Estonia: ERR reveals the 10 songs for Eesti Laul 2017 semi-final 2

Last week they revealed the first 10 songs competing in Eesti Laul 2017. And on December 15 Estonian broadcaster ERR gave us the rest, as they released the 10 songs competing in the second semi-final of the national selection.

As last week, they revealed each entry one-by-one on the hour, along with an interview, on the Eesti Laul website, driving a train through our day as we repeatedly returned to our computers.

Semi-final two features Estonian pop diva and 2003 Melodifestivalen entrant Kerli, 2015 Eesti Laul runner-up Daniel Levi, and national selection veteran Laura.

A total of 20 acts are competing to represent Estonia at Eurovision 2017 — and to hopefully give their country a better result than Jüri Pootsmann, who came last in his semi-final in Stockholm.

The Eesti Laul 2017 semi-finals will take place on the 11th and 18th of February at ERR studios. The final will take place on the 4th of March at Saku Arena.

Eesti Laul 2017 – Semi-final two

Wiwiblogger William offers his candid first impressions below. Click on the link to hear the song.

Liis Lemsalu – “Keep Running”

She previously recorded an album of Norwegian children’s songs with her choir. And this song definitely cuts across generations, offering something accessible, upbeat and positive. She oozes optimism and the production is on point with swells at just the right points. There are also flashes of tropical house, which make us tap our feet. Even so, the song is somehow forgettable and gets monotonous halfway through.

Koit Toome & Laura – “Verona”

Did she say we wake up with a “butt” in our hands? Enunciation issues aside, her voice is rich and melodic, and works well with his sexy intonations. Unlike so many Eurovision duets, which sound like they’re from another era, this manages to straddle eras. At times it harks back to Phil Collins and Glen Menderios. But the production pulls it firmly into 2016. It’s not going to win, but I’m definitely a fan. Eesti Laul veteran Laura has a knack for this competition, and it’s great to see her re-inventing herself yet again.

Rasmus Rändvee – “This Love”

His band Facelift Deer won “Best Debut Album” and “Best Rock Album” at the Estonian Musc Gala, so we know he can rock. And he does it here. His voice is dreamy and gritty and works very well over the heavy tambourine, deep beats and piano. It’s quality, but as with Juri Pootsmann’s entry from last year, this is ultimately repetitive and forgettable. It creates a mood, but not one that makes me want to vote for it.

Kerli – “Spirit Animal”

She recently spent nine months living in the woods, drawing inspiration from nature and isolation. And it seems she’s poured all of that into the avant-garde, daring and high impact entry “Spirit Animal”. It melds electronica and animism, creating a digital ode to the human spirit and the bonds that unite us: “You are my spirit animal, you’re my totem of love, you are the child of the moon, you are the ruler of the sun…” Some will think it’s bonkers. Others will think it’s brilliant. I’m on the fence and feeling rather confused.

Daniel Levi – “All I Need”

His voice is everything. It’s deeper than the ocean and I’m happy to strip down, jump in and swim in it for hours. The American-born singer is on-trend with this, mixing soul, pop and R&B to great effect. The electro production gives it Nordic edge, but this song could work in the U.S., the U.K. and beyond. And while I obviously see its merits, it doesn’t make me want to move or pump my fists or press replay. For whatever reason it’s leaving me a little cold.

Alvistar Funk Association – “Make Love, Not War”

Screw the trends and do your thing! That seems to be part of the thinking behind this pro-peace song, which sees Alivstar Funk Association whisper the names of nearly 50 countries, the majority of which have participated at Eurovision, in the Estonian language. We’re not kidding. To foreign ears she could be singing about anything. But to Estonians the monotony of naming countries may prove to be underwhelming. In any event, it’s lovely to have a nice joke entry thrown in the mix. Very Estonian!

Close To Infinity feat. Ian Karell – “Sounds Like Home”

This alternative rock group is described as fresh on the ERR web site, but their entry is very “heard it all before”. And it was probably in the late 90s. Weezer, Green Day, Blink 182 — borrow elements from all of them, throw in some optimism, add some very chatty vocals and you’ve got it. It’s not my cup of tea, but I appreciate the friendly, slightly happy-clappy vibe.

Almost Natural – “Electric”

Clearly a romantic, Almost Natural equates bodily pleasures with love: “The best I’ve ever been, ever been is skin-on-skin with you, skin-on-skin with you.” Lyrics aside, the song is pleasant enough — it’s a bit of electro-lounge, the mellow number to bring you down from your high. But it takes me down rul, rul low, to the point I’m dead. Not feeling it.

Antsud – “Vihm” (Rain)

Set up a totem poll and call on your ancient gods whoever they may be! Anstud is serving indigenous folk modernised for 2017. It makes me want to sacrifice a lamb and offer it up to the sky in praise. This is daring, original and real. Will it win? No. Should it win? No. Does that stop me from enjoying it? Absolutely not!

Angeelia – “We Ride With Our Flow”

Such a mysterious and gripping opening! And that makes the mess that follows all the more disappointing. This is disjointed, confusing and inconsistent, as if producer and songwriter wanted to go for everything….resulting in a whole lot of nothing. She has a lovely voice and there are some nice ideas here. But throwing all the ingredients into the sink inevitibly results in something unappetizing.