Avant-garde, edgy, original — Estonia’s Eesti Laul has these qualities in spades. So the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is more than happy to continue reviewing the songs competing in this always-entertaining Eurovision 2017 selection. Next up is Kerli with her song “Spirit Animal”. Were we feeling her wild rhythm? Read on to find out!
Kerli – “Spirit Animal”
“Spirit Animal” reviews
Chris: Full disclosure here: I was underwhelmed when I first heard “Spirit Animal”. Looking back, that was probably because I was going in with such unrealistic expectations. Crucially, the average person tuning in to the Eurovision final won’t have them. Which leaves a very, very good song, with a great performer. We all know that we’re waiting for Kerli to perform this with full staging. With everything together, it could be something truly special. Is it a Eurovision winner? I’m not sure. Top 10? Definitely.
Robyn: I’m new to Kerli and based on the excitement around her, I was expecting something amazing. But this is pretty ordinary. “Spirit Animal” doesn’t go anywhere — it’s just Kerli repeatedly asserting that you are my spirit animal. The song’s production is slick and cool, but the song lurking behind all the effects just isn’t strong enough. But compared to all the generic electro-folk in other national finals, “Spirit Animal” stands out in a very good way.
William: 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. Live she will slay or be slayed — I’m hoping for the former.
Jason: I too was expecting a little something more, but there is no denying that Kerli and “Spirit Animal” would be a bankable decision on Estonia’s part. Catchy and slick with a seasoned professional, as an entry this would pack some punch. Yes, it is slightly repetitive but most successful Eurovision entries are built around a hook. And visually, this will undoubtedly be stunning.
Josh: I have to admit that I completely fell for the hype around Kerli before the song was released – which resulted in a slight feeling of being underwhelmed on first listen. Since then it has grown on me tremendously, but I still can’t get past the repetitiveness. I have no doubt that the expected elaborate staging will give the entry lift, but I was truly hoping for something more.
Mikhail: The production of the song is remarkable, but I don’t really like Kerli’s singing technique. The song is all electronic and the voice seems like it was also produced on a machine. Too much hype was built around this entry, and it falls very flat. Especially the chorus — it is nothing special and it drags the song down.
Natalie: It is so easy to see why this is the favourite this year. There really is so much to like — the inspiration is so sweet and original, the production is authentic and sophisticated, and Kerli’s voice mixes so neatly with the instrumentation. It’s quite weird. But if Kerli manages to get the delivery down and bring beautiful, wild staging, this one could really go far.
Patrick: The song isn’t her best — and it’s not the best for Eurovision. It needs a strong music video to be fully appreciated. And while I appreciate the Asian elements in the song (hello Saara Aalto’s “No Fear”), I’m not quite sure why they are here. But Kerli will do well — regardless of whether she should go to Kyiv or not.
In our Eesti Laul Wiwi Jury, we have 20 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 5 and a high of 10.