Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Switzerland and visited the lakeside town of Montreux. By the waters of Lake Geneva we discussed Rykka and her song “The Last of Our Kind”. Did we want to join her group of survivors? Read on to find out?
Rykka – “The Last of Our Kind”
“The Last of Our Kind” reviews
Angus: This is totally middle of the road. The song itself is a mood-killer, the vocal one-note and progression languid. Rykka looks great and her Hollywood ’50s vibe is amaze, but the song does absolutely nothing for her (or anyone else for that matter).
Antranig: Contemporary, elegant and sophisticated — this song could have come straight off a Sia album. Rykka’s vocals are enchanting and the lyrics are uplifting and powerful. After hearing hundreds of national final songs, this has remained on every playlist I have. Semi-final 2 is wide open, so she could scrape through. One request — bring back the trash bag dress!
Robyn: There’s so much potential in this song, but it just doesn’t work out. Visually, Rykka brings a really strong image (and she has great hair) but the song just falls flat. After about two minutes, it seems to run out of ideas, with “we’re the last of our kiiiind” repeated ad nauseam. The ending is further undermined by that hallmark of lazy songwriting: the unnecessary key change (the last Eurovision winner with a key change was “Molitva”, way back in 2007). Comparisons with the expert emotional songcraft of Sia just highlights the many flaws in this song. Rykka is a very likeable performer, but there’s not much to like about her song.
Bernardo: I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this entry for the first time a few months ago. I really think it’s a step in the right direction for Switzerland. But up against the other songs in this year’s competition, it falls short. The only way for “The Last of Our Kind” to stand out in its semi-final is with strong vocals but unfortunately Rykka can’t deliver a flawless performance. She really needs to work on those vocals before hitting Stockholm. As for the song itself, it’s a good Sia-influenced electropop act but it fails to deliver the much needed wow factor Eurovision requires. The key change does not do it for me.
Chris: Rykka was a favourite of mine from the very first time I heard this, all the way back in the online pre-selection rounds. I tend to have an affinity for the Swiss songs (hey, Melanie Rene) so maybe some of that is influencing my thoughts on “The Last of Our Kind”. The song does feel slightly lacking in one or two parts towards the end, which is an issue it has not overcome in any revised version. Personally, I don’t quite get the fuss over Rykka’s vocals live, and I’d expect her to have much more backing in Stockholm anyway.
Bogdan: With a memorable chorus and a beautiful performer, “The Last of Our Kind” seems to have the staples of a good Eurovision entry. However, I am not sold on Rykka’s pleasant but plain voice, and the song gets old after the formulaic key change. Innovative staging is obligatory if Switzerland wants to return to the grand final.
Deban: A song that started off rather avant-garde at Die Entscheidungsshow has wound up in the middle of the road at Eurovision. Nonetheless, “Last of Our Kind” is a decent effort. It fails to latch at first hearing, but when one revisits, it reenforces residency. Rykka’s likeability factor exudes from every pore, and her presence at the finals would be a welcome addition
Edd: Finally, some real electropop at Eurovision! This is a perfectly written song, from the poetic metaphors to this year’s most epic key change. All it’s missing is an exciting stage performance. The genre works best when sung by wacky girls in colourful costumes (see BYRTA) – so keep it modern, keep it light, but make it something memorable. Also backing vocals are definitely needed in the last chorus just for that final anthemic power. But SO GOOD.
William: With shades of Sia and Agnes, Rykka pulls Switzerland into 2016. Her modern entry stands out for its production value and for mixing a hopeful message with dark, electro sounds. It’s heady and modern, yet clearly engineered for Eurovision: see the key change in the final third. The song is easily Switzerland’s strongest in years. The live performances have showed some cracks in pitch and intonation. But if Rykka can sort that out and deliver some killer staging, she may surprise.
Forrest: This year’s Sia-esque, edgy pop entry comes from Switzerland and Rykka. It’s a sub-genre of pop that I find really refreshing and “The Last of Our Kind” has a refreshing sound, if little else. Lyrically, the song is all over the place. After countless listens, I am still unable to discern any coherent meaning. The hook isn’t terribly effective and, overall, the song is quite flat. Rykka’s performance in the Swiss national final left much to be desired in the vocal department. I’m sure that’s being worked on in the run-up to Stockholm, but it’s difficult to judge what we don’t yet know. Essentially, “The Last of Our Kind” defies every logical reason I have to dislike it and has found itself on my guilty pleasure list for 2016.
Mikhail: How more boring can it be? It is flat, it is unoriginal and depressing. The “We’re the last of our kind” line is on loop there and it becomes really annoying. The melody itself is bounded, like it has some real constraints, like if it will go one note up then it will be punished with some sort of electroshock. Not to mention that Rykka’s voice doesn’t make the whole picture better…
Padraig: If Sia did dirges they’d probably sound like this. “The Last Of Our Kind” desperately wants to emulate the gritty realness and cool aloofness of the Australian’s biggest hits, but it fails to do so. More lament than anthem, the track quickly begins to drag. Matters aren’t helped by Rykka’s performance style. She has the indie ice-queen persona down to a tee, which is fine for an intimate setting. However, at Eurovision she’s likely to be swallowed up by the massive stage.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 6/10
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 9.5.
I love the elegance of this. You won’t see many songs with this subtlety this year.
Wish she gives her best and that should be enough to advance to the final.
Then, everything can happen. I would be happy if this wins or finishes at a high place.
And that brings me to one last point, before I forget and before this review goes to Page 2: If the Swiss are to have ANY hope of qualifying, their stage director ought to consider bringing a post-apocalyptic theme to the stage, to fit the song title and some of the lyrics. I’m thinking perhaps a 3-way cross between ‘Terminator’, ‘Maze Runner’ and ‘Mad Max Fury Road’, and Rykka should follow the example of Nina Sublatti (who dressed ready to go on the warpath), and dress like one of the main characters from one of those movies or the game… Read more »
Bookies are not digging this one. Serhat’s disco remix did just enough to dig him 2 spots out of the basement, and now Rykka has taken his place at the very bottom, with ManuElla next-to-last.
I want to love this and I do feel if it was heavily reworked that I could. It starts off great and unique but quickly gets too repetitive and goes nowhere. She is definelty going to need some good staging. However, I think it should reach the final as it is a credible song that will enhance production value. Personally I think this song is more Lana Del Ray than Sia but I do understand that Sia compassions too. It’s a shame that song hasn’t been reworked more.
Robyn, Thanks for the kind reply. To everyone else who may read this: Still, it’s sounds very belittling to me that Eurovision acts be compared to global acts. I’m not saying the global ones are better because many of us would agree several of them can’t even perform well live, for example. I just wish you guys would assess the songs and acts in Eurovision more strictly to what they’ve done or are trying to do. I’d understand comparisons between Armenia, Malta and Czech Republic (and even Switzerland) because of the type of song they’ve chosen and what not. However,… Read more »
It’s a nice enough song. I enjoy it while I’m listening to it but once it ends, it’s gone.
Currently I rank The Last of Our Kind 27 of 43.
omg just seen Ira at London Eurovision party, good live vocals, for me her best performance of the song so far along with the performance in Prague 🙂
I think the running order means Switzerland have gone from a borderline qualifier to a guaranteed non-qualifier, which is disappointing. I’d love it if she somehow managed to get through though!
This is the most melancholy song of the year, and there’s a real, deep sadness in Rykka’s expression when she sings. I love it so much.
Everybody keeps comparing it to Sia, but I think a better comparison is Lana Del Rey. Old school glamor and luxurious melancholy.
I actually agree with Victor. Please be professional, guys. You’re journalists. Not TMZ.
Guys, please try to sound less harsh on the artists. You’re journalists! It’s hard not to be biased, but you can certainly work on sounding a bit more professional. Comparing this singer to Sia shows a sore “stray dog’s complex”; you keep on belittling Eurovision artists comparing them global mega stars. Please, value the Eurovistion artists for what they’re worth. But for Ireland’s act, no other artist has experienced the global reach of Sia, Adele or Beyoncé. You love the contest and so do I, so why not being more positive about it and the contestants? This song sure has… Read more »
It starts off all great, all mood and ambiance and then plateaus into monotony.. It’s like starting with a sip of a Dark and Stormy and then your mate steals it and trades you his flat cider… Her vocals are a bit questionable in the chorus too.
Shame, this could have been a great one! Anyway good luck Switzerland 🙂
@Paul D: Aye. Too much of a time gap between selections. They narrow nearly 200 songs down to 19 in mid-November, then narrow it down to 6 in early-December, then hold the finals and pick the winner in mid-February. By that time, the songs which have been heard since late-September and throughout October, become stale compared to what other countries give us in January and February. They need to move the selection process entirely to January and February, and maybe March if necessary.
Still one of my favorites. If she can give a solid vocal performance with a nice staging, I think Switzerland will be in the final this year.
First 7 countries in wiwijuries score are overrated . They don t deserved that high score.
Poland, Romania,Serbia….. so much underated in wiwijuries score.
I think the Swiss national final was extremelly weak and they reaaally need to consider/revamp the format, it’s just not working, too messy…
After reading some of these reviews and comments, I gather that many of you would have been happier if Vincent Gross, Stanley Miller or even Patric Scott had qualified? Obviously I wanted Crispi (“Still Care”) in this contest. A lot of horse money was put on Elias Bertini’s “Elephant” to make the final 6 in Switzerland and win.
Be that as it may, Rykka was my #28 in my first review, barely missing the cut for the Grand Final.
@avis Yes, I know. But while cheesy and bad compared to most other songs of last year, but it wasn’t… THIS. San Marino is really rock bottom now. It’s this year’s Aina Mun Pitaa. I do, however, realize that the blandest song will be left most stranded. I would say Slovenia; chorus with cheesy and childish lyrics, rest of the song fogettable as all hell. Switzerland *could* be bland on stage, but lyrically, they are miles ahead of San Marino, Belarus, Slovenia and perhaps even few more. Hopefully juries would get it. They should be voting 10 countries each, right?… Read more »
On Eurovision you need to stand out, in a good or a bad way, to make an impression. If not you’re doomed… it’s sad but is like real life
@Colin, remember San Marino from last year? Switzerland got less points…
I don`t know who is SIA but if Rykka is like as SIA, I won`t want to listen SIA. This song is horrible and so boring. I can`t remember chorus. Rykka is a weak vocalist so I hope that she wouldn`t sing in Grand Final.
I definitely agree with you! This happened last year with Switzerland and it can happen again this year! The song was so indifferent to most people, that they didn’t vote for it! Also, the running order killed it, since it performed after Sweden!
Several times, is not the worst song that gets the last place. If a song is very irrelevant, forgettable, boring, has bad staging or has a bad draw then is doomed. On the other hand, a really bad song could get votes from people who think it’s so bad that it’s good or from people who likes entries that make fun of or represent a stereotipe of Eurovision
Several people are referring to Sia. Poor Sia, I would say – she would never touch this trash with a ten-foot pole! And never be out of tune like Rykka either…
Wouldn´t be surprised to see Switzerland last in the semi once again…
@Paul D, I don’t know if Switzerland will pass, but you really think that next to such ‘jewel’ songs like Belarus, Slovenia and Albania, this one will be the *last* one? That would felt wrong.
Easily one of the worst entries this year. Georgia over 2 points lower than this? This song has no originality and is blander than cardboard.
Yes, I’m Swiss and I want us to do well, but still I think this is (musically) our best entry in years (probably because it was written in Canada…) and yet we are currently LAST with the bookies. I know this is not gonna win, but the odds seem way too harsh to me. I believe that Rykka might surprise many in Stockholm. She’s improved a lot vocally and will hopefully get some backing singers as well. Furthermore, I think the staging will boost the performance. If she gets both of these things right, we might make it to the… Read more »
cool, and can’t wait to see the stage performances of our favourites 🙂
This is very average and forgettable, I fear Switzerland might get another last place in the semifinal ( the 3rd spot doesn’t do her any favours)
I just realised that the brand of the tv in my living room is actually Philips!
So underatted….Rykka has one of the best songs this year!!! Rykka does not deserve 5.38/10…. She is absolutly amazing!!!
(Also she is sooooo hot!!!)
Yes, I know it, but I didn’t know that it’s from The Netherlands! Thank you for informing me! I live in Corinth, Greece. If you don’t know it, you can search it on the Internet.(If you would like to, of course)
Switzerland’s turn to get the music analysis treatment… What we have is: Verse 1 in D minor; Modulating Bridge via some interesting chill chords leading to C7; Chorus in F major (four chords repeating); Shortened Verse 2 in D minor; another Modulating Bridge; Chorus in F major; Extended Chorus (Nice use of B-flat there); Chorus remnant acting as a bridge substitution; then Key Change to a final Chorus in G major. Phew. So musically it’s a bit convoluted, and it is harking back to 1980s europop ballads. Since the song is about feeling really alive, a whole new world and… Read more »
eindhoven is a city where i live, and do you know Philips ( from television and lights)
I’d love for Switzerland to be taken seriously at Eurovision. They have come to the contest with some great songs and have been severely underrated. I like their song this year, yes it gets slightly repetitive and yes we have seen it all before and yes Rykka is trying too hard to be Sia, just be yourself 🙂 but this song is actually quite good in comparison to many of the abysmal songs this year. In my opinion , Switzerland is actually better than the current odds favourite Russia. Switzerland is in my Top 15. I don’t expect it to… Read more »
Great!!! So, our countries compete in the same Semi-Final! I wish both of them best of luck! I’m glad that we are friends on this blog, too and I am of course going to vote for Croatia, since it’s my favourite this year and Malta, because I really like it! By the way, what’s this ”eindhoven”???
Maybe now it’s bit late, but maybe Bella C: Another World would be a better choice. She is vocally quite better and the song may seam boring to some, but it can appeal to ballad-loving people. Juri would have a ‘competition’ of Bond-esque entry from Switzerland, but of course, Bella’s song is a lot slower and a complete different type; Juri’s song is more of a Casino Royale Intro, while Bella’s is more of a Skyfall Intro. But then again, remember it could have been Stanley, Theo or Kaceo in Rykka’s place (urgh… ). San Marino would be heavily challenged… Read more »
yeah from the Netherlands, eindhoven ( football club PSV) 🙂
i’m glad i’ve got you as my friend on this blog, i’ll vote for Malta of course, and you can vote for Malta and for Croatia please 🙂
An almost certain non-qualifier. Switzerland doesn’t have any appeal in Eurovision, the only way we can qualify is by sending something great. This is FAR from great, middle of the way at best. Where are these comparisons to Sia coming from?! This is blander than bland, there’s not an ounce of Sia in there.
If Mélanie René placed last with what was, in my opinion, an ok song, Rykka should stay in the SF as well.
Are you from The Netherlands? I thought you were from Malta!
i can agree with parts of the standings
Croatia is on the right place there, Malta could be above Australia and Ukraine, but that’s my opinion 🙂
so my top 3 based on these standings would be
I know I’m in the minority, but I love ”The Last Of Our Kind” since the first time I listened to it! The melody is amazing and really interesting, since it changes all the time. At the end of the song, I get chills! The lyrics are also wonderful and I really like the poetic metaphors, as Edd mentioned before. Rykka’s vocals were questionable, but fortunately she has improved! I don’t think she will qualify, because Switzerland doesn’t get much support from other countries and she will get lost, because of the running order. (I believe that such a song… Read more »
Updated Wiwibloggs standings 1st Croatia (8.12) 2nd Australia (7.92) 3rd Ukraine (7.88) 4th Spain (7.83) 5th Malta (7.80) 6th Cyprus (7.51) 7th Azerbaijan (7.46) 8th Latvia (7.42) T-9th Armenia (7.29) T-9th Estonia (7.29) 11th Norway (7.09) 12th Hungary (7.05) 13th Austria (6.76) 14th Lithuania (6.70) 15th Germany (6.96) 16th Serbia (6.59) 17th Netherlands (6.57) 18th Bosnia & Herzegovina (6.11) 19th Israel (6.09) 20th Ireland (6.01) 21st FYR Macedonia (5.75) 22nd Switzerland (5.68) 23rd Denmark (5.61) 24th Finland (5.51) 25th Belgium (5.09) 26th Moldova (5.01) 27th Poland (4.86) 28th Slovenia (4.53) 29th Romania (4.41) 30th Greece (4.34) 31st Belarus (4.32) 32nd… Read more »
well it’s a nice ballad, but it’s no special ballad, it becomes a bit boring for me towards the end
i don’t like her voice, quite weak, like @Briekimchi said
i would score this a 5.5/10, nice song but there is no wow-factor in it, bland
A decent song which could qualify if Rykka’s limited vocal abilities improve for Stockholm. 6/10
As I have seen her at the bottom of the betting odds today, quite surprised. This song is quite original, and of a quality, at all. It’s definetely over 6.5, for me. I think that Rykka has the charisma, since I have heard her song on the online platform of SRF. I always wanted they make a revamp, for better, and improve the staging. I say, this is a dark horse qualifier. I would love if the Swiss broadcaster could put some effort to make the song better, or to produce a brand new song. The problem with them is… Read more »
Gotta say, its nice to see a Pacific-Northwesterner be representing in Eurovision (Rykka was born in Vancouver). Maybe that’s giving me some bias, but I really like this song. Its simplistic, but Rykka’s voice is pure, and I think we’re going to get an incredible performance on the big stage from her. Ultimately, this might be the 2016 version of Iceland’s song- not that great on paper, but really brought to life by a talented, chariasmatic singer. Unfortunately, Maria got the short end of the stick last year. Let’s hope Rykka doesn’t suffer the same fate.
Rykka is hot and her song is very good. Unfortunately the staging is weak but her voice is improving – this is a real darkhorse.
I was sceptical at first, but her live performances at the promotion events were really strong. With a good staging and a bit of luck (in spite of the worst running order) this could qualify. Go Rykka!
She has improved but only from atrocious to bad. The bridge sounds very out place, other than that there is not much to pick on.