Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music un-professionals—called our girl Valentina Monetta and got directions to San Marino. Then she told us that Michele Perniola actually lives in Italy, so we had to turn around and find him. Eventually we sat down to review his JESC 2013 song “O-o-O Sole intorno a me.” Did we feel like the sun was all around us? Or were we left complaining about the sun burn? Read on to find out…
Angus: Gawd this is so 80’s it’s quite fabulous! Michele has a cracking voice and the ‘ohs’ are possibly the catchiest hook of this year’s crop. I also happen to love Italian so I’m a sucker for the song, obviously. It does help though that this is slathered in strings and Michele has passion. Of all the contestants, apart from maybe Gaia, he sounds like he wants it. He’s determined and for that alone he deserves top marks.
Deban: A very 80s inspired Italo rock number, this is music harvested by composers stuck in a timewarp. Lacking in innovation, this entry suffers in addition by sounding too loud even when heard in low volume. Furthermore Michelle Perniola will need a few elocutionists to help him brush up his spoken English. ‘Wan, Chu, Tree, For’ isn’t cutting it.
James: This is my guilty pleasure – as soon as we get past the slightly peculiar slow “oh-oh-ohs” at the beginning, we get into something which, despite the MIDI instrumentalisation (grr…), which. It’s full of energy, it’s all in the native language (apart from 1,2,3,4 – but we can disregard this), and the boy is showing personally choreographed expression in the actual music video. It’s crass, as far as songs go, but it is good cheesy music. I want it to win as San Marino’s debut. But they can’t do this every year. No more MIDI, please!
Richard: The lyricists were clearly having a tough time with this song as it took over 1 minute before Michele gave us anything more than an o-o-o. However, that did give the chance for a cool piece of electro-funk to build but, like a Valentina Monetta Eurovision number, it was over too quickly. Michele does look considerably older than many other JESC contestants and gives hope that San Marino can finally send someone else to Eurovision in 2015…
William Cahill: I love this. This is my favourite of the competition by far! I love his voice and I love him. I think the girls will also be voting for him. I think the beat is great, and his voice goes well with it too. Of course we haven’t heard it live. I’m gonna have to take off half a mark, though, because I think Italy or San Marino could’ve saved him until 2015, and sent him to Eurovision with the same song. I’d love him to do Eurovision!
Wiwi: I had to pinch myself just now to make sure that I was still in 2013. This song feels very 1980s. This is not neccesarily a bad thing: retro is in fashion and sounding like an Italian Michael Jackson works well for Michele. Unlike most Junior and adult Eurovision songs, this does not feel like three minutes. It breezes by, reflecting the optimistic theme found in the lyrics. Dude loves him some sunshine. Given that he has already won a major Italian singing contest, we can be sure he’ll bring the vocals on the big day. I’m really curious how they will stage this. Something tells me there will be an oversized replica of a sun.
Zach: San Marino’s first Eurovision Final in any aspect of the word, and they really are making a go for the title aren’t they? A cute face, a cute song that makes me smile, and good vocals too? Seems to me it packs quite the punch. The 80’s influenced sound does make it a bit dated in my mind, but his cute face makes up for it easily. Top 5 contender easily.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 8/10
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