The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has cranked up the music and sharpened our claws to review the songs competing in the final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2017, Finland’s national selection for Eurovision. The next entry comes from Zühlke. Does the song live up to its title? Read on to find out.
Zühlke – “Perfect Villain”
Catharina Zühlke took part in Finnish Idol in 2013 and finished in joint fifth place. Since then she has been recording music in Finnish under the name Zühlke. “Perfect Villain” is her first single release in English and she describes it as an “international and fierce urban pop song with attitude, depth and message”.
“Perfect Villain” reviews
Robyn: Look, I’m not even close to being a comic books nerd, but even I know that X-Men is Marvel Comics while Kryptonite is DC Comics. Totally separate universes. And they’re both trademarked terms, so “Perfect Villain” could never make it to Eurovision without a rewrite. But aside from that (sigh), “Perfect Villain” is a sassy track which Zühlke delivers with loads of attitude.
Bernardo: Scratch the lyrics, keep the production, keep the voice. Zühlke has sassy powerful vocals and I’m beyond excited to see her on stage — I’m sure it will give life to this song. However, I can’t let go of the fact she repeats X-Men and kryptonite several times, reminding me of the lyrical mess before us.
Josh: Firstly, in Zühlke’s promotional photos, she looks like an angry Trijntje Oosterhuis with eyebrows so snatched that Miss Fame is likely to sue the company that makes her eyebrow tape. Secondly, Zühlke’s voice is great and she hammers home the attitude and sass. The lyrics, however, are appalling. This is worse than rhyming fire with desire, and that’s already a big no-no. Nice try. See you again next year.
Kristin: Kryptonite has nothing to do with the X-men! However, they would probably be defeated by this song. They’d simply die of boredom. This rubs all my wrong nerves. Especially the lyrics. Who in the name of Wolverine gave permission for this?! The song itself is not half bad, but it’s far from being good. The only thing positive about this disaster is Zühlke’s voice. She is fierce. Other than that, I’m out. Check please!
Forrest: Zühlke’s powerful voice is dripping with sass from the first word and, while a bit simplistic, the track builds nicely through the first verse and pre-chorus. Unfortunately, when it gets to the chorus, the lyrics careen out of control and take the whole song down with them. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but an X-Men/Kryptonite metaphor is not the first thing I reach for when trying to describe a troublesome relationship.
Sami: I really like Zühkle herself — she is a strong independent woman with an amazing voice. I don’t dislike the song either. It has lots of attitude and sass. As a big fan of superhero movies, I do appreciate the references, but as my fellow jury members said, those two things have nothing to do with each other.
Jordi: After giving a listen to Zühlke’s entry, I needed the X-Men to rescue me. She can do wonders with those vocals. But this song doesn’t fit her voice at all and the lyrics make no sense. Her song sounds promising in the first bridge, building and embracing power and darkness, but gets cheesy with all those Superman references. I’m kinda pissed! She needs to come back with a song that doesn’t fall short.
William: Her voice is among the strongest in the competition, and it’s full of sass, attitude and energy. But then she starts singing about the X-Men and kryptonite in what proves to be a hot lyrical mess. The perfect villain? He’s your songwriter, honey. To make matters worse she includes an awkward, somewhat forced pause to match the lyrics at 1:08. Sadly that silence may be the most memorable aspect of this.
In the UMK Wiwi Jury, we have 19 jurors but only room for 8 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 0.5 and a high of 10.