The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we head to Finland and UK X Factor 2016 star Saara Aalto and her song “Monsters”. Did we find anything lurking under our beds? Read on to find out!
Saara Aalto – “Monsters”
Sebastian: “Monsters” is fast food – A-grade wagyu served on a golden platter, fit for a queen. Saara delivers an anthemic, inspiring motivational track that actually has a powerful meaning behind its pop-banger veneer. Let’s face it – Saara’s performance of “Monsters” at the UMK national final was underwhelming, to say the least. But Saara is a consummate professional who will no doubt get it right with staging and, hopefully, some strong backing vocalists, in Lisbon. “Monsters” is an anthem for many years, and many Euroclubs, to come.
Luis: The only positive thing about “Monsters” is that Saara seems comfortable singing it. The rest is such a disappointment: this song feels directly brought from 2010 rather than allowing her to shine, it makes Saara Aalto come across as a random shouty singer. The performance in UMK was a hot mess and a roster of topics, from the dancers dressed as dark angels, to the neons and the banners. As it stands, it’s at risk of not qualifying.
Cinan: This song will become a hymn for all those who feel different or somehow marginalised. The pulsating beat and uplifting lyrics make me a stronger person with each listen, and the message of empowerment motivates you to tackle your greatest challenges. Saara Aalto is an absolutely great singer and I’m sure she will make Finland — and all her little “Monsters” — feel proud in Lisbon.
Antranig: “Monsters” has a nostalgic touch to Eurovision of a decade ago with a completely current sound. Do not get it wrong — this is an absolute LGBT empowerment anthem. “Monsters” is befitting of Saara Aalto as a performer and more importantly, as a person. The staging overhaul that she has promised is much needed to give it the wow factor on stage that it has in the studio version. Saara Aalto is an absolute star who will light up the Lisbon stage — “Monsters” is truly an incredible song.
Steinunn: Saara is a diva. “Monsters” is an anthem-like club banger with a great message. It’s weird and dark and awesome. But for some reason, the live staging at UMK 2018 was a bit underwhelming. Maybe the hype around the song had clouded my expectations. But I choose to believe that Saara will bring something epic to the stage in Lisbon.
William: During the national final performance she journeyed from Gothic darkness to Technicolor fabulous. It was bold and visionary…but ultimately a bit of a mess. Vocally Saara seemed slightly pitchy in the first two-thirds of the song — and her backing vocalists struggled to harmonise in their role as electro cherubs. It was only in the final third of the song that the vocals came together. And while that all gives me pause for concern, the studio cut reminds me of the song’s immense potential — it has an airy tropical feel, rhythms that make you move and a message so uplifting and powerful that it could scare the Boogeyman back under the bed. I’m keeping the faith that a cleaner stage show will match the strength and power of the studio cut. And that Saara will have placed her voice more solidly within the track.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 20 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 6 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 8.06/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!