Earlier today the Wiwi Jury, our in-house panel of music un-professionals, got together to eat some pâté and to review Joanna Lagrave’s “Ma Liberté”. Did her song inspire a sense of freedom? Or was it more akin to incarceration? Read on to find out…

Angus: This is a bit like a Bond Theme isn’t it? Melodramatic, dozens of big notes, a pinch of wailing and also a mighty punch of emotion. “Ma Liberté” is a true chanson of old. Pure class and glamour, Joanna builds on the serious style that Paris flirted with last year. Simply fabuleux!

Score: 9/10

Katie: This, I like. I love the way it starts off calmly then builds up to something powerful by the chorus. Joanna has a great voice but I do think this song could be made more exciting with a few drums or a key change. If Joanna wins the French selection with this, she’ll need to rely purely on her live vocals to get her a good score in Copenhagen. There’s really nothing else to this song.

Score: 7/10

Wiwi: The glossy music video left me feeling inspired and hopeful for Joanna. Then I saw the live performance (below) and all I could think was, “Whitney Houston you are not.” Not yet, anyway. At the moment the song is very good. Joanna needs to up her game vocally to make it magical. The song is mature, sophisticated, elegant and powerful. I’m keeping my fingers crossed Joanna can bring the voice needed to carry it.

Score: 6/10

http://youtu.be/J4Yafg6DiPE

Zach: This is the France I know, this is the France I love! Joanna seems to be the only entry in this national final with any hope of actually breaking the top 20 barrier. I think she could even break the top 10 with the slightest of revamping to make the song flow a bit quicker for some extra energy, maybe a key change for good measure. She sounds like she could nail it with ease. The ballad is very peaceful yet powerful, and Joanna nails the notes like it’s child’s play. It invokes memories of the flawless Patricia Kaas, the slow style, the powerful voice, and the eclectic lyrical deliverance. Joanna also appears to be the only act who can sing.  Juries would go gaga over this, especially with an added key change or slightly quicker beat. I also think televoters would find it interesting. C’est magnifique!

Score: 9.5/10

Deban: This is a power ballad in every sense. Joanna’s style is mature and sophisticated. She infuses so much character with her pipes, and her facial expressions communicate the nuances the song demands. Very much in the style of Adele does James Bond, “Ma Liberte” packs it out with lots of drama, and serves it beautifully.

Score: 7.5/10

JOANNA_Lagrave FRANCE3-LARTIGEAnthony: In terms of the down-to-earth ballads, and as classy it may be, Joanna’s entry probably isn’t quite up there with 2009 entrant Patricia Kaas. Having watched France’s presentation show, Joanna gets my vote on the vocal section of the live performances. The only downside to this entry is the rather slow build up in the first minute of the song. Overall, it might pick up points from the juries, but I do fear “Ma Liberté” would hardly get anywhere with the televoters this year.

Score 7/10

Padraig: I think it’s a bit premature to be elevating Joanna to Bond diva status just yet. Whilst “Ma Libeté” may share certain characteristics with the likes of Skyfall or Diamonds Are Forever, most notably an atmospheric orchestral backing track, it’s missing a certain je ne sais quoi. Rather than sizzle with attitude and emotion it just fizzles out. Granted, repeat listens will be rewarded and you’ll discover hidden depths. But that’s not much use, considering France get a bi to the final. Ultimately, I’m neither shaken nor stirred.

Score:6/10

Sami: Just like everyone else is saying, it sounds like a Bond Theme, but c’mon, do we need that in Eurovision? I prefer big Eurovision ballads and that’s why I don’t really find this very interesting. I like the chorus, but rest of the song makes me sleepy. I think it could do well in Eurovision, but I wouldn’t put it on top of my charts. I think the best thing in this is her hair.

Score: 3/10

Ramadan: This is quite nice but also quite boring. Her voice is too good for such a boring song! And I hope that Joanna doesn’t go overboard with those high notes. Even with a convincing performance this song is doomed to end up in the bottom 5. It’s just not memorable. This sounds like a Maltese National Final song…

Score: 4/10

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.56/10

Final Standings:

1. Twin Twin – 6.78
2. Joanna – 6.56
3. Destan – 3.10

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13 Comments
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Francel
Francel
8 years ago

Good choice this year for France. Well done.

Charles
Charles
8 years ago

Joanna all the way … Stromae-sounding look chipmunk song never … I do agree the chorus needs a bit of a change especially in the notes … she has full potential to use her full voice in it but the composer seems to be ignoring that and it takes away the energy and power a chorus should have. Blame it on the composers … I am actually surprised that the whole Wiwi judgment on this ballad is better than what I expected … something is changing and way behind are the days when everybody was ridiculously crazy for poorly sung… Read more »

Alain B
Alain B
8 years ago

I dare say this is one of the best ballads France could ever send to the contest. France constantly fail with the likes of Jessy Matador and Armandine and all the other stuff they try. This is a solid piece of music and a song that will impress – whether jury or televote it makes no difference. People nowadays appreciate more real artists rather than clowns like Twin Twin. When was the last time a circus show won in Eurovision? I can’t remember even.

Arianna
8 years ago

I hope Joanna gets it 🙂 Wouldn’t mind the other two acts, but this be my fave! Strong stage presence, big voice which will probably be even bigger by the time she makes it to Copenhagen, if she does.

Alex
Alex
8 years ago

“This sounds like a Maltese National Final song…” Well, Gerard James Borg, Philip Vella, and Sean Vella did the music (while Yves Guillon did the lyrics). So indeed, it is very much a Maltese song. And if France indeed sends this song, I really hope the composers revise the boring chorus before it gets to Denmark. Those particular composers write so many songs, it looks like with this one they didn’t put too much effort into making it memorable. I mean, it starts well. The verses are good, and they build well to the chorus, but then the chorus is… Read more »

Z24
Z24
8 years ago

I’m rooting for Twin Twin (their song doesn’t really sound like Papaoutai for me. People are very quick to jump and yell “PLAGIARISM!” nowadays) but Joanna’s alternative is a really good one. I feel that France won’t feel like wanting to send yet another big voiced diva again. They might feel tired of it regardless of how good she is.

joey
joey
8 years ago

Still Twin Twin for me!!! Go Twin Twin!!! Twin Twin for Copenhagin!!! (I rhymed it in purpose!!!)

Kristoff
Kristoff
8 years ago

French nation will be very stupid if not send this song. With good perfomance this will be top 3 for France. France always do well with ballade. Already too many bands this year. I hope so for Ma Liberte’ and Joanna

Henrik Meyer
Henrik Meyer
8 years ago

La voix de le France! Seems to me this is the only song in the French selection where you get the full package: A real singer, an awesome song, and meaningful lyrics.

Samuel
Samuel
8 years ago

Absolutely divine! A touch of class and a far of cry from the cheap and trashy (heavily copied) Twin Twin song or the unmemorable and ordinary Destan. Surely, if this gets to Eurovision it will pull in a number of votes from jury and also international televote. Nice to see that some countries can still make good music.

Jenny
Jenny
8 years ago

This is the France I know and love too! No more of that crazy Jessy Matador / drugged up Amandine. This is France at its best!

Malta Fan
Malta Fan
8 years ago

Wow! This is a great song. I think France should choose her.

Jade
Jade
8 years ago

“This is the France I know, this is the France I love!”

You know it is t a French song right?