Incredibly, 2017 is almost up. And that means one thing — the return of our annual Top Tracks countdown!
As usual, the team from wiwibloggs voted for their favourite 2017 releases and recordings by and featuring Eurovision stars. Songs which competed at Eurovision or national finals were excluded (they’ve been analysed to death in our jury reviews), as were artists who have yet to compete on the Eurovision stage.
After considering well over 100 songs, we finally settled on our top 50. And now, following our ten day countdown, it’s finally time to reveal our top five.
5. Laura Tesoro “Higher”
What we said: Whereas her Eurosong winning effort took us back to the disco and soul sounds of the 1970s, “Higher” is firmly planted in the now. This time she’s channelling the infectious pop of Carly Rae Jepsen with the swagger of Poland’s Margaret. Set to some mild tropical beats, Laura sings of how her love raises her up. And despite the new direction, none of Laura’s infectiously bubbly persona is lost. In fact, the genre change allows her to shine all the brighter. (Padraig)
Previous top tracks: “Beast” (#33 in 2017)
4. Sirusho “Huh-Hah”
What we said: The 30-year-old stunner celebrates the Motherland and the perseverance of her people from the very opening bars, nodding to the fact Armenia has survived, among other things, genocide and Soviet occupation. The sense of nation and self comes through loud and clear in both the song and the music video as she invites us to celebrate love and unity — and with strong Armenian flourishes. Singing in her native tongue, she suggests music can help all of us through the dark spells in our lives and the music video reinforces her message of positivity. (Antranig)
3. Loreen “71 Charger”
What we said: Moving away from the mix of electronic and reggae sounds heard on August’s EP Nude, the new song includes richer instrumentation, making it much more accessible to a wider audience. Blending guitars, drums and piano with Loreen’s breathy vocals, it harks back to the sound of her 2012 album, while remaining contemporary and fresh. The song delves into a relationship that Loreen doesn’t feel to be worth the time. She would rather do things her way. Regardless of whether the relationship she refers to is physical or metaphorical, the song’s lyrics convey her desire not to conform to the stereotypes often seen in today’s music industry — particularly in pop-laden Sweden. (Jonathan)
Previous top tracks: “Hate The Way I Love You” (#31 in 2017), “Ride” (#43 in 2017), “Under Ytan” (#30 in 2016), “Get Into It” (#45 in 2016), “Paper Light (Higher)” (#3 in 2015), “I’m In It With You” (#6 in 2015), “We Got The Power” (#1 in 2013)
2. Francesca Michielin “Vulcano”
What we said: Hot like lava and sultry like a Milanese woman of the night, the three-minute track plays in the space between urban pop and tropical house, throbbing and pulsating with a heady mix of drum, piano, horns and more. As in any eruption things get loud, but Francesca retains her signature control. Amid all the heat there’s a strong sense of cool, creating what may be her finest single yet. (William)
Previous top tracks: “Un cuore in due” (#46 in 2016)
1. Loïc Nottet “Mud Blood”
What we said: In the four-minutes of 80s electro pop the Belgian star sings about the demons inside of all of us. He scoffs at conformity — “We’re gonna lose, Mama, because we choose, Mama, to say that we’re the best, but we look just like the rest”. And he takes a dig at those who pursue superficial glories — “We want that crown, Mama, and we want it now, Mama, to be the selfish kings of a worthless empire.” Preach. (William)
Our Top Tracks of 2017 ranking is determined by votes from a panel of wiwibloggers. They are Josh, Robyn, Jonathan, William, Mario, Edd, Mikhail, Antranig, Mike, Renske, Jovana, Sebastian, and Padraig.