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.