Incredibly 2014 is almost up. And that means one thing – it’s time for “Team Wiwi’s Top Tracks of The Year”. Just like in 2013, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite releases and recordings by Eurovision stars. Songs which competed at Eurovision or national finals were excluded (they’ve been analysed to death in our jury reviews), as were artists who’ve never made it to the Eurovision stage (sorry Ace and Adelén). And this year we’ve decided to supersize and create a Top 50 – there was just too much great music for us to ignore. So #JoinUs as we continue our daily countdown. Today we look at numbers 35 through to 31.
35. “Slowly” – Ani Lorak
What we said: In 2008 the “Shady Lady” pop princess became a Eurovision queen (let’s forget Russia’s Dima Bilan won, ok?), and ever since we’ve basked in her regal brilliance. Admittedly she’s stayed away from the euro-pop which stole our hearts, and that makes us sad. But when she insists on producing output as exquisite as “Slowly” we can’t be angry. Balladering at it’s finest – soaring vocals, raw emotion, and a classy music video to boot. Bow down before your queen. (Padraig)
34. “Pray For Ukraine” – Zlata Ognevich
What we said: Subject matter aside, “Pray For Ukraine” marks a major shift in direction for the 2013 ESC star. In fact this is about as far removed from the toothache inducing sweetness of her Eurovsision effort as possible. Set to a pulsing EDM beat, Zlata oozes sass, proving that she’s much more than a bargain bin Disney princess. She sings “STOP!” with enough ferocity to slay even her most ardent critics. In a sense she’s let down by the lyrics, but then again this is an anthem for the masses – there’s no room for butterfly inspired metaphors. (Padraig)
33. “Ce Poveste” – Mandinga feat. Connect-R
What we said: The surprise new single features Connect-R, a Romanian singer who represented Moldova at Eurovision 2006 with Arsenium & Natalia Gordienko. “Ce Poveste” is Mandinga’s most chilled-out anthem since “Sufletul Zambea”, a ballad on their 2012 album. The Romanian language offering showcases lead singer Elena’s vocal talents so perfectly. Some may say Connect-R’s rapping isn’t necessary and even a tad clunky. But whatever: “Ce Poveste” is the perfect remedy for our post-summer blues. (Katie)
32. “You & I” – Anouk
What we said: “You & I” showcases a brighter, more optimistic side to the Eurovision 2013 star. Rather than dwelling on the morose, she looks to the future and sings of keeping her heart and soul alive in her quest for love. The song is a return to her rock roots, but still maintains the gothic aura which endeared her to the European public. The haunting melody and vocals will stay with you long after the music has stopped. (Padraig)
31. “Gi Kai Ouranos” – Freaky Fortune
What we said: Freaky Fortune made everyone jump with their Eurovision entry “Rise Up”, but their latest single “Gi Kai Ouranos (Earth and Sky)” is helping us calm down. It takes us far away from the flashing lights and noisy crowds and to a place more mellow and intimate. Many questioned Nikolas’ vocal ability during Eurovision, but he really proves everyone wrong with “Gi Kai Ouranos”. His voice sounds beautiful, especially when singing in Greek. The song is perfect for the final days of summer when you’re thinking back on your holiday romance. (Sami)
Do y’all agree with our list so far? What changes would you make?