Even in Eurovision off-season the music doesn’t stop. In our latest round-up, we take a listen to offerings from Spain’s Soraya, Norway’s Alexander Rybak, Azerbaijan’s Nigar Jamal and Sweden’s Robin Stjernberg. But we begin with Morocco’s Samira Said.
Samira Said “Mahassalsh Haga”
Samira Said — Morocco’s first and only Eurovision star — is the queen of regeneration. She charmed audiences with the traditional “Bitakat Hob” in 1980, and over 20 years later she tore up dance floors with the World Music Award winning “Mazal”. For her latest release, she’s changed tack once more. The fast-paced “Mahassalsh Haga” is a throwback to 1920s America. Yet instead of sounding dated, the Arabic lyrics bring a fresh feel to the Charleston beats.
The official music video maintains the retro feel. We see Samira in court, as the newspaper headlines declare “Million dollar breakup: The world’s favourite couple separates”. Bedecked in dazzling period outfits, Samira runs rings round her estranged spouse in the courtroom. She even offers him one last dance. Ultimately, she emerges victorious and breaks into a Chicago-esque dance number. The adoring audience laps it all up, for it transpires that we’ve been watching a play all along.
Robin Stjernberg “Take Me Home”
In January, Sweden’s 2013 singer Robin Stjernberg released yet another emotive ballad that pushes his trademark falsetto to the max. “Take Me Home” punches you right in the feels, as Robin sings of overcoming adversity and pain. He performed the track at TV4’s No To Cancer‘s gala, giving an additional layer of meaning to the already melancholic lyrics — “Take me home. Take me home to the place where I belong. I can face any road, even when the nights are cold”. The sentiment is admirable, but after the equally heavy “Locked Into You”, we’re hoping Robin can come up with something lighter next time.
Nigar Jamal “Cagiran Da Ürekdi”
If Nigar Jamal isn’t careful, she’s going to become synonymous with non-descript EDM. “Cagiran Da Ürekdi” is her first release since last summer’s “Herhalde” and, just like that track, it’s more of a miss than a hit. The Eurovision 2011 winner purrs seductively over a series of generic electro beats ad infinitum. And while we’re often fans of repetition, there comes a point where monotony sets in.
The accompanying music video also lacks identity and direction. It cuts between a selection of seemingly disparate locations — a dark pool, a swing in the sky, an abandoned jeep in the middle of nowhere — only connected by Nigar’s sultry presence. Thankfully, she doesn’t attempt to drive the vehicle.
Alexander Rybak “I Came To Love You”
The publicity for Alexander Rybak’s latest single “I Came To Love You” proudly announces: “Alexander releases his first song without his famous fiddle”. He’s binned the violin, whoop-de-doo. The Eurovision 2009 winner might have ditched his instrument of choice, but there’s no material change to his sound. The song is just as vanilla as all his previous offerings, while also being hopelessly dated. The “Fairytale” hitmaker is in love with a girl’s smile, telling us that he’s arrived to love her and that’s what he’s going to do — isn’t she lucky? A finger-clicking sequence is thrown in for good measure.
The music video continues the shtick. The Norwegian singer quits the office to go traipsing around the streets of a Mediterranean island. He gives ice cream to children and flowers to old ladies, before spending some time lounging on a yacht. Existing fans aren’t going to be frightened away, but new ones are unlikely to be won over.
Soraya “Long Time”
Out with the old, in with the new. That’s certainly the case with Spain’s 2009 representative Soraya. She’s traded her trademark blonde bob in favour of black cornrows, but her hair isn’t the only thing that’s changed. “Long Time” marks a huge shift in direction for the “La Noche Es Para Mi” singer. Classy, sophisticated and effortlessly cool. The chilled out track demands sunshine, making the perfect soundtrack to an afternoon of sunbathing and sipping drinks. The lyrics are repetitive but, unlike Nigar’s effort, there’s enough variety to keep us hooked — the auto-tuned bridge is inspired.
The sunny vibes carry over into the video, which sees the señorita wander a neighbourhood overflowing with tropical palms, ferns and cordylines. She laps up the rays, while turning the heads of a multitude of musclebound hunks. Soraya, we love you long time!
You might also like to read:
- They’re the beat to our melody: Past Eurovision winners keep making new music
- Morocco: Samira Said wants to live in new album “Ayza Aeech”
- Hand over the key: Robin Stjernberg is “Locked Into You”
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