A Maltese national final legend, hoping to emulate Claudia Faniello and finally represent his country at Eurovision. Lawrence Gray makes his MESC return. Before the final on Saturday though, the Wiwi Jury looks to review his entry, as they’ve been doing with all 16 songs!
It’s been 19 years since Lawrence finished a close second to Times Three in the Maltese national final. He describes his entry this year, “Love Renegade”, as being outside of his comfort zone. Does the jury think that will help his chances?
Lawrence Gray — “Love Renegade”
“Love Renegade” Reviews:
William: “No more heartaches, here you’re safe” — so long as you aren’t afraid of cheesy lyrics and and uninspiring compositions. Putting Lawrence’s unique voice to the side, this ticks absolutely no boxes for me. It seems to last nine minutes and the bridge is particularly painful, slowing so much that I feel like I’m going to pass out before a sudden burst of falsetto jolts me awake by making my ears bleed. I can’t.
Natalie: This is some very nice on-trend music, although it is quite confusing. Lawrence loves using the higher end of his vocal range, but also alters the hell out of his voice. There’s some very pretty piano chords and electronic chimes, but uses them so repetitively that it’s easy to get a headache. Those exhausting rhymes grate a lot. This song might enchant you, but it also might leave you tired by the end.
Antranig: The song ticks along in very forgettable fashion, until you hit the hook of the chorus, which is very memorable. Beyond that part of the song, the rest doesn’t do anything. Lawrence has great vocals which compliment the song quite well. “Love Renegade” doesn’t have the potential to go very far, but Lawrence will likely put on a good performance and can come back with a stronger entry.
Luis: Modern production and falsettos don’t always elevate songs. This is a perfect example: drop the vocoder and the synth, and you’ll get just another Maltese snooze-fest about lost love that finishes mid table at MESC. Listen, Lawrence has tried too many times to go to Eurovision to pick him to go with this one. Ain’t nobody want another Claudia Faniello.
Deban: Quite a few twists and turns in this pop number, but rather than taking me somewhere interesting, it gets me lost in a digital hot mess. I applaud Lawrence Gray for stepping out of his comfort zone, but this offering is headed in the wrong direction.
Angus: The song seems to know where it wants to go, it just never actually arrives there. Everywhere you need a vocal flourish, “Love Renegade” falls back on production, using vocoder and effects to compensate for an underpowered vocal performance. A more prudent approach to production – less vocoder, and less reliance on effects – might have produced a better end result.
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 2 and a high of 8.5.
WIWI JURY VERDICT: 4.23/10
Unfortunately for Lawrence, that currently places him at the bottom of our rankings. Where do you place “Love Renegade”, though? Let us know in the comments section below!