Last last night the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — caught an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin where we indulged in Guinness stout at The Temple Bar and George Bar, before meeting some extra-friendly locals at The Boilerhouse. When we woke from our stupor, we gathered around a piano to review Molly Sterling and her Eurovision 2015 song “Playing with Numbers”. Did her piano number make us want to tickle the ivories — or wheel her off stage? Read on to find out…
Ireland’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Molly Sterling with “Playing With Numbers”
Robyn: This is the sound of Ireland trying to relive its ’90s glories with a ’90s-style ballad. It just isn’t good enough for 2015. Molly has a lovely voice (and surely a great career ahead of her), but this song is going to be eaten whole by any other semi-finalist that’s even slightly more lively. Though on the bright side, there won’t be any cheesy traditional dancers on stage this time.
Padraig: There’s no denying Molly’s talent, both as a singer and a song-writer. Her vocals are on-point and the lyrics have a level of sophistication beyond your typical Eurovision fare. Alas, the song doesn’t add up to the sum of its parts. It leaves little to no impression on me, and dare I say, it’s even a tad dull. Perhaps there’ll be some added grit and edge in Vienna, but as things currently stand I’ll pass.
Luis: Molly really impresses me. She’s got an amazing voice, her song is absolutely beautiful and she’s only 17! Unfortunately “Playing With Numbers” is very forgettable. It’s a song that I’d include in a “Rainy Sunday” playlist, and I’m afraid that’s no good thing for the Eurovision. But I do love rainy Sundays, so…
Deban: Although Molly’s entry may be too tender to cut through this year’s pack, she throws down a compelling performance, remaining credible and sophisticated throughout. The unfortunate thing is that “Playing With Numbers” doesn’t beg for a second listen.
Angus: Molly Sterling has a gorgeous voice but ‘Playing With Numbers’ doesn’t match up. The song shone at Eurosong as a calling card to the winning Celtic ballads of the 90s but since then the gleam has gone.
Marek: This is not a silly ballad — it’s a beautiful story about a girl coming to terms with her regrets. When her voice trembles, I feel her pain and every time I hear this I create a video clip in my head and think about love. The lyrics are some of the best I’ve ever read. On first listen I thought she was simply saying, “I did some dumb things, and I’m sorry.” After falling in love with this song, I know the true meaning. Each of us has to find it.
Reacting to Molly’s Eurosong win
William: She may only be 17, but Molly has an amazing, smoky voice. It oozes sexuality and sass, experience and pain. The blending of voices in the chorus is stellar and this song has a magical feeling that makes me wistful and nostalgic. It progresses but in a way so subtle I fear it could become bland relative to the other songs in the competition. But no matter: Molly has a bright future and can be proud of this effort.
Bogdan: Molly is a good singer, but she also needs to be a good performer for Eurovision. Sitting at the piano won’t do her any favours. She literally needs to stand up in order to stand out. Unfortunately, the song itself doesn’t help her much. Despite being a decent tune (definitely the best from the national selection), “Playing With Numbers” is sadly going to be lost in the mix of ballads performed by talented ladies.
Mikhail: The song is really beautiful and Molly’s voice is charming and strong at the same time. She reminds me a little bit of Adele with her blues style. However, the song’s progression is so slight that I barely notice the changes by the end. It’s easily forgotten.
Chris: I think this is a really sweet song and performance. It’s hard to believe that Molly is just seventeen years old, as her voice sounds much more mature and portrays the emotion and rawness of the song so well. It’s probably going to get lost in the pack which is a real shame, as I think that it deserves more than that.
Read our interview with Molly Sterling
Twenty-nine jurors review each song, but we only have space for ten written reviews. The remaining 19 scores are listed below.
William C: 8.5/10
To reduce potential bias, we have removed a high of 10 and a low of 1 prior to calculating the average.