Last week they revealed the first 10 songs competing in Eesti Laul 2017. And on December 15 Estonian broadcaster ERR gave us the rest, as they released the 10 songs competing in the second semi-final of the national selection.

As last week, they revealed each entry one-by-one on the hour, along with an interview, on the Eesti Laul website, driving a train through our day as we repeatedly returned to our computers.

Semi-final two features Estonian pop diva and 2003 Melodifestivalen entrant Kerli, 2015 Eesti Laul runner-up Daniel Levi, and national selection veteran Laura.

A total of 20 acts are competing to represent Estonia at Eurovision 2017 — and to hopefully give their country a better result than Jüri Pootsmann, who came last in his semi-final in Stockholm.

The Eesti Laul 2017 semi-finals will take place on the 11th and 18th of February at ERR studios. The final will take place on the 4th of March at Saku Arena.

Eesti Laul 2017 – Semi-final two

Wiwiblogger William offers his candid first impressions below. Click on the link to hear the song.

Liis Lemsalu – “Keep Running”

She previously recorded an album of Norwegian children’s songs with her choir. And this song definitely cuts across generations, offering something accessible, upbeat and positive. She oozes optimism and the production is on point with swells at just the right points. There are also flashes of tropical house, which make us tap our feet. Even so, the song is somehow forgettable and gets monotonous halfway through.

Koit Toome & Laura – “Verona”

Did she say we wake up with a “butt” in our hands? Enunciation issues aside, her voice is rich and melodic, and works well with his sexy intonations. Unlike so many Eurovision duets, which sound like they’re from another era, this manages to straddle eras. At times it harks back to Phil Collins and Glen Menderios. But the production pulls it firmly into 2016. It’s not going to win, but I’m definitely a fan. Eesti Laul veteran Laura has a knack for this competition, and it’s great to see her re-inventing herself yet again.

Rasmus Rändvee – “This Love”

His band Facelift Deer won “Best Debut Album” and “Best Rock Album” at the Estonian Musc Gala, so we know he can rock. And he does it here. His voice is dreamy and gritty and works very well over the heavy tambourine, deep beats and piano. It’s quality, but as with Juri Pootsmann’s entry from last year, this is ultimately repetitive and forgettable. It creates a mood, but not one that makes me want to vote for it.

Kerli – “Spirit Animal”

She recently spent nine months living in the woods, drawing inspiration from nature and isolation. And it seems she’s poured all of that into the avant-garde, daring and high impact entry “Spirit Animal”. It melds electronica and animism, creating a digital ode to the human spirit and the bonds that unite us: “You are my spirit animal, you’re my totem of love, you are the child of the moon, you are the ruler of the sun…” Some will think it’s bonkers. Others will think it’s brilliant. I’m on the fence and feeling rather confused.

Daniel Levi – “All I Need”

His voice is everything. It’s deeper than the ocean and I’m happy to strip down, jump in and swim in it for hours. The American-born singer is on-trend with this, mixing soul, pop and R&B to great effect. The electro production gives it Nordic edge, but this song could work in the U.S., the U.K. and beyond. And while I obviously see its merits, it doesn’t make me want to move or pump my fists or press replay. For whatever reason it’s leaving me a little cold.

Alvistar Funk Association – “Make Love, Not War”

Screw the trends and do your thing! That seems to be part of the thinking behind this pro-peace song, which sees Alivstar Funk Association whisper the names of nearly 50 countries, the majority of which have participated at Eurovision, in the Estonian language. We’re not kidding. To foreign ears she could be singing about anything. But to Estonians the monotony of naming countries may prove to be underwhelming. In any event, it’s lovely to have a nice joke entry thrown in the mix. Very Estonian!

Close To Infinity feat. Ian Karell – “Sounds Like Home”

This alternative rock group is described as fresh on the ERR web site, but their entry is very “heard it all before”. And it was probably in the late 90s. Weezer, Green Day, Blink 182 — borrow elements from all of them, throw in some optimism, add some very chatty vocals and you’ve got it. It’s not my cup of tea, but I appreciate the friendly, slightly happy-clappy vibe.

Almost Natural – “Electric”

Clearly a romantic, Almost Natural equates bodily pleasures with love: “The best I’ve ever been, ever been is skin-on-skin with you, skin-on-skin with you.” Lyrics aside, the song is pleasant enough — it’s a bit of electro-lounge, the mellow number to bring you down from your high. But it takes me down rul, rul low, to the point I’m dead. Not feeling it.

Antsud – “Vihm” (Rain)

Set up a totem poll and call on your ancient gods whoever they may be! Anstud is serving indigenous folk modernised for 2017. It makes me want to sacrifice a lamb and offer it up to the sky in praise. This is daring, original and real. Will it win? No. Should it win? No. Does that stop me from enjoying it? Absolutely not!

Angeelia – “We Ride With Our Flow”

Such a mysterious and gripping opening! And that makes the mess that follows all the more disappointing. This is disjointed, confusing and inconsistent, as if producer and songwriter wanted to go for everything….resulting in a whole lot of nothing. She has a lovely voice and there are some nice ideas here. But throwing all the ingredients into the sink inevitibly results in something unappetizing.

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CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago

Work gets in the way of a good long listen; but finally I got around to listening to all 20. Here are who I think will qualify for the Eesti Laul final: From Round 1: 1. Leemet Onno+ 2. Lenna Kuurmaa 3. Elina Born 4. Carl-Philip =5. Uku Suviste/Karl-Kristjan and Whogaux featuring Maian From Round 2: 1. Koit Toome and Laura+++ 2. Kerli++ (despite the repetitive chorus, this song literally begs for a wild stage performance) 3. Almost Natural 4. Liis Lemsalu 5. Daniel Levi For the title, my scores (based on 5 criteria for audio) give it to Koit… Read more »

CharlieChan
CharlieChan
3 years ago

@Colin The other three?

Colin
Colin
3 years ago

After listening to all songs, these stuck to me like really good ones, ones I wouldn’t mind seeing representing Estonia:

1. Kerli: Spirit Animal
2. Elina Born: In or Out
3. Leemet Onno: Hurricane
4. Koit Toma ja Laura: Verona
5. Ariadne: Feel Me Now
6. Rasmus Randvee: This Love
7. Lenna Kuurmaa: Slingshot

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

I agree with Max, by the way. “Verona” is a great pop song. The one small English lyrical issue at the end of the first Bridge can easily be fixed. Put simply, “We are lost our Verona” doesn’t make sense in English. It should be “We have lost our Verona.” Or, alternatively, “We are lost in Verona” works, but it’s a slightly different meaning, and I like it better at the end of the song, because it implies that the couple have actually gone back to Verona a second time. 🙂

redfox
redfox
3 years ago

can we make it so no one will win, no first place, no eurovision entry, cause none of the songs we have are good enough to wow anybody

Ruth
Ruth
3 years ago

When will you guys make a video about the entries ? 😀

CharlieChan
CharlieChan
3 years ago

When is the Eesti Laul poll?

Smurfen
Smurfen
3 years ago

Melfest is miles beter than this crappy NF. Eesti Laul is the most overrated NF!

WTF
WTF
3 years ago

Obviously not as strong as last year, but some interesting picks in Rasmus, Alvistar, Antsud, Janno Reim & Kosmos. Probably still better than most of the crap Melfest will put out, also.

AM Casablancas
AM Casablancas
3 years ago

The fact that a lot of people think that Laura’s song it’s good it’s masturbational, delusional and ridiculous. For all of you who somehow enjoy crappy music and have a bizarre taste, I’d like to remind you that eesti laul does not harvest pop has MF does, you thinking Laura is good, might be cuz ya’ll have a hidden desire of it to rescue a very techno-house-softrock NS with overheard pop. Eesti laul is like that, they bring VARIETY and it’s certainly appreciated since not every choice has to be pop or ballad. Eesti laul this year is packed with… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

Hey I love William too, don’t get me wrong! Thanks for the replies – in hindsight I’m actually really impressed at the level of detail of the reviews, considering that the listening was done on a bus! (I can’t think of a more distracting place to do them, actually). So i’m sorry about the inquisition. I honestly think that William and Deban together on YouTube are viewer’s GOLD!! 🙂 I agree with Nitzan – Eesti Laul is awesome. And, @cheescake: That’s nothing compared to learning to sing Gilbert & Sullivan’s operettas! It takes a lot of practise and a very… Read more »

Max
Max
3 years ago

Seriously, Verona’s hook keeps me sleepless.

Sven Lõhmus uses to have some trouble with English lyrics, but this time he did a great job. It’s a beautiful story told with poetic verses. “a Western type of woman, a Western type of man disappeared in Verona” – that’s so interesting.

And for the melody: I wasn’t expecting that. The chorus is kind of Modern Talking, the start is kind of “Goodbye to Yesterday” and the bridge (“We are lost”) – just fantastic. Classy, pop, diverse and coherent at the same time.

Tomas Patrick Davitt
Tomas Patrick Davitt
3 years ago

William, you do an amazing job. we absolutely love you <3 <3 <3

Kris
Kris
3 years ago

@purple mask…….we love William for his candid reviews and his honesty…….we would be the first to start complaining if all reviews are “yeah the song could do well and has a lot of potential” and people look up to his reviews to make changes to the song ;he’s a well renowned critic.
@CharlieChan……..William would probably answer that in his top 3 video(s).I’m hoping we get separate videos for each semifinal…….please please please

Zebb
Zebb
3 years ago

‘We Ride With Our Flow’ toppled down buy it’s own production and chill mood. But nice to home-listening. A lot of songs that makes some people feel bored, some feel just relaxed but even if this is probably how estonian musicians go firmly itself it remains being not welcomed in modern Eurovision (so, probably, hey Kerli?). My strangest idea is to literally pick up Vihm for ESC 🙂 Could that work like Urban Trad did?

Kris
Kris
3 years ago

@daniel…..yeah I know right!! I put it up initially and no one responded so I thought maybe only I was seeing a resemblance……but for a good 12 seconds the verses are the same

CharlieChan
CharlieChan
3 years ago

Lee Adams Who do you think will win?

William Lee Adams
Admin
3 years ago

@Bonnie — Thank you for understanding where I’m coming from! @Purple Mask — I hope I didn’t sound shouty in my response — not my intention. I always enjoy reading your comments even if I don’t always pipe up, and thank you for your kind remarks. This, as so many posts, is written amid thousands of other responsibilities (i did most of this on a bus!) so I just write my gut. I’d probably rephrase and say Verona doesn’t jump out as the winner (which doesn’t mean it couldn’t win). Listening again I actually like it much more. Though there… Read more »

cheesecake
cheesecake
3 years ago

Okay, just one question concerning “Make Love, Not War”: How in god’s name is she going to remember the correct order of the countries on stage???

Anyway, most songs are okay again, no clear standout though. A bit disappointed in Estonia this year.
“Verona” probably wins this semi after first listen.

Nitzan
Nitzan
3 years ago

I started with Kerli’s song and I LOOOOOOVE it! Such a dark and original sound. We haven’t had something like it at ESC and with the right presentation it can be amazing.

Verona – fun and great. Also Daniel Levi’s song.

I am so becoming an Eesti Laul fan at the moment 😉

Daniel
Daniel
3 years ago

Liis’ song is brill! But really, it sounds a HELL of a lot like that One D song. I think its caled What Makes You Beautiful

Colin
Colin
3 years ago

@Isabella

I voted for your ‘James Bondish’ song this year and I am standing by my vote. He was obviously under pressure and it showed in shaking at times, but his vocals were still spot on. The song is still my 1st from 2016 and the last place is an injustice.

I have high hopes for Estonia this year. Still have to go through all 20 to say what I would pick.

Last time Estonia picked a s••t song was Leto Svet in 2008. Everything after was from okay to really good.

Bonnie Tynan
Bonnie Tynan
3 years ago

I’ve at least got a snapshot of each of the entries in the second semi. Before I begin dissecting each song, I’ll just state that the issue of ‘harshness’ is a tricky one. There’s definitely a difference between ‘honesty’ and ‘harshness’, though a person’s true feelings on something or someone can be perceived as excessive and non-conducive to an effort being made. There’s also a difference in extreme between critique and nitpicking, which, being superfans of Eurovision, I can see people doing. It’s all about balancing our expectations and biases regarding the object with our initial reactions and then afterwards,… Read more »

Thomas
Thomas
3 years ago

But Keril isnt even that great

Hugh
Hugh
3 years ago

OK EL, this semi is gonna smash it, right? Not rating or anything on this one, just waiting for the diamond… Kerli – nope. Daniel Levi – nope. Almost Natural – mm maybe. Liis Lemsalu – I don’t hate it, and in general I do hate this kinda song, so… maybe. Alvistar Funk Association – Well… I wanted different, and here it is. But no. Rasmus Randvee – Not a diamond but I’m digging it. Angeelia – mm not a good fit for Kyiv but interesting. Koit Toome ja Laura – nope. Close To Infinity featuring Ian Karell – Hotties.… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

(The test worked, okay i’ll try again…) I first wanted to say that I greatly admire William Lee Adams, the business of the blog and especially the YouTube videos! It’s unfortunate that our opinions have jarred on Eesti Laul (and on some other previous occasions), and I do hope the artists and songwriters can handle the criticisms better than I can. 🙂 I’m not a professional critic, although I am a musician and a songwriter. If I was honestly told by a professional music critic that my song “won’t win,” then I might think of pulling out of the contest… Read more »

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
3 years ago

i relistened we ride with our flow has the darker energy i was looking for in this semi i really wanted spirit animal to sound like diamond hard but u win some u lose some i almost like almost natural but it doesn’t go full tropical house… not as electrifying as i had hoped close to infinity, white people rapping, no alvistar funk is very downtempo cool, naming the countries (!!!including kosovo!!!) killed it for me daniel levi, v chill pop song, totally 2016, nice kerli’s song sounds like a demo and while i’m gradually starting to like it…. not… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

Hi. I had posted a question to William, but the technology appears to be letting me down. 🙁
This is a test. 1, 2, 3…

Martin
Martin
3 years ago

After having listened to all of the 20 songs, here are my thoughts: 1) Kerli’s song is a hot mess. I was excited for her but ultimately the song is a major let down. In her interview to the national broadcaster, she says her co-author penned the verses in LA while she worked on the chorus from Estonia. That explains why the chorus doesn’t really compliment the verses and makes the whole thing feel very disjointed and incoherent. Also, everybody’s praising her for originality and standing out for a song that repeats the same sentence 4x over in the chorus?… Read more »

CharlieChan
CharlieChan
3 years ago

@Ellie Ok Ok Sorry I read it on a music website from Spain. Sorry if it bothered you that much. 😉

Fairy
Fairy
3 years ago

Daniel Levi or Kerli are the only ones out of all of the 20 songs that i have replayed on loop now for hours. Really hope that one of them wins EL

Da
Da
3 years ago

Feel me now is the catchiest song. I play it on repeat. i love it!

William Lee Adams
Admin
3 years ago

@Purple Mask — “overly harsh”? It’s called honesty. Contestants competing in nationally televised singing contests can handle it.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

: Oh dear! That’s an embarrassing blooper from me! Ahhhhhhh!! Apologies for that.

William being overly harsh is nothing new. Somehow I should have known those were his reviews!! Sorryyyyyyy

Héctor
Héctor
3 years ago

All of them all average songs, some are better, some are worse. Out of 20 I like 4 or 5 songs, though I could listen easily the majority of them. If I had to make a top, it would be something like this:
1. Carl-Philip – “Everything But You”
2. Kerli – “Spirit Animal”
3. Karl-Kristjan & Whogaux feat. Maian – “Have You Now”
4. Daniel Levi – “All I Need”
5. Almost Natural – “Electric”

Ellie
Ellie
3 years ago

@CharlieChan
I don’t know where you get your info from, but Kerli isn’t that popular in Estonia. Yes, everyone knows who she is here but her music isn’t very well known. I agree that she could win EL with “Spirit Animal”, but only if she will deliver good vocals and if the staging is 100% on point. She’ll have to put in just as much effort as the others. So stop thinking that she has any advantages just because she is internationally famous, some of the other contestants are more loved by the Estonian public than Kerli.

CharlieChan
CharlieChan
3 years ago

@PolegendGodgarina I just can’t wait for that performance. Can anyone?

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

@ CharlieChan – you should also consider that Kerli hasn’t appeared on any international charts since 2009. Literally nobody outside of her small niche fanbase knows her, so she would be as famous as, let’s say, Ariadne or Liis for the rest of Europe. I think her song will have a great performance, so let’s wait and see. 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

@ Isabella – are you sure? Haven’t Jüri Pootsmann and Sandja already proved that type of sound is televote AND jury repellent? I’d be disappointed if Elina won with that dated song. After completely disliking Play last year, I want to root for Estonia a bit now.

CharlieChan
CharlieChan
3 years ago

I am sure Kerli is winning and I will demonstrate it using threr arguments (being at the debate team at school helps XD) 1.- Not only Kerli is very popular in Estonia but in the rest of Europe, so I think that makes it a very good entry (at least from the international point of view). 2.- If you listen to all the songs you will definetly remember Spirit Animal because it is DIFFERENT. And yes, it may be kind of weird, and yes, it may sound repetitive, but in general terms, we can see Kerli’s firm here and a… Read more »

Isabella
Isabella
3 years ago

Hey!
An Estonian here(Literally no Estonians here but anyway)
I think that elina is going to win because shes elina literally but the song is okay but semi final 2 is stronger than semi 1 .I think thats really bad that i like rasmus rändvees song,I think its way stronger that play.Its bad because its similar to play and as you all can see that europe hated our james bond-ish song and were gonna end last again.(but thats when rasmus wins..well i think so)But the song is nice.

Calum Macleod
Calum Macleod
3 years ago

Loving Keep Running! It is such a catchy song! Verona is pretty good too! I’m liking the folk of Vihm as well. This are my favourites of the selection.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

I have now listened to them all. On this occasion, I think that Robyn has been unnecessarily harsh in some of her reviews. I liked most of these songs, and I think this will be a very strong semi-final. Obviously Daniel Levi has a bit of an advantage, but I also think that the first three songs (“Keep Running,” “Verona” and “This Love”) all have good things going for them. When I heard “Sounds Like Home” I thought of The New Radicals from the late 90s (so I agree with Robyn there, yey!). Antsud’s “Vihm” could go either way, and… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

Well, thanks for nothing, Angeelia. “We Ride with Our Flow” is an amateurish mess.

The quality difference between the Eesti Laul in 2016 and 2017 is abysmal to say the least. It’s between Lenna and Liis for me, but I think the Estonians will send Kerli because she’s the biggest star – I wouldn’t compain, but I’m not sure if that song would qualify.

Griffin
Griffin
3 years ago

I hope i hear a song like Feral Hearts or Blossom from Kerli but no, she sent her weakest song and effort thus year. What a pity (still hoping she sent Blossom instead this, it’d be amazing)

Smurfen
Smurfen
3 years ago

LOL @ people who call this the best NF. These songs are so bad. A really crappy NF.

Daniel
Daniel
3 years ago

Out of 20, I only liked 5. That is not good:

1. Verona (by far the best! I love it!)
2. Everything But You
3. All I Need
4. Suur loterii
5. Supernatural

Kerli’s song is extremely disappointing. It’s so boring! Even with all those modern elements it sounds tired, wasted and messy. Her months in the woods served for nothing.

Marc
Marc
3 years ago

“Sounds like home” and “Electric” are very promising at the beginning with strong verses, but a big let down with their chorus (very usual in Esc songs).

I really like “This love”, and I think it’s way stronger than “Play”

Kerli disappointing

blondboybc
blondboybc
3 years ago

After hearing most from both semis, I feel that Elina Born has the song and voice to make the ESC final…I appreciate the songs in Estonian, but they sound dated or repetitive despite the effort. The others…meh.