The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is travelling around Austria in the lead up to Wer singt für Österreich 2016 on February 12. Today, we visited the Styrian Armoury in the city of Graz, where we played with historic pieces of weaponry and donned ancient suits of armour for a metallic runway look, before putting our weapons down and listening to the next song — Bella Wagner with “Weapons Down”. Is this the peace anthem we’ve been looking for — or are we picking our weapons up by the end of the song? Read on to find out…
BELLA WAGNER – “WEAPONS DOWN”
“WEAPONS DOWN” REVIEWS
Antranig: A typical Eurovision peace anthem — it’s certainly no Polina Gagarina but it’s a lot better than the likes of Boggie as well. Vocally, she is flawless. Most importantly though, Bella wins the award for best lyrics of all time with “I was born here on Earth”. I was convinced she was from Jupiter prior to hearing this song, so thank you for clearing that up for me.
Bernardo: With such a deep voice and dark intro. Bella is channeling some major gothic realness. I honestly expected and wanted it to develop and build along with Bella’s voice and again, like most of the Austrian songs this year, it fails to do it. Nevertheless, the entry does have a good message and that’s what saves it a bit.
Chris: This one is a song that the vocal alone probably won’t do it justice. There’s so much going on here that it will need a killer stage performance to tie it all together. I don’t think that Austria has the capability to do that, really, but I wouldn’t mind being surprised. The “weapons down” repetition also proves to be a bit more annoying than catchy, too.
Luis: I see what Bella wants to do with this act, but unfortunately, she doesn’t achieve it. “Weapons Down” is flat and under-produced, when it wants to be minimalistic and edgy. It’s as if Aminata had remastered a post-Berlin-Wall-fall peace song. Some of the sounds thrown into this composition are very dated, and the piano is very bland to uplift this. And well, what to say about those clichéd lyrics? It’s such a pity, because Bella’s vocals are very interesting, but her song isn’t.
Mikhail: One does not include dancing beats into the peace anthem. That is just pathetic. It is like telling a story about someone’s death with a big smile on your face. And the way that Bella sings is really irritating. She spits out all these phrases like chewing gum into the bin and it ain’t no good.
Patrick: I am a sucker for lyrics and specially for good ones. I know lately we’ve been hearing peace/war songs every year but this isn’t Boggie or Polina. It is very different, so modern and funky. Bella’s voice is not the usual voice we hear at Eurovision and I also can imagine a perfect modern staging for it. It might work for her to go to Stockholm, and you know what? I would be happy. Bella is different, and different is good!
Robyn: Based on her other songs, Bella is a socially minded artist, so an earnest song like this seems her style. It has shades of 1970s prog rock (!), a bit of Boggie’s “Wars for Nothing”, but I’m also reminded of Sasha Bognibov‘s recent songs with messages. “Weapons Down” is fine, but it’s just not my thing.
Sami: There’s nothing wrong with the song, but it’s quite bland and boring. I’m a big fan of peace ballads or songs with deep messages in general. It gives me vibes of “Sweet People” by Alyosha, but this could never do as well as that did.
William: God, this really sucks the air out of the room. She talks about folks laying their weapons down — just play your song and they will all pass out. I love morose music, but this is too much. It doesn’t stir emotion but rather mindlessness and lethargy. If this goes to Stockholm one of her soldiers will need to fire a gun to wake the audience up.
In the Austrian Wiwi Jury we have 15 jurors, but only have room for 9 reviews. The remaining 6 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 0 and a high of 7.5.