The Wiwi Jury—our international panel of music un-professionals—calls London home. That made us extra keen to review Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Love Will Set You Free.” But we don’t play favorites on WiwiBloggs.Com, so we sharpened our claws, pulled out our pens, and gave The Hump the same treatment as everyone else. Here’s what we had to say.


Wiwi: The opening lines of Engelbert Humperinck’s Eurovision entry seem to describe the singer himself: “So graceful and pure/ A smile bathed in light/ No matter the distance/ A miracle of sight.” I applaud the BBC for looking into the Eurovision vortex—with all its thrusting young women and spilling cleavage—and choosing this 75-year old veteran who brings talent instead of sex appeal. His song carries with it all his life experience: you can feel the pain as he sings about loving someone enough to let them go. The emotion of his voice gives this song a visceral quality. It’s as if he’s looking back over his many years and mourning a relationship of his own. This is in my Top 5 for sure.

Score: 8.5/10

Vebooboo:  Adorable song with an inspiring message. Big-time shame that he’s starting off the competition, though. Lord knows that didn’t treat Paradise Oskar too kindly last year! But I have a sneaking suspicion that the ESC gave him that spot so that he go straight to bed after singing…

Score: 6/10

Will young Europeans embrace Engelbert Humperdinck?

Meows Kitty: I have to say I didn’t expect much from Engelbert Humperdinck. I just assumed he’d be yet another novelty act (a.k.a., “old”). But this song is definitely a pleasant surprise. Its simplicity masks sophistication, and he has got a great voice. I would place this as a contender for the Top 5.

Score: 8/10

Deban: I am part of the younger generation that knows and follows Englebert’s music career. I know his signature croons too well. He has built a career on doing just that. And what an impressive career that is, notching over a 100 million units in sales.

Unfortunately, familiarity breeds contempt. “Love Will Set You Free” offers no surprises. It sounds like something you’ve heard him sing before. He sings it well, and the key change elevates it slightly. Nonetheless, it’s a boring song. It lacks the impact of Lloyd Webber’s “My Time,” or the memorable quality of Rona Nishliu’s “Suus.” And there’s a twist: the United Kingdom will be opening the show in Baku. Twenty-five entries later, Humperdinck isn’t likely to leap out as a clear favourite.

Score: 5.5/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7/10

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[…] you’ll remember, the Hump finished next-to-last with his slightly dated number “Love Will Set You Free”, and sparked fear that the BBC would have to bring adult diapers to the Eurovision stage. The […]

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[…] by Wiwi Bloggs • United Kingdom • Tags: Engelbert Humperdinck, Love Will Set You Free Quick: hum two bars from Englebert’s song at Eurovision. Ok, one bar? One note? Englebert! The guy who performed first during the final. No. He didn’t sing “Forgettable.” He sang “Love Will Set You Free.” […]

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[…] United Kingdom: Engelbert Humperdink with “Love Will Set You […]

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[…] Read our review of “Love Will Set You Free” […]

Christian
Guest

Engelbert : When I close my eyes and just listen this is a very beautiful song. Just call me old fashioned but you are such a gifted singer.NOW I understand the mania about you.May you have a great album in your bag ready for release next week.

MoMo
Guest

For all of y’all that didn’t like the Bosnian entry but favoured this one, the only difference is that Englebert sings in English.
It is a lovely song. He is a good singer. Britain will not win.

I’d defo have it on my Chillout/Bedtime playlist though.

Remi
Guest
Aw! Where do I begin? I would be as objective in my critique as someone who knows nothing about him and who isn’t from the same country as him. Deban, I partly agree with you ”the song verges on being boring” and is somewhat expected from a Senior Citizen. However it is unfair to base one’s yardstick upon what one already knows about him in relation to his signatory offerings. I’ll assess his performance based on how strongly I was moved by the song’s lyrics and the intense delivery. High marks in each criterion if he was performing at his… Read more »
Becca Thackray
Guest

It’s an acceptable enough song I reckon. It could do well in a Eurovision context – catchy in a lullaby way which may make it stand out from a lot of lively ones. His voice is excellent – he hasn’t got any oldie quiver even in the end note he holds.

Will
Guest

I have to admit that i dont have any idea that who are this singer untill Eurovision 2012.

AnyWay, We have a blog about eurovision in spanish, thanks for your wonderfull blog

Neil
Guest

Great song, well song. Most can identify with the sentiments. Those who are challenged by a person’s age will rubbish whatever he sings, but then that’s their problem.

Denis
Guest

I like the song. Unlike all the new music we have today, the words make sense. This CLASS personified…. Real MUSIC!!! Love the instruments also…. You can`t mess with true talent. Go! Engelbert.

Miss saHHara
Guest

I like this song so much, in fact i want it on my MP3 player, but it is not suitable for Eurovison, They want proper Euro-trash kind of music. The weirder the better. He is too normal. hhahahaha

stephen
Guest

Way to old to represent us at the Eurovision also not a big fan of the song either to old fashion for me.

FRANCISCO
Guest
Well, I have to say this was a very balanced view of Engelbert, I am not a great fan of his, but I have to say that he has carved himself a niche in the “old crooners” section and what he does, he does quite well. Considering how Poppie Eurovision had become, to find a good ballad made in the old style is pleasant and quite surprising. As Meows Kitty says “its simplicity masks sophistication”, indeed it does, just listen to the harmonics and to the changing tempo. The final crescendo is also quite nice although the coda is slightly… Read more »
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[…] Ivi with “La La Love” (7.13) 4. Ireland: Jedward with “Waterline” (7.13) 6. United Kingdom: Engelbert Humperdink with “Love Will Set You Free” 7. Norway: Tooji with […]