Surf, sand, sun — and divas who know how to sing-it-out while serving major face. Yes, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2017, the national selection for Malta, will take place on 18 February. But before then, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating all 16 competing entries. Today we move on to Raquela Dalli Gonzi with her song “Ray of Light”. Is this even better than Madonna’s song of the same name, or is there a dark cloud looming over this one? Read on to find out…
Raquela Dalli Gonzi – “Ray of Light”
“Ray of Light” reviews
Forrest: Quite simply, this song has a hard time keeping my attention. It is competently produced and Raquela has a lovely voice, but I repeatedly find myself zoning out within 30 seconds and only refocusing for the big notes in the last 20 seconds. This means that for two-thirds of the song I would rather be doing something else – not a great sign for its prospects at either MESC or Eurovision.
William: She’s a beautiful woman with an inviting and enchanting voice, but the song is pure filler. It has a patchwork quality that mixes sleepy folk song and over-the-top ballad with little connective tissue. I could live with that if the composition was consistently strong, but ultimately this just feels bland. PS. If I’m hurt, I most definitely don’t want fireworks shooting off near my open wounds! What are these lyrics?!
Chris: There’s no way that I should enjoy this, yet I strangely do. There’s something about Raquela’s voice that just resonates with me. Sure, the song is — at best — a retooled Carrie Underwood album track. But I’m able to look past that and just enjoy this for three minutes. Sometimes, that’s enough. Obviously it’s not a Eurovision finalist, but it’s a respectable effort.
Robyn: This is a mess. It starts off sounding like a nice enough folk song, with a message like “the world is messed up but don’t worry”. But as the song progresses, it is revealed as just being an excuse for Raquela to belt out lots of big notes. It becomes less about the person she’s attempting to soothe and more about her. Also: “scars are souvenirs”? Worst advice ever.
Deban: A slow-burner that may struggle to catch fire with many voters — “Ray Of Light” lacks immediacy. However, even in its dimmest glow, the song lyrics flicker beautifully. I love the power behind the message here. It’s as comforting as a warm blanket on a bleak rainy day.
Josh: The song may be called “Ray of Light” but this is like a dark cloud covering the sun. The folksy sounds of the beginning are endearing until Raquela finds any excuse to just start screaming high notes. It’s challenging to listen to and far from the top of my rankings.
Zakaria: Before listening to the song, I was unconsciously waiting for something similar to Madonna’s “Ray of Light”. But after hearing it I was pleasantly surprised to find a very subtle composition accompanied by Raquela’s sweet voice. I enjoyed hearing it but I don’t believe it has the potential to represent Malta in Kyiv.
Our jury for the 2017 Malta Eurovision Song Contest contains 14 jurors, but we only have room for seven reviews. The remaining seven scores are listed 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 3 and a high of 7.