She’s back! After last participating in Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 — and winning the Wiwi Jury in the process — Christabelle makes her return. Will she be the Wiwi Jury’s favourite yet again, though?
Our team of music un-professionals are reviewing all 16 entries in this year’s MESC. Christabelle’s entry this year is “Taboo”. The song’s message is about compassion towards those suffering from mental illness.
Christabelle — “Taboo”
William: Christabelle isn’t just a master of euro-dance — she’s an artist. She may have one voice, but she’s got plenty of tricks as she deploys it across textures, volumes and rhythms, taking us on a proper journey from darkness to light. The production is fierce, but she is fiercer. Amid all the clangs and bangs, her empowering message comes through loud and clear. “Taboo” makes you want to speak up and stand tall — just like the singer herself. Love it.
Barnabas: Considered by many a favorite, Christabelle’s catchy, contemporary song will depend a lot on the live performance. If she delivers the song with enough power and charm, she’ll have a real chance to fly the Maltese flag.
Robyn: “Taboo” is a decent modern dance-pop track and one of the strongest entries in MESC 2018. The lyrics are a little sketchy in places — but much of that comes down to whether you see breaking a taboo as a good thing or a bad thing. Christabelle is a great performer and deserves a shot at Eurovision — just not with this song. Still, it’s a decent MESC 2018 entry.
Chris: After a year out of MESC, there was an air of expectation perhaps about Christabelle’s return. But unfortunately, “Taboo” just doesn’t hit the heights of “Rush” or “Kingdom”. Whilst the message behind the song is worthy, the lyrics used to convey it become a little overly clunky. If this were tidied up, it might be a good option still for Malta.
Sebastian: “Taboo” delivers a Sia-esque deep and anthemic beat which gets you clapping alongside Christabelle. With a rawness and power in her delivery, she should be applauded for addressing a taboo message with strength and authenticity. The song is weakened by an unnecessary dubstep interlude, which turns “Taboo” from Sia to Romania’s Cezar – awfully dated. But it’s a simple fix which doesn’t detract from the overall package.
Deban: “Taboo” is an excellent single with a clever pre-chorus hook. Its theme of compassion for the mentally ill, engages listeners to grapple with a subject matter that is often off-limits in the world of pop-music. Furthermore, despite the digital mastering here, Christabelle’s voice isn’t drowned in the production. She remains an accomplished performer owning it, and she slays with a powerful message.
In our Malta Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for 6 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 4.5 and a high of 9.
WIWI JURY VERDICT: 7.3/10
Christabelle storms in to the lead with our Jury then by well over a full point! What do you think of “Taboo”? Is it a MESC winner? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below.
Great voice, it stands out and it has current. Not THE WOW song, but it has potential.
Coincidentally I reviewed all 16 Malta entries with my cousin, who is currently suffering with mental illness. He really likes this song, so it can work on the level it’s supposed to! 🙂 Thank you William for supporting this idea of empowerment, it means a lot to us right now. I wrote a musical review as follows: The first verse is cleverly produced so that the key is hardly defined (although the bass “heartbeat” drone is G-B, and suggests B minor). This has the effect of reeling in the audience so that we’re listening to the singer and lyrics more.… Read more »
This is one of my favorites this year along with Jasmine and Brooke!
Generic, synthesized garbage with no discernible chorus or moment of real power. Seems poeple are easily impressed by anything they seem to be “contemporary”.
I’d give it a 6/6.5 — Catchy beat, glossy production, Christabelle sells it with passion — but clunky lyrics — and a lyric video with this type of intended subject matter falls flat — it needs a story to latch onto to really make the message connect — and I almost think it would be better if they got RID of the dated clubby dance beat and SLOWED it DOWN so you really had a chance to connect to the lyrics
7.3 out of 10 on average?????? wow what a joke
this is one of the most unoriginal songs of the year in what world is this better than mamma mia (or literally all of the songs in Supernova that you’ve reviewed so far)
also, including ‘animals’ and ‘criminals’ in a song intended to raise awareness about mental health issues isn’t a smart move….
Crappiest lyrics I’ve heard in my entire life over a boring, tired beat. Tf is that average y’all?
I was so disappointed! Christabelle has put forward two winners (in a row!) with Rush and Kingdom, so the third time’s the charm? Eh… not really. The lyrics are a bit meh, and the beat devolves into something extremely dated in the bridge. Nontheless, this reeks of expensive production, so the care of putting forward quality is there. But this would not make her any favors in the big Contest itself.
Wait, what? A 7.3/10?? This song is made of lyrics taken from other songs. Cheesy and not very original. Sounds like every other song in the Maltese national finals.
7.3…? Well, everybody’s got their own opinion, right? None of Malta’s songs is doing anything for me. 4.5/10
What rubbish lyrics!! Broke my speech association area which all know is a reflection of the soul!! Non-existent chorus
Oh, lyrically, this is so bad (making Brooke seem good by comparison).
Christabelle is better than this and should have said no as soon as this was given to her. Even in this year’s pitiful MESC, this is a particular lowlight.
I’m shocked by William’s review
I’ve rarely heard 3 mins so full of cliches…
This may have some musical value but it’s completely lyrically lazy!
Very poor IMO!??
I am confused here, as the message can be taken in various forms, if any. On surface, it looks like a song just mashed various ominous sounding terms into the same context. However, the more I think about it, the more I try to apply Christabelle’s statement that the song wants to break the taboo for the mentally ill. That notion is very nice. The rhymes are still sometimes clumsy (“sticks and stones won’t break my soul”). My original rating was 5/10, but it might get more later on. It still eclipes over “Heart of Gold” either way.