Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—rubbed sun screen all over each other’s bodies and went island-hopping in Malta, Gozo and Comino. After we were sufficiently sun-kissed, we gathered on the beach to review Firelight’s Eurovision 2014 song “Coming Home”. Did their folksy number about loss and separation tug our heart strings? Or were we just ready to go home by the end of it? Read on to find out…
Vebooboo: This dude doesn’t light my fire, but his voice sure as hell gets me moist. There’s such a delicious quality about it. And let’s just say it makes me want to come home to him. So for the first two minutes I’m literally in my own la-la world dreaming about this man’s voice…then all of a sudden some crazy lady starts screaming out of the middle of nowhere. Woman, this is my dream, get the h*ll out of it and leave me alone with the lead singer. You need to go. Need. To. Go. But seriously, what an utter shame. An amazing song which just falls flat in the last minute due to overcrowding of uncoordinated voices.
Bogdan: I like the song and I was happy when Firelight won the national final. Firelight reminds me of Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, which I love. BUT the live performance at the national final was terribly disappointing. Voices all over the place, static show… If they don’t improve it, despite being in the second (a.k.a. easier) semi-final, they will be “coming home” earlier than planned. Not to mention that they’ll be performing first on the night. Yeah, they’re pretty much doomed unless they step it up big time. Maybe your selfie will help?
Deban: One would think that wining the Eurovision Song Contest paves the way for a Country Music Award nomination. Firelight is partly responsible for the current resurgence in the American flavoured genre at ESC. Sounding more Montana than Malta, Firelight crank up a country number that’s memorable in a radio jingle kinda way. Although jolly and inoffensive, it’s also rather bland and formulaic.
Angus: Malta are normally among my faves. If everyone else fails I can count on Valletta to deliver something great. Not this year though. Firelight grate on my tolerance. It’s so relentlessly folky and actually a little bit painful to listen to after a while. Emulating Gary Barlow does not a good song make. Why anyone thinks this will make the final is beyond me…
Patrick: I have the feeling I’m the only one who likes the song. At the Malta Eurovision Song Contest “Coming Home” was flat, with a bland stage performance and some seriously dodgy vocals. I was really upset when they won. But then I heard the final version of the song and I fell in love. And when Firelight released the music video I felt like they were literally touching my soul. It’s really difficult to capture World War I in a music video, but I think Malta has done so with aplomb and the result is one of the best clips of the year. To be honest, it’s not a winner and not a song made for the Top 10, but it’s still a solid song with a great message. Ix-xorti t-tajba Malta!!!
Padraig: If I was Mumford & Sons I’d be on the phone to my defamation lawyers. The incessant comparisons between the Grammy winners and Firelight is completely ridiculous and borderline offensive. You wouldn’t compare Daria Kinzer to Britney Spears simply because she’s a blonde pop singer, so why insist in drawing similarities between 2 completely different folk groups. The song itself is a bit of a trainwreck, particularly the live version, which is essentially a clatter of voices and instruments straining to outdo each other. The studio cut is significantly better, but it still lacks any real refinement. This looks destined to languish in the semis.
Billy: It’s a nice entry but it could have been A LOT better. When it comes to title, lyrics and rhythm, we’ve seen “Coming Home” many times in the contest already. This particular entry deals with the hard issue of war, and it does so deftly in the TVM video clip. However, a touching ballad would have fit this subject much better than this folksy ditty. A group of happy people…each playing a different musical instrument. This reminds me of something. Will they all sit on a bench together too?
Katie:Using a theme of war for anything is difficult thing to pull off, and Firelight have failed miserably in doing so. They claim to be trying to “remember those who never came home”. Good intentions, horrible execution. In the video the “World War One trench” is a plastic, cheap movie version. And I cannot get over the “bomb” that’s closer to the explosion that goes off at pantomimes whenever Tinkerbell waves her wand. Not good Firelight, not good at all. And was World War One really the best theme for a song called “Coming Home“? WHOEVER MADE THIS VIDEO NEEDS TO STUDY HISTORY! Am I over-reacting? No, surely I can’t be. It’s just such a stupid, not sensitive thing to do and if this is the theme they use for their Eurovision performance I will be quite annoyed.
Sami: It’s a happy song and the music video is great, but I can’t help being upset that Daniel or Jessica didn’t win in Malta. I like Richard’s vocals, but I think the song is a forgettable copy of a thousand other country songs. I think it has a chance to reach the final, but I hope it doesn’t do well. I don’t expect it to.
Wiwi: The good people of Firelight have been working hard since the Maltese national selection. They’ve taken a song that I didn’t particularly like and have turned it into something layered and emotional. I love how Michelle’s voice blends with Richard’s, and the overlay of voices in the bridge gives the song amazing texture and drive. Of all the bluegrass and folk numbers at ESC this year, this is probably my favourite. I just wish they didn’t have to perform first in their semi.
James L: 2/10
Maxim Montana: 10/10
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 0 and a high of 10.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.02/10
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