Ireland, Brendan Murray, 1

Dia duit Éire! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has arrived in Dublin. After taking a walk along the River Liffey, we gathered to discuss Ireland’s entry in Eurovision 2017 — “Dying to Try” from Brendan Murray. Did we feel his effort? Or did we just want to die? Read on to find out!

Brendan Murray – “Dying to Try”

About Brendan Murray

Brendan Murray was a member of the Irish boy band HomeTown, who had two No.1 singles in Ireland before going on hiatus in 2016. Brendan was internally selected by broadcaster RTÉ and is mentored by HomeTown manager Louis Walsh, along with support from 1992 Eurovision winner Linda Martin.

Why advice has Louis given him, we asked when we caught up with him in Israel in April. “Take any opportunity you can get,” he says. “Keep grounded. Stay positive, and just sing the song.”

“Dying to Try” reviews

Deban: Brendan Murray’s endearing voice is traditional, yet contemporary. “Dying To Try” is a sweeping love song packed with a message of hope and the all-important key change. In its strength, there’s an underlying fragility which gives this package added meaning. Also, Brendan Murray’s soft intonation is an asset used well. Yes, it’s another ballad, but this one stands out for all the right reasons.

Score: 8.5/10

Padraig: “Dying To Try” stirs strong emotions within me. Not since Electro Velvet burst onto the scene with “Still In Love With You” have I hated a song with such visceral abandon. Everything about the package is wrong. The song itself is a big pile of syrupy gloop that’s way past its sell-by-date. And as for Brendan, I’m sure he’s a grand chap but his voice is very much an acquired taste. And it is most definitely not suited to this style of music. We’re promised great staging, but I remain unconvinced.

Score: 1/10

Robyn: Ireland and Portugal have both sent songs that are throwbacks to Eurovisions of yesteryear — the 1990s and 1950s, respectively. But while “Amar pelos dois” is sweet and sentimental, “Dying to Try” just comes across as a cynical attempt at a “Eurovision song”. Brendan is a lovely singer — and the song starts off nicely enough — but once the key change comes in, it becomes obvious that Ireland is clinging tightly to its glory years, refusing to acknowledge both the passing of time and sound of current Irish music.

Score: 4/10

Angus: The problem with hailing Louis Walsh as the saviour of Ireland at Eurovision is that his biggest hits were with 90s boybands. Which perhaps explains why Brendan Murray has been lumbered with such a clanger. Equal parts reality show winner single and boyband ballad, “Dying To Try” ends up offering Ireland by numbers: ballad, key change, competent vocal. And in a year where we have a sea of competent singers, singing ballads competently, Ireland are sunk.

Score: 2/10

Chris: “Dying to Try” is likely to be DOA in Kyiv. Brendan’s vocal may be sweet, but it’s featuring on a song that just isn’t right for Eurovision 2017. It sounds like a bad winner’s single from a talent show in the mid-noughties. Perhaps that’s where the Louis Walsh influence comes in to it. Something more in the line of Brendan’s old band HomeTown’s output would have been more suitable. As it is, the luck of the Irish seems to be fleeting once again.

Score: 3/10

William: “Dying to Try” plods through musical clichés, deliberately holding back in the hope of bringing it home when Brendan hits that high note. As nice as that moment is, it doesn’t justify the two minutes of mind-numbing boredom that precede it. The introduction of the gospel choir smacks of an X Factor winner’s single and Brendan’s high-pitched voice — while distinct and impressive — just doesn’t fit with this tune, which would better suit a gravely tenor. Earnest delivery and sweet sentiments are nice, but this fails to make a lasting impact.

Score: 2/10

Forrest: How kind of Ireland to provide an updated example of what a song sounds like when its “plodding.” Granted, after a few listens, “Dying to Try” is actually quite relaxing and, as I’ve discovered, a lovely palate cleanser between listening to far more interesting songs. Brendan’s voice is certainly the most interesting thing here, possessing a delicacy that is unique among this year’s artists. Its crispness lends itself nicely to the paired-back nature of the song, helping it to stand out from some of the heavier ballads in the competition. Nevertheless, this is not a strong showing from Ireland and is unlikely to break their run of three consecutive absences from the final.

Score: 4/10

Natalie: Thank God Ireland — we really needed a soft slow ballad at Eurovision this year! “Dying to Try” sounds a bit like the Irish efforts at Eurovision of late. Brendan Murray is for sure a passionate vocalist, and beautifully connects both the soft start and the strident end. And it’s a very nice, innocent song. But there’s just nothing more to this. There’s no sense at all that the Irish have gone out of their way to make their presence felt this year at all; it’s just another baseless entry with no memorability that isn’t going to do anything to get Ireland out of their 21st century rut. If it had a tin whistle in there, I’d be much happier – but it doesn’t.

Score: 4/10

In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Anastas: 2/10

Andy: 5.5/10

Anthony: 6/10

Antony: 4/10

Antranig: 4/10

Bernardo: 5.5/10

Bogdan: 7/10

Dayana: 7/10

Edd: 8/10

Erdi: 3/10

George: 4.5/10

Jacob: 8/10

Jason: 7/10

Jordi: 7.5/10

Josh: 5.5/10

Jovana: 6/10

Kristin: 7/10

Luis: 5.5/10

Marek: 7.5/10

Matt: 5/10

Mikhail: 4/10

Patrick: 4/10

Renske: 7.5/10

Rezo: 9/10

Sami: 6/10

Sinan: 6.5/10

Stanislav: 6.5/10

Steinunn: 5/10

Tobias: 2/10

Zakaria: 4/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.25/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See our current Eurovision 2017 reviews and rankings

*BUY THE “DYING TO TRY” T-SHIRT

* Buy the Brendan Murray phone case

* Buy the Brendan Murray t-shirt

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neil bidon
Guest
neil bidon

its a lot better than at least 60% of the rubbish songs i have listened to but hey that doesnt seem to matter
italy has a million youtube hits? why? he cant sing and the song is forgettable
cant please everyone.

Paul mikino
Guest
Paul mikino

This guy can sing ????
The lyrics are good
The staging could get special
Who knows what might happen
I disagree with padraics views 1/10?
Mean I think but still waiting for him to select a winner he never has..

Orla jones
Guest
Orla jones

Need see it on stage – still thing there are the usual biased views on Ireland and we all know wiwibloggs never get it right?

Ringadingding
Guest
Ringadingding

I love this song, has one of most touching and down to earth messages in it. No flashy, false sentiment but honest message about the reality of love and struggles. As someone who has tried to make love work in my own life, I can relate to the song so much and Brendan sings with such emotion and heart ????

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Honestly cannot understand such vitriol towards Brendan’s voice and song – he has such a fantastic vocal range, just wish people could suspend their prejudices about how a male voice should sound – the song has such tenderness and a simple but heartfelt message – with killer staging and a bit more impact on the waltz and background beat in the first half of the song, together with as much passion as he can show on stage, Ireland could actually do very well!

Eve
Guest
Eve

This is a decent song with beautiful lyrics, and singer has interesting, sweet voice. Yes, it’s looks like 90’s boyband ballad, but that is not the main problem, ’cause there are lot of ”dated” songs this year.. The main problem is singer’s atittude to this song. Watching him at the pre-parties, I have impression that this is not ”his” song, he sings those touching lyrics without emotions.. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t wrote the song, he just don’t feel it, Lucie Jones for example didn’t wrote the song, but she sings it with such emotions and delivers the feeling… Read more »

eeuuaann
Guest
eeuuaann

Guys no offence but the Dying To Try shirt is kind of hideous #sorrynotsorry

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Strange experience with this song. When you hear snippet with supposedly best part – you enjoy it one way. When you’re listening the whole song – the change (key) in culmination looks so unnecessary, because you’re like have to refuse or forget that long kind-of build-up with hidden first chorus, which is actually glorious. It makes me confused and makes his vocals sound restrained in first part and a bit too forced in the end. However, I think this ballad might be better recognized when sung in contest. He needs good stage presense to snatch tricky 2nd semi. My 27th… Read more »

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

P.S. One of growers, just tired of movements across top. I would place him now inside of top 20 which was formed of whom I need/like in final along with big-5.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

In my 2nd evaluation, he is sitting 22nd overall on my card and 12th in the 2nd semi. In other words, he’s sitting on the razor’s edge. If this holds, it’ll be Ireland’s 4th-straight non-qualifier, and it’ll be the very last time they call upon Louis Walsh to find up a contender. It may reach a point where they might resort to inviting all-comers on a regular basis, the way Switzerland does. Two years ago, Erika Selin from Sweden finished 3rd in Ireland’s national contest.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Love it, one of my favourites this year. In an ideal world (I know it wont happen though!) I would love this and the UK to fight it out for the top spot and Romania to take 3rd spot. Reality is though, Ireland will struggle to qualify, which is such a shame.

Leonidas
Guest
Leonidas

Really like this song but if it will be successful, that snake Louis Walsh will have even more power as the ”guru” of esc in Ireland. Don’t want Louis Walsh to take advantage of this song success, but I really like this ballad.

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

The best word to describe this entry? “Tired”.

When put next to its competitors Australia and Bulgaria, Murray’s offer doesn’t hold quite well, displaying it’s trying to be Eurovision-y with that key change and the tone of the overall song. He has an unique voice, but he’s caught in all the chains of his production team, who think making an ESC offering is a formula instead of crafting a solid piece of music. I feel so sorry, but I doubt this will have much impact in the contest.
3/10

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I made the same comparisons as you did. I try to compare songs like these to past contenders and even spectacular songs that were thrown under the bus this year. At the moment, Isaiah Firebrace is my #17, and Kristian Kostov is my #7.

Lukewarm
Guest
Lukewarm

Screamfest. He is quite good at it though. 01 | 02 Norway | 03 | 04 United Kingdom | 05 Austria 06 Albania | 07 | 08 Bulgaria | 09 | 10 11 Serbia | 12 Sweden | 13 | 14 Denmark | 15 Moldova 16 Poland | *17 Portugal* | 18 Latvia | 19 Cyprus | 20 Iceland 21 | 22 | 23 Greece | 24 Czechia | 25 Armenia 26 Netherlands | 27 Belarus | *28 Ireland* | 29 Finland | 30 31 | 32 | 33 Montenegro | 34 Israel | 35 Georgia 36 Germany | 37… Read more »

Cf
Guest
Cf

Westlife B side filler. 5/10

liron
Guest
liron

Big like to Ireland, i just love this song and the special beautiful voice brendeen has.
ireland must be in the final..its not fair that in both 2015 , 2016 they didint make it..they sent beautiful songs. This song is in my top 5.if it wont make it i will be very angry.its much more beautiful and special than most of the songs.

Bgc
Guest
Bgc

I fully agree that we deserved to be in the final in 2015. But do you seriously believe we deserved to qualify last year? The song was bland with very bad lyrics, the staging was pretty much non-existent, Nicky Byrne’s vocal was average at best. As much as I’d love to see my country do well in Eurovision, we absolutely deserved to remain stuck in the semi-final last year. In fact, I think 2016 was the first year since the 50:50 televote/jury system was introduced that Ireland failed to make the Top Ten with both the juries and the public!!… Read more »

liron
Guest
liron

Yes i think that nicky should have qualified, the song was good..maybe tbe stage was not the best but still Ireland was better than georgia, poland, latvia.
I really think its not fair..its similar to israel 2013, 2014.both israel and Ireland are countries who won in the past.and in the latest years not appreciated enough.

Bring Back Denise Now
Guest
Bring Back Denise Now

This is the best song this year. 12 points and hugs from Yemen

Digital Style
Guest
Digital Style

I honestly am not crazy about this song, but I definitely understand the hype about it. It’s an emotional and powerful song written by someone who could be my best friend in high school. He’s such a genuine and nice guy, and the song has an important message that we can all relate to somehow.

Kobe
Guest
Kobe

What hype?

Darren
Guest
Darren

Wiwi jury, come on now, you have given worse songs such as Kasey Smith and Nicky Byrne higher marks than Brendan’s. “Dying to Try” is vastly superior to both I believe. However, while it is a good song on its own, it fails to stand out in comparison to the other songs in contention. Ireland 2017 reminds me of Ireland 2015. Molly had an amazing and beautiful song that was great on its own but was lost in a sea of standout performances. I hear good things about the staging I need Kyiv so I’m hopefully that Ireland can ditch… Read more »

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

Has to be said Molly was also thrown under a bus with the running order, had the stage presence of a gold fish and did no promo in order to help her artistic training. Brendan has a lot more stage presence, has done a lot of promo and Chester gave him as late as possible in the running order,add that to the fact that there is a good staging team behind it and it stands a strong chance of qualifying.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Is “Chester” now the official nickname for Christer Bjorkman? 😀

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

Chester is google translator for Christer 😛

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Oh. Oops! 😀

David S
Guest
David S

Let’s call him Chester from now on then, it’s a great nickname, like he’s an overzealous Eurovision puppy

Emy
Guest
Emy

I love so much this song. Good luck, Brendan.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

This song begins in a soft A-flat major key with shifts back-and-forth to the relative minor (F minor). The first part of the song contains a Q&A refrain, so technically it’s a verse, except that it happens twice (so it’s a two-part verse). The accompaniment in this verse combines a light electro sound with gospel-style piano chords; this then grows with string hits that define some added richness to the harmony – e.g. The F-min chords now become F-min2; the added 2nd emphasizing fear on “I know you’re scared.” Good so far. Next comes a bridge with an expanded melody… Read more »

James
Guest
James

There needs to be some balanced posted opinions from the Wiwijurors if the over-all consensus for this song is far from generally negative considering the Wiwijury score is set right in the middle.

But that’s just me.

Bgc
Guest
Bgc

The sad reality is that RTÉ doesn’t care about Eurovision, they prefer to use their money to pay themselves ridiculously high salaries than invest in decent programming. Along with this, too many of the Irish public regard the contest as a joke and/or a political bloc-voting mess. Every year without fail people here will moan about how bad the contest is and how terrible our entry is, but then when we fail to qualify yet again they’ll go on to moan about how unfair it was and how terrible Eastern Europe is for bloc voting (oblivious to the fact that… Read more »

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

The song has been growing on me. I like the 60’s slow style rhythm base that is going on and the melody has a nice structure. The thing that turns me off is his high pitch voice especially towards the end. I see it difficult for him to qualify this year, unless the staging gives it a completely different dimension. Let’s wait and see. 5,5/10

Hi
Guest

Its Ireland best song gor many year. One of my favorit
8.5/10

Lemoni
Guest
Lemoni

I liked this song from the beginning. Easy to sing along, maybe I have boring tastes but I like this and Croatia, and many others, but Ireland and Croatia are so underrated. Also I want to like Portugal but is very, very hard when I read the comments from its patronizing fans.

Shona
Guest
Shona

Ouch. That sounded harsh. The studio version is meh but I’m loving his live performances of the song. It’s breathtaking even if it’s a ballad. I’m loving how he gives life and make meaningful & interesting such a boring song.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

I would be surprised if Ireland made the final, this won’t attract many voters.
Not a fan of his voice, either.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

This is not bad, just dull and doesn’t go anywhere. I can see this coming last in the Semi-Final. Ireland really need to step up their game.

5.5/10

kenna
Guest

Brendan’s feminine and childish vocal tone is easily one of the biggest WTFs in the contest, and frankly, the only thing that’s making the Irish stand out this year. ‘Dying To Try’ is dry and lifeless slug-fest which feels like a huge cloud of gloom in musical form; but perhaps, the biggest negative here is the chorus – completely monotonous and out-of-the-blue. Even Brendan himself drags the song lyric-by-lyric instead of just letting it flow. Final rating : 3.8/10

Olivio
Guest
Olivio

I disagree – firstly, no need to insinuate that there is anything wrong with a ‘feminine’ sounding voice on a male – it’s just a higher ranging male voice with a unique tone – nothing for Brendan to have to feel ashamed of. And ‘childish’, really? That makes it sound even worse. I think he actually makes the very best of the song he is given – his vocals flow very well with the song lyrics, keeping a nice rhythm going along to the waltz progression when he sings. His voice is one of the strongest and most impressive of… Read more »

kenna
Guest

It may have came off wrong, but I never meant to say that having a feminine or childish vocal tone is wrong; I like his voice very much, it’s just that it’s very different from his contemporaries this year, and frankly the only thing that’s making the Irish stand out. There’s something about his vocal stability though :/ And about that “dragging lyric-by-lyric” comment; yeah sorry, that was meant for Slovenia, not this song. Maybe I was absent minded when I wrote this and forgot where I was typing. However, my opinion on the song remains the same; I don’t… Read more »

Maria
Guest
Maria

I agree with Deban. This song is beautiful. I needed a few listens to fall in love with it, though. I also had to get used to his voice. However, now I’m totally loving his voice + this song! Can’t wait to see his performance at ESC.

Ola
Guest
Ola

Love it to bits!
9/10

Kostka
Guest
Kostka

So underrated… This year are amazing ballads. Like I usually don’t like them in contest because they’re rather boring with only screaming and crying out loud – this year is exception. This contest should win ballad.
Brendan’s song deserve better than low 5,25. In my opinion should be in grand final and receive points enough to be in top15.
‘Dying to try’ is great. Even if you don’t like it, it’s a shame, you gave this such a low rate.

Okta
Guest
Okta

Such vicious and destructive reviews
What kind of people are you?

Richard
Guest
Richard

Such harsh comments and scores for such a sweet song. I really like it, and Brendan’s voice is gorgeous. I hope to see it do well.

Racal
Guest
Racal

This one makes me uncomfortable and sad for the singer. He’s obviously a talented young guy, but why in the world did they give him such a dull song? This is a waste of young artist’s talent, and it’s quite sad for Brendan…

It’s especially sad coming from Ireland, a country with such a rich musical tradition (and I’m not even talking about their 7 Eurovision wins, I’m talking about the thousands of great singers and bands that they have).

#36 in my ranking, and I think it would be a miracle if that qualifies.

Anna
Guest
Anna

I listen to this song with pleasure, really like it, the concept, the voice. Its full package for me <3 <3

Colin
Guest
Colin

I fully expected an underrated score for this song. At least it’s not as low as Malta or Georgia. I liked this song from the first time, but it only grew on me since. Now it firmly sits in my top 10. Brendan’s voice is really good and specific. I know many will find it annoying, but I like it. I believe Ireland’s song builds-up better than ballads from Australia and Bulgaria. The absence of second verse and proceeding to bridge adds to the sense of growing tension. Moreover, I find it more age-appropriate and than the other two young… Read more »

Justine
Guest
Justine

I agree his voice is unique, very high. The song itself is pleasant to listen to but not my cup of tea. I would gave him 6 out of 10. Good luck Ireland!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

We are not entirely in agreement. 🙁 I do see your point about the age-appropriateness of the lyrics though, especially compared to Australia’s entry. Good point. 🙂 I think that the best parts of the song are the sweet and vulnerable parts at the start. The raise of the key change really doesn’t work for me, and his top notes sound like he’s actually “dying” of vocal strain. If he had been singing to me at the start, I would have accepted his proposal, but by the end I just want him to stop singing so loudly!! That’s not Brendan’s… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

Thanks for commenting 😉 I really like that second part of the song. It might be shouty, but he manages to pull it off quite well IMHO. The song actually has a climax and builds-up very well. I do equally like the slow build-up too. It does fit into place when the thing ‘explodes later on’. Maybe you recall how I said I am very underwhelmed by how Armenian song never goes anywhere after a nice intro. Unlike that, I like how Ireland has a nice escalation from slow and tender to big and loud. The mentioned absence of a… Read more »

Kylie
Guest
Kylie

Shame on you padraig, you should be supporting our countries entry, not putting it down. Even if you aren’t a fan, you should be proud. You’re not setting a good example for our song. well, I’m not really surprised seeing as u rate almost every song low.

henning
Guest
henning

hahaha so because he comes from Ireland he is not allowed to say anything bad about it? you really are stupid

Padraig Muldoon
Editor

Kylie, your logic is ridiculous! Also, I haven’t rated almost every song low.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Louis Walsh’s questionable taste strikes again. Absolutely nothing happens for the first two minutes in this song, but the final part is quite decent. I love Brendan’s voice, he deserves better.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Louis Walsh being involved in music in 2017 simply astounds me. When the choir hits, I roll my eyes at the level of desperation.
Have to disagree about his voice. I really don’t like it! He does not seem to be singing completely within his range and is pretty nasally.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

This has grown on me! When I first listened to this, many things came to my mind: Why is his voice so childish? Another ballad. Flat and boring. However, the more I hear it, the more I like it! It’s not one of my favourites though. Although his voice seems childish, it’s charming and that’s an asset! His english is perfect (of course!) and though I have trouble with the lyrics because of his Irish accent, I don’t bother. Also, this high note in the middle of the song: SLAY! His live performances in preview parties show he’s a great… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

5.5./10

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

This is so good! That voice makes everything! I mean the voice is very original, the song not so much, but it is a very good song! I like it a lot! Im govong it a 7!

Davve
Guest
Davve

I have a gut feeling that this song could be this years surprise. A possible high placer. It all depends on the stage performance and this kids stage presence.

Flurry5794
Guest
Flurry5794

Anyone who critizeses this song and praises the russian entry needs to take a course to develop a decent musical taste.

Leo M
Guest
Leo M

The song is not great but I do think Ireland have the chance to qualify in a very open semi final. He has a unique voice but unofrtunately the song doesn’t really offer much. It feels like it is missing another verse or something, but it finishes strongly. If he sings well on the night and the staging is strong, Ireland could scrape through to the final.

Kobe
Guest
Kobe

It’s easy amongst my 10 favorites this year, and i am not from Ireland 😉
I only fear the live version will be disappointing stage wise and the live vocals will also be not convincing.

RMAP
Guest
RMAP

This is one of the most underrated songs this year. Brendan’s voice is sweet, yet powerful. Let’s hope he’ll get an epic performance. I hope he will make it to the final. Ireland deserves it this year. <3