It’s 2019. But before we dare to dream of what’s to come in Tel Aviv, it’s time to look back at 2018 one more time. Because, after five days, we’ve reached the top ten of our Tracks of 2018 countdown.
As usual, the team from wiwibloggs voted for their favourite 2018 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 eventually settled on our top 50. And now, it’s time to reveal our top picks. It wasn’t easy. The finalisation of the top two resulted in a minor ruckus within the House of Team Wiwi. There was only a handful of votes in it, and if it wasn’t for the flip flopping of the countdown’s chief organiser there could easily have been a different song on top.
But what song will join Loreen’s “We Got The Power”, Emmelie De Forest’s “Drunk Tonight”, Lena’s “Traffic Lights”, and Loïc Nottet’s “Million Eyes” and “Mud Blood” in our Hall of Fame? The countdown is almost over.
10. Loboda “Superstar”
What we said: Our anti-crisis girl sings about leaving someone who is holding her back and heading out on her own to become the star that she knows she is: “You’re today, but I’m tomorrow / Remember, honey, all people are ordinary mortals, but I’m a superstar!” You know the music video’s gonna be good when it needs a prelude and a +18 disclaimer in the title. Loboda sets the mood with panoramic shots of herself on a dirt bike trail juxtaposed with musings of a woman really feeling her erotica fiction. We see images of a woman who, pushed to the edge by love and other matters, fails to hang herself. There’s also a plethora of glamour shots of the singer with her well-coiffed pooch. As the thumping beats of the song start, we are treated to white sand beaches, chiseled bods and references to adultery, as a woman dumps her cheating boyfriend, whose affair is with a man. Thankfully she flees into the arms of our Anti-Crisis Girl for some same-sex comfort. That’s a way to Celebrate Diversity, yeah? (Pablo)
9. Michael Schulte “Never Let You Down”
What we said: It’s about his new role in life as a father and his pledge that he will never let him down and will guide him through life. He’s really taking care of his son and we are here for it! Sonically, it does set a different tone. More up-tempo and with a very catchy chorus, it’s perhaps easier for a broader audience to access. Thoroughly contemporary, the song seems to mix and meld country, folk and pop — all with a subtle choral feel. The rhythm gives it drive and percussion elements give it power. And the lyrics are rather nice as well. “If you need shade I’ll plant a tree, if you need help reach out for me…I’ll never let you down, I’ll always be around.” (Florian)
Previous top tracks: “The Love You Left Behind” (#18 in 2018)
8. Marco Mengoni “Voglio”
What we said: The song is a glorious blend of guitars, synthesizers and drums that complement the Italian singer’s rough and sexy vocals beautifully. The beat gets under your skin and all you can do is sit back and let Marco take you on a musical journey that you’ll want to be putting on repeat as many times as possible within the day. Lyrically, the song is basically a long list of things that the “L’essenziale” hit maker wants. And while there are a few standard requests (“I want a fast motorbike / and all the streets empty / I want the candies”), there are definitely a few more interesting ones thrown in the mix: “I want to dance naked…I want a new skin / the heart of a dinosaur…I want to have desires like a primitive person…to love you like a dog in the full moon” (Jonathan).
Previous top tracks: “Hola (I Say)” (#11 in 2018), “Onde” (#7 in 2017), “Ti ho voluto bene veramente” (#24 in 2015), “Io ti aspetto” (#30 in 2015), “Guerriero” (#41 in 2014), “Pronto a correre” (#10 in 2013), “Non Passerai” (#25 in 2013)
7. Blanche “Moment”
What we said: “Moment” sees Blanche continuing the moody, electronic sound she’s been experimenting with since Eurovision 2017. Fans of the “City Lights” singer’s work will no doubt get behind this latest effort as well. However, this is perhaps the Belgian star’s first single that also has a chance to win over people who struggled with the rather monotone structure of her Eurovision entry and previous releases from 2018. A nice surge of instrumentation in the chorus helps create peaks and troughs that we haven’t seen too much of in her songs so far. Lyrically, the song is all about living in the moment and not allowing other thoughts to stop you: “I sang this song for a moment / You better fly high till it’s over / Come on let the vibe make you stronger / So don’t hold me back any longer” (Jonathan).
6. Madame Monsieur “Comme Une Reine”
What we said: Following on the heels of “Mercy” — and its focus on immigration and the plight of refugees seeking a better life in a new land — “Madame” Emilie Satt and “Monsieur” Jean-Karl Lucas draw fire from the #MeToo movement. “Comme Une Reine” echoes the chants of female empowerment, body image acceptance, owning your uniqueness and loving yourself. This all about wearing your crown. The music starts out slow and methodical, creating the same cool vibe that draws you in on their other tracks. Emilie’s smooth vocals lend confidence – but quickly, synth beats and finger snaps imbue the music with a more optimistic tone. Purity shines through the production, putting the song’s message centre stage (Josh K).
5. Lena “Thank You”
What we said: The track is an uplifting pop number. The production is different to her previous record “Crystal Sky” and definitely not what one would expect following the deep cut of “If I Wasn’t Your Daughter”. The chorus is an easy-listening take that immediately puts one in a good place. Blessed be. Lyrically, the song is about embracing hate and disgrace and then turning it into something beautiful. In the chorus, Lena sings, “Thank you for knocking me down, no I’m not gonna hate you now. Thank you for letting me down. Now that I know that every low will make me grow. Thank you for knocking me down” (Florian).
4. Loïc Nottet “On Fire”
What we said: “On Fire” is certainly structured as a journey, with the first verse exploring the emotions of a little boy “too different to belong, too lonely to be strong”. The second verse then turns to a little girl “from a broken family with a silent fantasy”. He also explores themes of worthlessness as he sings “he said that falling down, it wouldn’t make a sound”. Loïc tackles these dark themes but the song has a message of perseverance as he declares “and when I hit the dust, I’m gonna get back up”. He is “not afraid anymore, strong like a warrior”. There’s no keeping this fighter on the ground.
3. Eleni Foureira “Tómame”
What we said: Thematically the song revolves around a boy who drives Eleni crazy. The heat rises inside her until she can’t take it anymore. She unleashes her passion through some sensual talk — take me, take megives the song rhythm, while at times she pleads for him to do it “suave, otra vez” (soft, again). The mixture of English and Spanish gives the song a spin of sun, which takes you back to summer. A singer who can dance, dance, baby, Eleni also published a music video that reads like a telenovella and sees the Queen of Fire serving non-stop body (Essi).
Previous top tracks: “Caramela” (#22 in 2018)
2. Mikolas Josef “Me Gusta”
What we said: “Me Gusta”, released the day after Mikolas’ 23rd birthday, is the perfect sister single of “Lie To Me”, but decidedly distinct and a track that slays on its own. The Czech idol has definitely found his winning formula, bringing his full charisma to the table, combining it with fresh, summery beats while he tells to his girl that she don’t need Balenciaga or Gucci on the ‘gram, displaying all signs of a worldwide record hit. And Mikolas isn’t alone in this, as he collaborated with heavyweights Joacim Persson and Sebastian Arman, names you might know from iconic hits such as “If Love Was a Crime” and “Beautiful Mess”, as well as working with the likes of Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue. We Gusta! (Pablo)
1. Iveta Mukuchyan “Hayastani Axjikner”
What we said: Iveta sings about the uniqueness of Armenian girls, saying that they are incomparable. The song features a big pop drop featuring traditional Armenian instrumentation. Iveta works some slick choreography throughout the piece, accompanying the music to perfection. The song is reminiscent of Iveta’s work on “Hayastan Jan“, in which she used similar traditional Armenian instrumentation and sang about the wonders of her country. She exudes the same national pride in this piece, celebrating the beautiful and powerful women of her country (Antranig).
Our Top Tracks of 2018 ranking is determined by votes from a panel of wiwibloggers. They are William, Robyn, Deban, Jonathan, Antranig, Sebastian, Pablo, Oliver, Barnabas, Cinan, Florian, Jack, Bernardo and Padraig.
- Our top tracks of 2017
- Our top tracks of 2016
- Our top tracks of 2015
- Our top tracks of 2014
- Our top tracks of 2013