The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the competing songs in Estonia’s national final Eesti Laul 2019. Next up, we take a look at Sissi — whose dad is Eurovision 2001 winner Dave Benton — with her song “Strong”, and Sofia Rubina feat. Janika Tenn with the song “Deep Water”. Did we want take a dive into these songs? Read on to find out!

Sissi – “Strong”

“Strong” reviews

Antranig: This song takes me back to Agnete’s “Icebreaker”. In both cases, I really love the buildup and it feels like an exciting climax is on the horizon. Then the song falls flat on its face. I’m still waiting to hear an actual chorus to “Strong”. Call the Estonian police because I’m pretty sure it’s missing. Without a hook, the song is disjointed and messy. A lot of potential but really poor execution.

Score: 3.5/10

Deban: The duplicity here is mind-blowing. Part genius, and at the same time half limp, the chorus of “Strong” is anything but weak. The long pause after the bridge is unnecessary. However, at the same time, one must acknowledge the lyrical strength here in the song’s message and the belting power of Sissi’s voice.

Score: 6.5/10

Julian: 
It is hard for me to rate a song where the composers get inspired by another song so much that it just sounds the same. Here, the verses sound very much like “Sugar” by Maroon 5. Furthermore, the screaming in the pre-chorus and the main chorus is annoying. I just don’t like the melody, the song doesn’t have anything special in it and I get bored after just a minute.

Score: 2/10

Lukas: I love Sissi‘s voice but her song is quite boring and forgettable. It has a nice bridge but the chorus is too weak and not memorable at all. After one minute of listening to it, I get bored and the song just doesn‘t go anywhere because it repeats for two more minutes and that’s it. I could see it working better live because Sissi can give more power and life to it but I do not think it’s going to do that well.

Score: 5.5/10

Pablo: Sissi’s deep, rich voice resonates through three minutes of… average. The instrumentals are decent, albeit a bit forgettable, but the largest issue is the lyrics: a voice like that is not meant to be wasted in three long “whoa-ooohs” that do not add anything, not even as a vocal showcase or catchy hook. And what she does say in the lyrics doesn’t really deviate enough from the formula to wow over. Not a winner. However, I would love to see Sissi back with a much better song, ’cause the girl can sing.

Score: 3/10

Steinunn: In the beginning this is quite intriguing. Sissi‘s deep voice is interesting and I like the androgynous feel to it.  But both bridge and chorus fail to make an impact and the song just becomes repetitive and I lose my interest. Instead of the possibility of being a memorable entry, it just falls flat. And the predictable and rather cheesy lyrics do not help the case.

Score: 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:

Angus: 4/10

Barnabas: 5/10

Bernardo: 5/10

Florian: 4.5/10

Jordi: 5/10

Lucy: 7/10

Luis: 4.5/10

Natalie: 7.5/10

Oliver: 5.5/10

Robyn: 6/10

Sebastian: 6/10

William: 3/10

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 7.5.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.94/10

Sofia Rubina feat. Janika Tenn – “Deep Water”

“Deep Water” reviews

Antranig: I’m living for her look but not so much for her song. “Deep Water” has that quintessential Baltic quality in that it tries to be too clever for its own good. It’s in desperate need of some structure and identity. Like a crumbling building, the song needs to be stripped back to basics and built back up. There is potential here, but by the end of three minutes, it’s just wasted.

Score: 3.5/10

Deban: In its current format, “Deep Water” stands out by being remarkably forgettable. That said, Sofia Rubina’s vocals perfectly fit the song’s dance-pop structure. Eesti Laul’s three-minute songs limit is probably partly responsible for this. Had “Deep Water” been given free rein to plunge deeper into an extended dance mix, the overall outcome would’ve been quite a floor filler.

Score: 6.5/10

Julian: “Deep Water” has a very nice beginning with a modern and mysterious melody. Hearing it for the first time, one wants to hear more and more. The verses are catchy, but when it comes to the “Deep water” part at 1:50, the song becomes the exact opposite of the first part of the song. I love the instrumental of “Deep Water”, but that’s it. It’s not clear what Sofia wants listeners to think of the song. Even with good staging, the song would not do well at Eurovision.

Score: 3.5/10

Lukas: This is a nice entry which I do like more than I expected because the song isn’t that strong. It has a nice melody and Sofia just has something unique about her that I like — it might be the way she pronounces word “water” because every time it’s different. This entry tries to be more artsy than it needs and because of that it comes across as a bit weird. But overall, I hope this going to do well in the preselection.

Score: 7/10

Pablo: You could have fooled me with this one. Could have convinced me this came straight out of that bootleg late ’90s CD that was full of corny Europop that had no names or credits to it; the one that I played until it was scratched all over. I can see how many would say this is cheap, but on the perspective above, it’s quirky and fun. The weird factor these overly theatric vocals bring as they sing “deeeeep wahahahteeeer” tie the song together nicely. It’s a head-bobbing and enjoyable trip down a throwback lane.

Score: 6.5/10

Steinunn: Well, this is an interesting one. Sofia‘s vocals would under normal circumstances irritate me but they don‘t. Instead they are the element that keeps the song’s momentum. This song has an obvious – and quite nice – ’90s feel and has the potential of being a club banger… but there is something missing. It needs more wholeness, it’s like it is not fully developed.

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:

Angus: 3/10

Barnabas: 4.5/10

Bernardo: 5.5/10

Florian: 6/10

Jordi: 3/10

Lucy: 5/10

Luis: 5/10

Natalie: 5.5/10

Oliver: 5/10

Robyn: 5/10

Sebastian: 5/10

William: 4.5/10

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 3 and a high of 7.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.03/10

See our list of Eesti Laul 2019 rankings

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AngieP
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AngieP

None of these songs stand out.

Polegend Godgarina
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Once again I agree with the scores, these two songs just don’t leave an impression at all.

Eurolover
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Eurolover

Strong is so underrated to be honest.

Héctor
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Héctor

“Strong” is modern and have a feel-good vibe. Her voice is really interesting. In fact, I thought it was a guy. But I think it isn’t strong enough to qualify in Eurovision.

“Deep Water” starts well, but then it is like the composer ran out ideas, so it feels flat and repetitive. Her vocal flips aren’t helping either. I still somehow like it, let’s see if she can sing it live.

Colin
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Colin

Strong – Nice message, great voice. The main problem here is not only that it’s somewhat typical, but a lot of “empty” instrumental parts which make it sound so long. – 5/10

Deep Water – Sofia has a full, resonating voice, but the song is quite repetitive and doesn’t build-up a lot. – 4.5/10

Quien
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Quien

Icebreaker wasn’t flat. Strong is. Facts are facts.