Earlier today, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — gathered in Valletta to discuss the contestants participating in Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (MESC), the national selection for Malta. Today we look at Jasmine Abela with her entry “Alive”. Are we feeling alive after Jasmine’s song, or do we feel a little dead inside? Read on to find out…
JASMINE ABELA – “ALIVE”
Deban: “Alive” sounds like its been crafted for Deborah Cox, and Jasmine Abela was only drafted in for the demo marker. The melody, lyrics and structural composition of “Alive” is stellar. Sadly, Jasmine Abela does not measure up. She sings it like she’s on a timer. Comparisons have been drawn with Amber. I get that! However, on repeat listens, Helena Paparizou takes centre-stage. You need a DIVA to pull this song off. Unfortunately, Jasmine isn’t quite there yet.
Josh: Everyone is harping on about how similar this is to “Warrior” from 2015 but I fail to make the connection. Jasmine has a phenomenal voice for such a young lady. Jasmine can hold a note without out sounding like a cat getting steam-rolled (sorry Amber) and the chorus is far more catchy than “BREAK. THROUGH. THE SILENCE.” I’m not counting this out of the race just yet.
Luis: Malta had a warrior last year and it didn’t impress Europe, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to send a song in a similar style saying that Jasmine is “a fighter and a survivor” because she might not survive the semifinals, like our dear Amber. “Alive” is a drama overdose that doesn’t really go anywhere: it gets repetitive and Jasmine’s voice doesn’t shine in any point of this baroque composition which would fit as a B-side for Malta’s entry in Helsinki, “Vertigo”. In case your brain has erased that, Malta got a 25th place thanks to a super kitsch and twiddly act.
Robyn: Entering a song in the style of last year’s MESC winner is all very well, but does no one remember that “Warrior” didn’t qualify in Vienna? Jasmine is obviously a good singer, but “Alive” feels like a by-the-numbers survivor anthem, complete with “fire”/”desire”, aka the laziest rhyme ever.
William: The extended high note during the opening is powerful and enticing — but sadly it sets Jasmine up for a fall. The song just doesn’t fulfil its promise to give us life, which is a shame as Jasmine has sultry vocals backed by a powerful set of lungs. Her song of strength and perseverance pales in comparison to the other MESC 2016 songs that treat similar themes.
Zakaria: Seriously what is it with Malta and self-empowerment songs? Anyway, I must confess that Jasmine’s vocals impress me, but I can’t help but have a déjà vu impression especially since a year hasn’t gone by Amber’s non-qualification. “Alive” lacks the power and originality it needs to become a true anthem that people can relate to, but it’s still worth listening to.
In the Maltese Wiwi Jury we have 18 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining twelve scores are below.
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 10.