electric keyboards and Sharonne opens the singing part.
The first verse relies on a light electro beat.
Towards the end of the first verse, we can hear backing vocals that continue to the chorus.
The chorus tries to be catchy, and it mainly includes the word “Aire”.
I recognize the difficulty of the performer reaching the height of the tone in the chorus, and it already makes me wonder what will happen in live performance.
The second verse is more rhythmic, and we can hear a greater presence of the beat.
A long instrumental part comes before the bridge which includes a long note.
The peak of the bridge suggests processed vocals.
Unfortunately, Sharonne‘s vocal abilities are the weakness of this entry.

#15. Siderland – Que Esclati Tot (Eng: Let Everything Explode)

This song is performed in Catalan.
It is a stadium hymn with pop influences.
The song starts with a choir singing. The first verse is performed by a singer with a low and husky voice. The melody is based on a percussion beat. They sing phrases like “ohohoh” which create the melody in a specific sense. Pre-chorus includes keyboards playing and guitar playing.
The chorus is a hymn with “ohohoh” in the center of the concept.
The verse that comes after is similar to the first one.
The bridge of the song is a direct continuation of the chorus, and it is much more successful.
The advantages of this song are the Catalan language and the fact the vocalist is great.
The song, though, is below average and doesn’t create the required moment.

#16. Sofía Martín – Tuki

It is a Reggaeton song.
The song starts immediately with singing, with a soft voice and some effects over it.
The first verse’s melody almost doesn’t exist, it is exposed but still not-natural.
When the pre-chorus arrives, the beat is added.
The chorus is faster and relies on a more memorable melody.
The verse that comes after is more melodic, and we can also hear some backing vocals.
At some point, the echo and voice duplication take over.
The last part includes more effects and voices.
It is catchy, but sounds more like a song that fits radio and studio-cuts, not live performance.

#17. Twin Melody – Sayonara


It is a reggatone pop song with influences of Latin pop from the 2000’s.
The song starts with keyboards playing and one of the twins singing.
Thereafter, the two of them sing. Their singing moves from a mid-high tone to mid-low voice.
The chorus has poor lyrics with words like “1, 2, 3” and “au revoir” (in French).
The second verse relies on a faster beat.
Unfortunately, there’s not any peak moment in the song.
Their singing is effortless.
The song sounds like a song that failed to make the radio weekly playlist in 2001

#18. Vicco – Nochentera (Eng: Whole Night)

It is a dance pop with 1980’s influences.
The song starts with Vicco’s singing. The melody is based on keyboards playing and guitar playing. The rate of the singing becomes faster.
The chorus is more festive. We can hear whistles and backing vocals. The melody is based on a simple beat. Thereafter, we can hear some string elements.
The chorus relies on rhyming and some effects like echo and reverb.
The verse that comes after starts more acoustically with guitar playing. Latar on, a dance beat that’s quite typical for the 1980’s music joins the melody.
Thereafter, we can hear a choir singing (sound like children singing).
The bridge is calmer, the emphasis is on her voice.
Towards the end, we get a key change, and the backing vocals take a wider place.
You can tell she is a good vocalist, and it doesn’t apply to some of the participants this year.
I don’t know why, but there is something childish about this song

Personal Ranking

  1. Blanca Paloma – Eaea
  2. Alice Wonder – Yo Quisiera
  3. José Otero – Inviernos En Marte (Eng: Winter On Mars)
  4. Megara – Arcadia
  5. Agoney – Quiero Arder
  6. E’Femme – Uff!
  7. Karmento – Quiero Y Duelo
  8. Aritz Aren – Flamenco.
  9. Sofía Martín – Tuki
  10. Vicco – Nochentera
  11. Alfred García – Desde Que Tú Estás
  12. Rakky Ripper –Tracción
  13. Meler – No Nos Moverán
  14. Famous – La Lola
  15. Fusa Nocta – Mi Familia
  16. Siderland – Que Esclati Tot
  17. Twin Melody – Sayonara
  18. Sharonne – Aire

Prediction


At the moment, it seems like the contenders to win “Benidorm Fest 2023” are:

  • Agoney 
  • Blanca Paloma
  • Megara
  • José Otero 

What do you think about our review?
Which song is your favorite?
Who will win “Benidorm Fest 2023″?

Doron Lahav is 28 years old guy who lives in Israel. Doron watches Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and also shows interest in singing and writing.

2 Replies to “Review: “Benidorm Fest 2023” (Spain)

  1. Agoney must win. And if not him then Megara.
    If Blanka win Spain will return a 100 years back from their great achievement in 2022

    1. There is nothing bad about showing their beautiful heritage of music with Blanca.
      Megara and Agoney are strong contenders as well!

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