Earlier today the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music un-professionals—headed to Amsterdam to buy some wooden shoes and to review Anouk’s Eurovision 2013 song “Birds”. Did her song fly into our hearts? Or was it more like one of those pigeons that drops an unwanted surprise on your shoulder? Read on to find out…

Bogdan: When I reviewed Norway’s entry, saying that it doesn’t get any better than this, I hadn’t listened to Anouk’s song. “Birds” is, unquestionably, one of the best things to come out of Eurovision in recent memory. Even if it doesn’t win, frankly I do not care. I am happy to have been introduced to a rare Eurovision song that surpasses its condition. “Birds” is not only a wondrous melody, it’s not just gorgeous lyrics, it’s poetry; it’s art in one of its purest forms. I only hope that Anouk will also be in top form at Eurovision and that she will blow everyone away with a fittingly memorable live performance of her killer song.

Score: 10/10

anouk

Vebooboo:  The Netherlands has some of the funniest people. Unfortunately the Netherlands has also turned Eurovision into a huge joke over the past years, and as a result has become a laughing stock within the ESC community. Until now. Anouk is a big name, and she is also a big drama queen. Both of those are things that we at wiwibloggs love. I was a bit surprised to hear such a slow melody from punk-rocker chick Anouk, but it works. While France’s diva song is my favourite, I think this will do better. The melody naturally stands out and that’s what Eurovision is all about. With a good start position and a bit of luck in terms of the number of female ballad singers that make it to the Final, this could actually win.

Score: 9/10

Wiwi: This song is sophisticated and meaningful, and Anouk has some of the strongest vocals in the contest. I know I’m supposed to love it and orgasm when she comes on stage, but I’m just not that turned on. The dreary mood reads as suicidal, even if the lyrics speak to self-empowerment and the right to be yourself. Staging will be crucial. If Anouk brings something pared down and dramatic it could elevate the song. If it’s as rubbish as her preview video above, Ima ask for a refund. Anouk has the name and the voice. I just wish she had brought a song more aligned with her rocker roots. (Update: I just watched her first rehearsal and she is amazing. Love the staging. And now I love the song. Pass the towel as I might have that orgasm now!)

Score: 9/10

HK Dick: I grew up during the era of Stock, Aitken and Waterman but loved Bananarama, Rick Astley and Sonia. People mocked me for my cheesy musical taste. I started to listen and appreciate more “grown up” music yet knew my heart was back on the dance floor with Kylie and co. That’s also my story with the Netherlands. I love cheesy Holland. I love Glennis, Edsilia, De Toppers and Joan Franka though they have had as much success at Eurovision as the Reynolds Girls in the global pop market. So it’s time for the Dutch to grow up and send something far more sophisticated, and that song is “Birds”. It has a sound befitting of a Hitchcock movie. Surely this time the Netherlands will qualify (if not it’s time to give up), and if they do they will probably continue to be more serious for years to come yet my heart will always have a yearning for a little “Sha-La-Lie”.

Score: 8/10

Anouk If I GoAlexander: In stark contrast to previous years, the Dutch entry is one of the favorites to win this year. I have to admit that I think the hype around “Birds” is a little undeserved. Is this a strong composition? Yes. Are the lyrics poetic? Yes. Is Anouk an amazing singer? Yes. Is this a masterpiece that should win Eurovision? Well, not really, in my opinion. This is by no means anything original–just watch any black-and-white movie from before 1950 and you’ll hear something similar to this. It’s also extremely old-fashioned, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The jury will definitely rank this high. If it wins though, I think Eurovision will lose some of the mainstream appeal that “Euphoria” brought it.

Score: 7/10 

Mr Häggkvist: “Birds” is so beautiful. It brings a new kind of melody to Eurovision, though I’m not surprised. After the release of her single “Stardust” back in December, I knew her Eurovision entry was going to be this type of song—very Adele, Lana del Rey. Of course, a song can be amazing, but if the staging sucks, I don’t think people will remember anything about the song. And the Dutch broadcaster hasn’t released a proper video or a decent live performance, so I’m kinda disappointed that we have 38 great videos, and then Anouk singing in a radio show. This is not 1964, and one of the main parts of Eurovision are the visuals. “Birds” is good but, not amazing. Anouk believes in the power of her song. I hope she can convince us next week.

Score: 7/10

 

Deban: When Anouk was asked to rescue her country from the doldrums of poor ratings and miserable failure at the Eurovision Song Contest, she said yes—on the condition that she could do it her way. She influenced the revision of the EBU rules, reworked a gem in her archive and will be using it as the vehicle for her 9th upcoming album, Sad Singalong Songs.

Clever move! The Netherlands has failed to advance to the final for 8 consecutive years, and if Anouk, their biggest star, cannot break this losing streak, I doubt anyone ever will. “Birds” is one of the most hotly anticipated entries this year, and it holds up to the hype. Anouk oozes film star persona, and pure sophistication in her vocal delivery. The dreamy nuances on the track nod to the vintage quality that shapes today’s emerging pop stars like Lana Del Rey, Bat For Lashes, Lykke Li , and Anthony and The Johnsons. Anouk is not disposable. She is an artist with integrity, credibility, versatility and sustainability. “Birds” is possibly the most well-crafted entry in this year’s contest, and it deserves a place in The Top 5.

Score: 9.5/10

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 8.36/10

Wiwi Jury Final Ranking: #1 out of 39 contestants

You can see the latest reviews and standings on the Wiwi Jury pageYou can also listen to all 39 entries on our contestants page.

Total
93
Shares
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Angel Wynton
Guest

I am sure of it Anouk will win this Eurovision Contest 2013 😉
The song rings my ear everyday, and when that is the case
its dubbel as good as they say. 🙂

Edwin
Guest

JoyceS, 1:16 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCxufD6gwb4 That was false.

Robert
Guest

No videos ?? Take a good look on anouks YouTube channel, there are four videos available for the new album and there is also a video for Brids.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMTggnBEtt4&list=PLdnZ0dBxItNImreFzvYUu3WVOr-J_syyb

Take a good look at al off them this explains the direction of the new album.

Anouk4us
Guest

Take that bonus…

Anouk’s song belongs in a story her album “Sad Singalong Songs” tells you. And that is the big difference with all the other singers. Anouk wants to be different, right from introducing Birds on that hand made video. She wants to be different from a catwalk-like Eurovision where glitter and glamour soak the artistic singing effort. Becoming interested in Birds and Anouk, means that you want to know it all. It’s up to the public now to take that bonus…

JoyceS
Guest

karina, you can say much about Anouk but you really cross a line by saying she was singing falls, maybe you need new tv???

karina
Guest

in the semifinal disappointing!!!fals voice!!!

Edwin
Guest
Anouk was brave enough to accept this challenge. After so many years of poor performance it really took some guts to do it. Unlike many third grade artist that represented the Netherlands in last years, this woman has a reputation to uphold. The Netherlands only have a few national big artists and so far non of them were prepared to compete on this stage because they realize that the chance of failure is a lot bigger than a glorious victory. Still, she shows, she is not afraid of anything. It took even more nerve to compete with this song. This… Read more »
Tika
Guest

A Dutch newspaper just reports that Anouk won’t be able to come to the opening-ceremony because of a injury she sustained after a game of bowling in Malmö. Let’s hope she will get well soon and that she can rock the stage tuesday! (Although ‘to rock’ doesn’t quite fit the song, but it fit’s her 😉

Leon
Guest

This slow ballad will need a lot repeated listening to be appreciated. Probably won’t work with ESC which relies heavily on first impressions.

Tika
Guest

@Wouter.

I think you described the feeling of us Dutchies exactly right: qualifying for the final is all we hope for and dream of. Whatever happends next, will be up to the Eurovision-Gods. But at least we will have something to celebrate. And if we make to the final, I will celebrate it with all my heart! 😉

Let the countdown to the semifinal begin! 😉

Wesley
Guest

Hope we are gonna get to the final at least!

paul
Guest
JoyceS
Guest

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=ApAMFCMbzq0
2nd rehearsal, a windmachine on anouks face here, looks good!

Femke
Guest

Thank you wiwi jury! Im so exited, im a huge fan since ruslana won (2004, i was 9 then) and i never experienced The Netherlands in the final, im really looking forward that moment.. because people see The Netherlands as a joke after several years of sending bullshit.. but we DO have good singers 😉 Altough Anouk isn’t my favorite this year (i prefer Italy, Denmark, Israel and Iceland) She is defenitely in my top 5 haha 😉 xxx from HOLLAND =D

Lukaya
Guest

As a long-time fan of her, I was really looking forward to the song. But nothing could prepare me for this. This song is just brilliant. Pure perfection. Like Bogdan said, “art in one of its purest forms”. I really hope Europe appreciates it as much as you guys do, and votes for the Netherlands. This is one of, if not THE best Eurovision song EVER. Wish I could vote for her.

Good luck from Brazil, Anouk. Love ya.

Z24
Guest

Alex: Not really sure about that cut. That synth was a huge earworm and a perfectly good chance of a great choreography break. Maybe they were better off cutting the slower bridge (The we are yo-oh-oung part).

Still it sounds good!

Vio
Guest

Beautiful woman, beautiful song (though I would not call it “art in one of its purest form”, as one of you does). I will definitely listen to it after the Eurovision is over.

Trevor
Guest

Power, majesty, restraint and beauty. Stunning staging. She sounds like what Joan Baez would sound like if she were blonde, Dutch, punkish and singing an old-fashioned song in a modern song festival. None of which is a bad thing. It has CLASS written all over it. Worth more than the slim lead she has over San Marino in the WiWi Jury polls.

Wouter
Guest

Really agree with my co-dutchies… It’s kinda unreal for us… I always said that making the final is a big accomplishment. I don’t care if we get 26th in the final… Just to see ‘The Netherlands’ in one of the envelopes is really exciting enough xD

Alex
Guest

Z24: They cut Glorious right before the soundtrack was released. I saw an official video on Vimeo with the new cut, and the official soundtrack has the new cut too. They removed the synth hook after the first chorus (which was in one way a good idea because it screamed out “Don’t You Worry Child,” but in another way a not-so-good idea because now the song could still use some sort of synth hook part).

Z24
Guest

Off topic: Since Alex mentioned L’essenziale’s longer run, I remembered that Glorious is also 3:23. Where are they going to cut it?

Inge
Guest

Probably all the Dutchies – including me – will freak out if we only reach the final. Her placement there doesn’t really matter. To just get out of the semis this year…geez only that would be amazing.

Dinam
Guest

I like her since she was “nobody’s wife” but is too famous for ESC to get my vote

Tika
Guest

“I’m supporting my country and will freak out if we FINALLY reach the final”.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. 😉

Tika
Guest
“With a good start position and a bit of luck in terms of the number of female ballad singers that make it to the Final, this could actually win.” Wait…*reads it again*. *And again*. Somebody who is not Dutch is saying ‘this could actually win’… After eight dark years, reading positive stuff about our entry…I’m still not getting used to it. I feel like Europe is pulling a prank on us: ‘haha, let’s stick together and say positive things about the Dutch entry so they will think they stand a chance with this’. * evil smile* I’m just kidding. But… Read more »
Wouter
Guest
Wauw… Thank You for 1st place. I’m really shocked that Anouk’s song wins in a lot of Eurovision-blog type sites. I read that someone didn’t like Anouk’s video for Eurovision, I think it was really cool, it was completely else than the other video’s, and it was perfectly live(you could know that by her kugh in the middle of the song). I also heard that we must give up if Anouk is not going to qualify, well our new broadcaster ‘AvroTros’ already confirmed of being part in 2014. Still i’m not really sure if she is going through, not because… Read more »
JoyceS
Guest
When Anouk came up with this song, I loved it at once! However I was not sure if eurovision publik also appriciate it, because this isn’t typical eurovision stuff. But then again when I love it and you can love it…why should not more people love it to, I was on many places on the internet these last weeks, and there where more people that appriciate this song, much more then I had hoped for. After the first rehearsal…I actually heard from people that this song does not need the gimmic, the circus around it…this is just a song that… Read more »
trackback

[…] Can Anouk Win Eurovision? "Birds" Faces the Wiwi Jury | WiwiBloggs.Com Reply With Quote   Top ▲ […]

SQFan
Guest

“Birds” is an interesting paradox, because Anouk’s voice is reminiscent of the 1920s era, but the song itself, is quite post-modern, George Orwell-esque. So it’s a very interesting dynamic. Having said that, one minor problem, is, like “Nar Jag Blundar” is brings you into a dreamy world, but stays generally on the same level all the way through. There’s nothing wrong with this, but I’m slightly concerned that Eurovision fans will be less receptive. Still, “Birds” is a great song, artisically speaking, and it’ll be a shame if this post-modern, Mary Poppins-esque song doesn’t secure a Top 10 placing.

Alex
Guest
The ticking clock in the full version is sadly missing from the Eurovision soundtrack cut (noting that L’Essenziale is 3:12 on that same soundtrack!!!)… I think one thing that’s missing in this song is proper use of dynamics (volume). Parts that should be quieter are not quieter. Even What If has light touches of work with dynamics, and Crisalide makes wonderful use of dynamics, but this one doesn’t really, staying at an odd mezzo forte the whole time. This caused it to drop further down in my Top 10 – but it certainly belongs up there. Certainly live you’ll probably… Read more »
Z24
Guest
And finally the moral winner of the contest. I applaud Valentina for transforming in a serious artist, Norway for sending the most modern-appealing song and Denmark for sending something that doesn’t suck and it’s actually worth of a top 10 for a change. But Anouk here takes the cake. This song it’s haunting, dark, deep and incredible. The vocals are perfect, and I actually like the simple video presentation; it gives more strength to the simple, pure nature of the song. There’s hardly difference in that live and in the album. The lyrics are also heavily artistic, but not to… Read more »