The Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – is continuing its journey around Lithuania ahead of the first Eurovizija quarterfinal on Saturday. Yesterday, we whipped our hair back and forth to Egle Jakstyte’s “Leisk Dar Buti”. But now we’re ready for something deeper. Is Eria Jennings’ “Leading Me Home” what we’re looking for? Read on to find out…
Erica Jennings “Leading Me Home” Live
Reviews: Erica Jennings with “Leading Me Home”
Padraig: “Leading Me Home” is like a diamond amidst the dross. It’s a truly modern ballad, yet firmly rooted in the past. There are nods to both soul and gospel, along with a light sprinkling of Irish folk. Erica’s vocals are sublime, and the simple backing just adds to the song’s power. Less is more. This has the potential to pull a Common Linnets if it reaches Eurovision. If not, perhaps Erica would consider trying out for her native Ireland in 2017.
Bernardo: Those backing vocalists are giving me gospel realness, yes! Erica possesses a very sweet and compelling voice. “Leading Me Home” has the potential to surprise at Eurovision, but I think she will be outshone by Donny. Nevertheless, this a very good song.
Erica Jennings “Leading Me Home” Studio Version
Steinunn: I have mixed feelings about “Leading Me Home”. I kind of like it, but at the same time I think it’s a little bit bland. I enjoy the chorus, but the verses are far from good. It’s as if two very similar songs were put together but without the connection that is necessary to make them into one really good song. I don’t believe Eurovision is the right place for it. It’s cosy though, I would totally have it playing as I curl up under a blanket watching my fake fireplace on Netflix on a rainy and gloomy Wednesday night.
Antranig: Erica Jennings has a magnificent voice but this song is more boring than watching paint dry. It’s like low fat potato chips — promises a lot, makes you want to give it a try, but completely lets you down in every way and leaves you wanting to never hear it ever again. She can lead me home if she likes, but I won’t be inviting her in for a cup of tea, that’s for sure.
Anthony: How times have changed. Since the groovy disco-inspired “You Got Style” in 2001, Erica has ditched her SKAMP bandmates to compete with this self-penned entry. I am literally listening to a fully matured Erica Jennings. Her silky smooth vocals blend in beautifully with the gospel feel of “Leading Me Home”. I wouldn’t mind seeing Erica back at Eurovision again.
Robyn: “Leading Me Home” is a modern spiritual song, with lyrics that could either be about a lover or about God. It seems somewhat influenced by Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”, but with less drama and much sweeter lyrics. The gospel-style choir adds good texture to the song, and the simple piano accompaniment lets the vocals shine. It’s the sort of song that could be a surprise Eurovision hit, and I would at least like to see it make the Lithuanian final.
Mikhail: From the very first second, I want to stand up and shout “I’ve heard it!”, but I haven’t… or have I? Throughout the whole song I am trying to remember what it reminds me of, but I cannot, unfortunately. Anyway, “Leading Me Home” is clearly not original. It bores me.
Luis: “Leading Me Home” is undoubtedly a quality song. Erica’s well-executed vocals bring it close to perfection. The question is whether perfection is enough. Because the main problem is that the song is too safe. I need more edge, something that makes it different. It’s a bit too much of a ’90s throwback. In fact, this could easily have been an Irish winner in that decade. But now, Eurovision needs more.
Angus: I loved Rihanna’s “Stay” as much as the next person, but it didn’t sound as morbid and dreary as this poor imitation. Erica’s voice is the one redeeming quality. Unfortunately that one ray of light is snuffed out beneath the bleak and grim weight of the song.
Liam: I like it. The similarities with Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” are blatant, but hey, that won a Grammy. She’s obviously heading in the right direction. Erica’s vocals are delicious and the backing singers take it to another dimension. It feels a bit more like easy listening right now, but give it a rework and you’re onto something.
Our jury consists of 16 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 6 scores.
WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 6.14/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 0 and a high of 8.5.
SEE OUR CURRENT LITHUANIA 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS.
Photos: Vytenio Radžiuno (LRT.lt)