The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — headed to Spain and took a stroll in Retiro Park in Madrid. While we were there, we sat down under a shady tree and discussed Barei‘s song “Say Yay!”. Were we also jumping for joy? Or did it leave us falling flat? Read on to find out!
Barei – “Say Yay!”
“Say Yay!” reviews
Angus: This didn’t need the revamp! “Say Yay!” was flawless live at the Ukrainian national final and this revamp has just made the whole thing too bombastic. Too many elements have been added on top of the song and they don’t all work together. The last upbeat Spanish songs didn’t do too hot, and before the revamp Barei looked set to overturn that. Now I’m not so confident.
Bogdan: “Fanwank” is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Spain’s 2016 entry. Despite the multi-layered, heavy production, the entire premise of the song seems void of emotional content. And so far no live performance has convinced me that Spain could finish on the left side of the scoreboard. With an annoyingly repetitive chorus that is performed mainly by the backing singers, I feel like I am being duped by Barei.
Deban: There is so much hype surrounding this, and a re-vamp to fuel the fire. Sadly for me, this doesn’t light a match. “Say Yay!” is a derivative slice of upbeat pop that could benefit with a slower tempo. Imagine you’re chasing horses to the stream in heels — that sums up my feelings when I hear this! I appreciate Barei’s enthusiasm overall, but it seems like she’s overcompensating.
Padraig: It’s easy to dismiss a song just because of hype. But do so at your peril. For every Edurne there’s a Måns Zelmerlöw. And I’m putting Barei firmly with Måns. There’s no other song quite like “Say Yay!” in the contest. It’s an instant pick-me-up and infectiously feel-good. And unlike so many upbeat Eurovision entries, it’s completely cringe-free. This is mainstream music for the masses and I’m completely okay with that. Because it’s pop perfection. I pray that Europe doesn’t screw over Spain yet again. Say yay, yay, yay!
Robyn: “Say Yay!” is a fun song, but it’s so relentlessly upbeat that it starts to feel really overwhelming to listen to. There’s no moment for the listener to catch their breath. It’s all yay, all the time. Some will enjoy this, but for me it’s unenjoyably full-on. In Stockholm, the fate of “Say Yay!” will depend on whether it leaves listeners wanting more.
William: Turning away from broken mirrors and diving into her own struggles, Barei gives perseverance rhythm with this uplifting dance number. Her vocals carry passion and power and, supported by ample bangs and clangs, make me say yay while pumping my fist and shaking my tail. The lyrics are at time cringeworthy, but she ropes me back in every time with a simple and uplifting chorus that could motivate the most down-trodden soul. It’s a fun and catchy song — and a great change of pace for Spain.
Luis: I’m feeling a lot of conflict with my country’s song this year: it’s the definition of mainstream and I’m a sucker for indie stuff; it carries an overly enthusiastic message and I’m one of those grumpies that doesn’t want a song to tell me how should I feel. But I’m just loving it. Barei and “Say Yay” have something that overrides all the negative points I see, and that makes me want to say yay! I promise this is not national pride, it’s just the feel-good aura that surrounds this act that has drawn me in.
Mario: “Say Yay” is one of those inspirational songs that makes you get up and go running, or gets you in the mood for a party. I hated that it did better than Maria Isabel’s song in Objetivo Eurovision, but now I’m seriously glad it won. Barei’s strong vocals and quirky dance moves make it a stand out, and the revamp makes the whole song even more enjoyable.
Mike: As much as I love this song, it does not stand out against all the giants competing this year. Spain did a really good job but I am afraid the song will be forgotten by the public because other Big 5 members France and Italy simply bring us better songs. That said, Barei looks like an amazing artist and someone fun to hang out with. She brings vitality and freshness to the competition.
Denise: In the beginning I was afraid that I would get bored of this song. A few weeks later I’m glad to say that I still love it. It’s full of power and Barei has a great voice which can deliver. Hoping for a result like Ruth and Pastora or even better.
Edd: Whilst I am missing the beautiful Spanish language, this really is something great. A perfect pop voice, interesting lyrics, and finally something I can dance to! However, I think the revamp has actually weakened the post-chorus instrumental, which needs a much stronger beat if this song is to become the true banger is deserves to be.
Forrest: “Say Yay!” feels fresh and the hook is energetic and catchy without getting repetitive or tiresome. However, after the revamp the peppy piano gets pushed aside for a muted horn section in the chorus. I can only imagine this decision was made to give the chorus a bit more body, but in doing so it adds unnecessary weight at the song’s most critical part. Nevertheless, Barei’s energy is infectious and “Say Yay!” promises to have Europe dancing along in May.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 8/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.