The Wiwi Jury, our panel of music unprofessionals, hopped across the Channel this week to review France’s Eurovision 2012 entry “Echo (You and I).” Did Anggun leave us saying “Oo la la!” or “Eww, na na!”? Read on to find out….
Wiwi: Crazy people tend to be more interesting—and the same holds true for music. The opening bars of Anggun’s “Echo (You and I)” give off a schizophrenic vibe, moving from R&B to rock to trance to pop all in a matter of seconds. But Anggun finally settles on a mid-tempo dance number with Oriental influences. And Wiwi approves.
Although its sound is decidedly modern, the song’s message is as old as time: How do we cope with the end of a relationship? The lyrics suggest that the song’s central character is having trouble moving on. “We get lost, we hope/ Somewhere we go astray/But one day beyond this we’ll meet/ In my dreams, in my dreams/ In my heart, in my mind/ I see you and I, I see you and I.” Some may criticize the use of English in the simple chorus. But it mirrors the theme of love echoing through time, and, in this case, through language, too. On avance, mais on court après quoi? Anggun asks, which means something like, “We move on, but what are we running after?” It’s a good question for all of us.
Finally, Anggun, one of our Eurovision Babes of the Day, is seriously hot. Wiwi—who is half-Vietnamese—loves that Indonesian-born Anggun is taking Eurovision out of Europe with her electric zither and stunning look. In the grand tradition of Jessy Matador and Stella Mwangi, she’s showing us that Eurovision really is a contest without borders.
Vebooboo: There’s a slight disconnect between the first 15 seconds and the next 2+ minutes, but I have to say I’m in love with the transition from 0:16 to 0:48. After the first chorus the song gets a bit too repetitive and just never really climaxes. That’s right: no stains on that Indonesian’s sheets! But unfortunately that’s not a good thing in this case. We like it dirty at WiwiBloggs.Com, and we like to orgasm. Pretty girl, decent song. Decent overall.
Meows Kitty: Although another disco stomper, Anggun definitely stomps out her competitors in the same category—and with very little effort required. The song is cool and chic rather than cheesy and crap, and I would not feel embarrassed if caught dancing to this tune in public (and you better believe that I will be in Baku!). What’s more, Anggun is a stunner! She has stage presence without uttering a word, and she can sing which is just icing on the cake!
Deban: Post Patricia Kaas, France has reverted back to the losing formula of the Eurasian Portmanteau. In other words, French stanzas with a hook/chorus in the English language. What a bore! Anggun, on the other hand, is an interesting character. Flirting with Oriental elegance (but remaining decidedly French), she is the first Indonesian artist to break into the European and American record charts. Her albums have been platinum in several Francophone countries, and her breakthrough hit ‘Snow on the Sahara’ charted in 33 countries. In addition, she has received a number of accolades for her achievements, including the prestigious Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French Minister of Culture.
Her bio is impressive, but it’s easy to see why she did kiss success initially. She started off being Erick Benzi’s protégé. Collaborations with Julio Iglesias, Peter Gabriel and Pras Michel of the Fugees helped in sealing her status. Sadly, not even this midas touch can sustain her ESC submission. Echo is self-written and produced, and this may be part of the problem.
The song begins with a pop/rock intro, only to morph into a euro-dance dramatically 17 seconds later. The change of gear is so bizarre: it leaves you wondering if this is destined to be an echo to France’s failure. But guess what? France is in the final anyway! It sure does pay to be one of the Big 5.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.63/10