The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has touched down in Tallinn and we’re ready to review the 24 songs competing in the Estonian national final Eesti Laul 2019. First up we’ll be looking at The Swingers — featuring Estonian Eurovision stars Tanja and Birgit — with their song “High Heels in the Neighbourhood” and returning act Uku Suviste with “Pretty Little Liar”. Read on to see what we thought!

The Swingers – “High Heels in the Neighbourhood”

“High Heels in the Neighbourhood” reviews

Angus: Listen. The song makes no sense. The jazz riff is a few years behind the times. And the chorus reads like a neighbourhood-watch leaflet on how to prevent burglary. BUT this is three minutes of unadulterated fun. Tanja and Birgit knock the vocal out of the park, the jazzy elements and pop, and you can’t not tap your toe to this when it comes on.

Score: 6.5/10

Bernardo: “High Heels in the Neighbourhood” is a bit of a throwback, but still current. It channels sitcom opening song realness but its undeniable that it gets you moving. It ain’t perfect but in a bland selection like Eesti Laul 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this winning.

Score: 6/10

Jordi: Well, this is thrilling! And so, seeing Tanja back. However, it’s also true the song starts way too energetically – but that’s not necessary a bad thing. Swing and jazz flow with proper abundance from start to end. This somehow tastes special and will surely manage to stand out from the classic pop entries. On the other hand, the composition as a total feels a bit messy. The energy of the song is exciting yet all over the place, coming and going constantly.

Score: 5.5/10

Luis: I’m not sure how, but this works. In studio, at least. It could still be a hot mess live. “High Heels in the Neighbourhood” is borderline annoying, but it stays on the right side of the line. Also props to Tanja and Birgit, their voices blend perfectly. Who would have said after their Eurovision entries they’d end up singing a song like this? “HHITN” is fun, it’s a bit extra and also perfectly enjoyable. Still, it leaves me puzzled.

Score: 6/10

Oliver: What hits you instantly when listening to “High Heels in the Neighbourhood” are the perfect harmonies between Tanja and Birgit.  However, what isn’t perhaps as strong is the song itself.  It is definitely something that you find yourself moving to but it feels like it is trying to be too many things at once.  It’s a bit chaotic, a bit messy and a bit jittery but it’ll certainly bring the energy to Eesti Laul this year.

Score: 6.5/10

Sebastian: Some interesting choices come up when I type The Swingers High Heels into the YouTube search. And while they’re definitely not my flavour, all are nearly more interesting than this unfortunate track. It’s a real shame, actually — because The Swingers really showcase their talent as a group in their covers (see their cover for Despacito). This, however, is sorely lacking and is cheesy, at best.

Score: 3.5/10

In our Eesti Laul Wiwi Jury, we have 18 jurors but only room for 6 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Antranig: 7/10

Barnabas: 8/10

Deban: 2/10

Florian: 8.5/10

Julian: 8/10

Lucy: 5/10

Lukas: 4/10

Natalie: 8/10

Pablo: 7.5/10

Robyn: 6/10

Steinunn: 4/10

William: 2/10

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: 5.84/10

Uku Suviste – “Pretty Little Liar”

“Pretty Little Liar” reviews

Angus: The name’s Suviste. Uku Suviste. Give “Pretty Little Liar” thirty seconds and you’ll write it off as a bad Enrique Iglesias album track. But appreciate the whole song and you realise Eesti Laul has a Bond Song in the ranks this year. Lush, cinematic and soaring, the song really builds strongly through the three minutes. Bond may be hit or miss, but considering Uku sold his last Eesti entry belting out vocals while doing handstands, the supicion would be this will set the stage alight.

Score: 7.5/10

Bernardo: No tricks here. Simple and strong instrumental paired with a powerful vocalist. You can’t fault Uku or anyone that helped produce this track really. It’s not wow but the quality is undeniable. A bit middle-of-the-road for my taste but I can respect what the song ended up being. Should be a frontrunner to win the ticket to Tel Aviv.

Score: 6.5/10

Jordi: This tastes of Eurovision already. And this might be a good or bad thing. But sure it seems to have the classic structure that ends up building to a climax in the end of the song. While this structure has no mystery, his voice does instead — and that really uplifts the song. Still, this should be somehow revamped in order to fix the parts in which it feels he’s out of tune — mainly at the end of the verses. If performed well, this will grow live.

Score: 6.5/10

Luis: “Pretty Little Liar” is a bit extra and over the top, but Uku’s voice matches the theatrical quality of this song, and it ends up being a pretty decent package. There’s drama here, and Uku brings passion in excess at some points. The problem with being overly dramatic, as is the case, is that your entry can become a tragicomedy. The studio version doesn’t reach that point, but they should be careful with the staging. No roses shot through hands here, please.

Score: 6/10

Oliver: Uku’s song is a professional attempt accompanied by strong vocals.  That being said, the song conjured up little to no reaction from me.  It felt a bit cold and clinical, almost as though it could have been written or produced by anyone.  It is similar in a way to Benjamin Ingrosso’s Eurovision entry, in that both of them are excellently and perfectly produced but are a little too refined.  Imperfections are what make an entry more relatable and I’m finding it a little difficult to relate to this entry.

Score: 6.5/10

Sebastian: Uku looks the part, has the stage presence and the voice to match. And while his track is pretty, it’s not particularly catchy or memorable. It’s ultimately let down by some pretty basic lyrics which fail to inspire the passion that Uku evokes on stage — which is, by far, the most redeeming feature of this entry.

Score: 6.5/10

In our Eesti Laul Wiwi Jury, we have 18 jurors but only room for 6 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Antranig: 5.5/10

Barnabas: 6.5/10

Deban: 6.5/10

Florian: 6.5/10

Julian: 5.5/10

Lucy: 7/10

Lukas: 7.5/10

Natalie: 6/10

Pablo: 7/10

Robyn: 7/10

Steinunn: 6/10

William: 5.5/10

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 5.5 and a high of 7.5.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.44/10

See our list of Eesti Laul 2019 rankings

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Juan Cena
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HHITN – This Song could have gone really Electro Velvet bad, but managed to avoid that nightmare. That’s the best thing to say about it. 3/10

PLL: Uku has a strong voice and has a presence on the stage. The song itself manages to escape from drowning in cliches, but only because of the music and Uku’s vocals. That said, it stands out in a weak selection season.

6.8/10

Flaio
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Flaio

HHIN – I was so disappointed about these two amazing singers doing this old-fashioned groove. It’s just annoying 2/10

Uku – Great vocals, but the song isn’t memorable enough. 6/10

Jo.
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Jo.

– I got 99 problems but that won’t be one…
– Uku’s song is interesting and sounds nice, for Eesti Laul. I’m not sure if it would work as well at Eurovision.

Juan Cena
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Judging from the pre-selection songs coming out of the non-Big 5 so far this season, I think PLL could have a good chance to make it through to the Grand Final.

Oisín
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The Wiwi Jury is back, and oh have I missed it.

Colin
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Colin

High Heels in the Neighborhood – Fun retro song with no pretension whatsoever. It’s just one of those intended for dance and party. Both Tanja and Birgit sound very good. It gets a bit repetitive, but it retains the energy. – 7/10

Pretty Little Liar – Certainly a ”typical” pop genre, but surprisingly fresh. Rhymes sound quite good and I enjoy it. I wasn’t a fan of Uku’s Supernatural, but this time I am digging this. – 7.5/10

Héctor
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Héctor

“High Heels in the Neighbourhood” = pure trash.

“Pretty Little Liar” sounds good, but nothing outstanding or original.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

I think a returnee should always aim higher. Unfortunately, Birgit and Tanja are going in the opposite direction here. This song should not even reach the final of Eesti Laul.

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
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It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

The group name “The Swingers” is just so wrong LOL

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

I’m still puzzled by the fact that they have a song named “Sous-vide poo”. A title-revampe is needed.

Pandaman
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Pandaman

Oooor acknowledging that there are other languages than just English would be enough :p

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

I am always so parallel to Julian’s music taste, it is adorable 🙂
I also see the “messy” character of HHITN, but I enjoy the track. Y’all are always invited to dance with me to this song haha 😀