Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — paid a visit to San Marino’s Piazza della Liberta and found a ristorante where we could admire the hillside views. After enjoying some pasta e ceci, we reviewed San Marino’s Eurovision 2015 duo Michele Perniola & Anita Simoncini and their song “Chain of Lights”. Did they illuminate our lives? Or were we looking for the off switch? Read on to find out…
San Marino’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Michele and Anita with “Chain of Lights”
Robyn: “Chain of Lights” starts out sounding quite dramatic and cool, with moody Michele and sweet Anita drawing the listener into their world of light. But then at the two-minute mark the song suddenly turns into a life insurance television commercial from the 1980s. Then there’s the semi-rapped bit. It’s a mess and ends up being really unenjoyable. I would rather listen to that 10-minute loop of Michele saying “no”.
Angus: Anita and Michele are fabulous singers lumbered with a real clanger in “Chain of Lights”. The song cannot decide what it wants to be – equal parts Disney duet, early ’00s pop and ’80s disco. No shade, but Anita is not a rapper and Michele cannot pull of male pop-star heartthrob convincingly. Had Ralph sensibly stayed in Disneyland, we’d have something better for all concerned.
Deban: Ralph Siegel —Eurovision royalty and music legend — is the maestro behind this. But sadly I’m not feeling it. If you’re going to draw inspiration from your own catalogue, then please choose a winning entry. “Chain Of Hearts” bears a strong resemblance to “If We All Give A Little”, and carries a similarly dated concept. This song would never have advanced from a national selection. No music expert would award it a decent score. Microstate advocates are struggling to reconcile all this. I can only hope that in his infinite wisdom Siegel has found a qualifier in this. For now I can’t see it.
Anthony: San Marino at Eurovision without Valentina Monetta feels like Christmas without Santa. This is now Ralph Siegel’s fourth straight Eurovision entry for the land-locked nation. Sadly “Chain of Lights” is a step backwards. The mysterious melody is tolerable, but the cringe-worthy lyrics, especially about lighting up candles, really drag the whole song down. Given the inevitable task ahead of them, it’s a big ask for Anita and Michele to make it two in a row in Vienna.
Chris: I mean, please. When Michele and Anita were announced as the Sammarinese entry, I had a very small shred of hope that they might actually enter something age-appropriate for two 16-year-olds. Of course, once Ralph Siegel got involved, any such hope went right out of the window and, unsurprisingly, we have a mess of a song that ultimately ends up sounding like Six4One, which was dated back in 2006. It’s a shame, because these two performers deserved much better.
William: The strings set a mysterious tone and when Anita enters I’m loving the contrast in their voices. But by the one-minute mark it’s clear this song was written for with a 40-year-old chainsmoker in mind rather than two fresh young things. Anita should never have to face the indignity of rapping again. I think I will light a candle for them. It’s the only way to give this song some spark.
Bogdan: Here they are, the youngest singers this year, with the most dated song. What a pity! At the very least, they could have performed the song in Italian and saved Michele from the embarrassment of singing “let us build a chain of farts”. (Yes. I can’t unhear it.) San Marino showed such promise when they announced the fresh and adorable duo, but wow, what a missed opportunity!
Padraig: Anita and Michele had the chance to become the Troy and Gabriella of Eurovision. Instead we get this. “Chain of Light” doesn’t work at all. Everything feels clunky, nothing flows. The sound is unforgivably dated, Siegel can modernise (relatively speaking) when he wants to – “Crisalide”, “Just Get Outta My Life”. Both their JESC efforts were better… yes, even “Breaking My Heart”. They need to break free from these wretched chains, only then can they truly illuminate the night.
Wiwibloggs meets Michele Perinola and family at Junior Eurovision 2014
Max: Two alumni of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest who have basically been kidnapped by Ralph Siegel and forced to sing this poor excuse of an entry, straight from the back catalogues of 1982. They are both so young and deserve something fresh, current and appealing to the market of today, but no, we have something that will be shot down in the semi-final and forgotten forever.
Francheska: To use a popular expression from the 1980s: gag me with a spoon! This song is terribly dated, unoriginal, sappy, and lacks any sense of direction or purpose. It’s a meandering child in a lackluster candy store. It’s a hard-core gamer in a Radioshack. They could have sent something fun, but clearly some old fart thought otherwise. Please spare me!
Wiwibloggs chats with legendary songwriter Ralph Siegel
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 11 written reviews. Here are the remaining 18 scores.
William C: 1.5/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 1 and a high of 8.