We’ve reached the penultimate day of our countdown of the top tracks of 2014. If you haven’t been keeping up with our list so far (why?) click HERE for a recap. The rules are simple. 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 enter the top ten and look at 10 through to 6.
10. “Gigantes” – Ruth Lorenzo
What we said: Set over driving drums and a bubbling beat “Gigantes” soars a lot higher than “Dancing in the Rain”. More up-beat, all the stronger for the entirely Spanish lyrics and a real tour de force this is easily Ruth’s strongest song to date. (Angus)
9. “All That Matters” – Roman Lob
What we said: Roman Lob is back—and he’s finally ditched his beanie hat. The sound of “All that Matters” is very much middle-of-the-road, which Lob does so well. Back in Baku, “Standing Still” secured a Top 10 finish. “All That Matters” isn’t dissimilar. It’s well crafted with commercial radio in mind and, like its predecessor, soars in acapella format with minimal backing. Roman’s voice carries it so well. (Deban)
8. “Forevermore” – Tanja
What we said: Pulling something of an Alexandra Stan, Tanja mixes high-voltage electronica with a repetitive saxophone backing. The verses may be monotonous, but the chorus is catchy enough to get me hooked. I can see it becoming a radio hit that people play while revving up their cars in Tallinn. Those oh-oh-oh’s are way better than her “do you hear me Sweden” from ESC. (William C)
7. “Agathe” – Roberto Bellarossa
What we said: After months of build-up and weeks of teasing, Roberto Bellarosa finally released his new single “Agathe” today. Let’s get straight to the point: we like it! Roberto has delivered a danceable, slick track with a catchy melody that should translate well across borders. Très bien, Roberto! (Daphne)
6. “Yellow House” – Softengine
What we said: The follow-up single explores how memories of failed love can hold us captive. The yellow house, perhaps where singer Topi forged his most serious romance, remains on his mind, even if he knows the foundations are cracked and crumbling. As with “Something Better,” the lyrics aren’t always cogent: “Stage a loot/ All we could/ Betray ruling and make it nude.” It doesn’t matter. The atmosphere, the catchy riffs, and the way the song builds shows a seriousness of purpose that gives the song alt-rock gravitas. (William)
Do y’all agree with our list so far? What changes would you make?