The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — concludes our time in Estonia, where we have been rating and reviewing the competing songs in Estonia‘s national final Eesti Laul 2019. Finally we take a look at Melfest 2015 singer Victor Crone with “Storm” and xtra basic & Emily J with “Hold Me Close”. Read on to see what we thought of these two songs!

Victor Crone – “Storm”

“Storm” reviews

Antranig: This song has a very endearing quality to it. This is definitely a case of a perfect match between song and artist. Victor’s vocals take this song in the direction it needs to go and the end result is a very uplifting number. This is Estonian easy listening at its finest. The only concern I have is that it may not be grand enough for the Eurovision stage. Storms don’t last forever but this one should.

Score: 8/10

Deban: Offering beautiful transitions from acoustic guitar to electronic synthesisers, “Storm” tells a story that I want to hear. Victor Crone’s masterful vocal command liberally sprays this hidden gem with the right amount of dance magic. Regardless of Eesti Laul’s result, this deserves to be blasted on radios all over the continent.

Score: 9/10

Julian: Stig Rästa is back at it again as a songwriter and my expectations were high. While the song itself is a mixture of singer-songwriter style featuring some David Guetta vibes, it doesn’t take me anywhere. Storm definitely is a modern song, but every time I hear it, I think I’ve already heard it before. Furthermore, rhyming “storm like this” with “man like this” isn’t good enough for a chorus lyric. Nevertheless, the song is a typical modern pop track and will probably have many fans.

Score: 6/10

Lukas: Victor has it all: a great look, voice and the strongest song of the Eesti Laul this year. From the first second, the song just sounds great and it doesn’t disappoint for the whole three minutes. It always changing and builds so well that the song ends so quick that you do not believe that the whole three minutes has passed. The one thing that I do not like here is the cheesy lyrics but even with that Victor sells this song. I hope he will win it this year.

Score: 9/10

Pablo: One word: Avicii (RIP). “Storm” borderline sounds like an Avicii tribute, so whoever is a fan of EDM will find their fix here. Victor’s got the perfect vocals for an entry of this style, balancing the organic quality of the country-twanged acoustics and the explosive nature of the chorus, letting the song have peaks and dips that makes it stand out from the crowd. With Mello experience on his resume, Victor has what it takes to perform this live, so I expect this one to fly to the Estonian final easily.

Score: 8.5/10

Steinunn:  Call me biased, I don‘t care. I love everything that comes out the mind of Stig Rästa. Period. It might not be the most complicated composition and the lyrics are fairly basic but it’s honest and it works. “Storm” mixes folk and electronic elements together and the outcome is mesmerising. Victor doesn‘t hurt either.

Score: 9/10

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: 2/10

Barnabas: 7/10

Bernardo: 8/10

Florian: 8/10

Jordi: 5.5/10

Lucy: 8.5/10

Luis: 6/10

Natalie: 8/10

Oliver: 7.5/10

Robyn: 7/10

Sebastian: 9/10

William: 8/10

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 9.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.69/10

xtra basic & Emily J – “Hold Me Close”

“Hold Me Close” reviews

Antranig: Extra basic may be the perfect description. I definitely like this song and I would download it in a heartbeat but everything here has been heard a million times before. The best part is definitely the instrumental, which has a unique Oriental feel to it. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel and despite some major concerns, I think this would be the best song for Estonia to send from Eesti Laul 2019.

Score: 8/10

Deban: Solid instrumentals paired with a velvety voice, and a smashing beat drop. “Hold Me Close” would have fitted perfectly in Katy B’s catalogue. However, her loss is Emily J’s gain. Clearly crafted with Spotify in mind, and shaping today’s music trend with a digital chorus, this entry doesn’t nod the past for inspiration. It is made for NOW!

Score: 7/10

Julian: Emily J and xtra Basic have composed an unexpectedly good song. While it begins very quiet with just a piano and Emily’s voice, the song gets more and more modern, with electro vibes building up. But while “Hold Me Close” is the most modern entry in Eesti Laul 2019, the song doesn’t develop much after the first chorus and would need amazing staging to keep the audience connected. But being my favourite song, I have faith in Emily for some nice staging!

Score: 8/10

Lukas: This is how you do a great catchy pop song that has something unique and different about itself. From the start you get excited because the beat makes you move along and want to hear more. Emily J has a great voice which works so well in this song. The song builds very well and when the instrumental chorus hits it doesn’t disappoint and keeps you in for the entire song. I can see it being a great radio hit and with the right staging it can do very well in this year’s Eesti Laul and maybe even in the Eurovision.

Score: 9/10

Pablo: The first half of the artists’ names sorta defines this song shortly and sweetly. “Hold Me Close” hits literally every Spotify-friendly song cue, from the lyrics to the buildup, to Emily’s too-clean vocals. The Asian-inspired beat drop does sound good, but it feels jarringly disjointed from the verses, as if it was given the wrong instrumentals on the studio. It doesn’t help, it just… stops the first time it’s over, to clumsily return to the verse. Real fun for a minute, but it wouldn’t leave a lasting impression, neither in Tallinn or in a hypothetical Tel Aviv.

Score: 4/10

Steinunn: The name of the band says it all – it’s basic. There is basically nothing really happening,  it just floats about for three minutes. Nothing great and nothing horrendous. Just a bit under-seasoned version of a David Guetta/Calvin Harris playlist from the local radio station.

Score: 5.5/10

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: 5.5/10

Barnabas: 4.5/10

Bernardo: 5.5/10

Florian: 7.5/10

Jordi: 5.5/10

Lucy: 8/10

Luis: 4.5/10

Natalie: 9.5/10

Oliver: 9/10

Robyn: 6.5/10

Sebastian: 8.5/10

William: 7/10

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 4 and a high of 9.5.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.84/10

See our list of Eesti Laul 2019 rankings

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Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Victor Crone – Great vocal, good song. This could win Eesti Laul, for sure.

Emily J & Xtra Basic: The harmony and lyrics are “extra basic”, and so is the bizarre video. However, what makes this song stand out are the fantastic percussive instrumentals. The arrangement definitely elevates the track, and for that I must applaud it. It’s an outsider.

Héctor
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Héctor

While I like Victor Crone’s “Storm”, I think it is being overrated by all of you. 7.62 is a little too much for a song that sounds like a something Avicci would have done 6 yearas ago without paying to much attention. Also, the lyrics are bland and very simple, something already seen a thousand times. I think this score is due more to a weak year rather than its quality. If it end up winning Eesti Laul, it may not qualify or place in the left side of the scoreboard (18-26th). More like a 6.75/10 to me. “Hold Me… Read more »

Catriona Colville
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Catriona Colville

This is actually a really strong year for Estonia. Several very good songs. I think either Victor or Sandra should win.

Polegend Godgarina
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hold me close’s lyrics make zero sense, ‘hold me close i’m still searching for your love’ wut??? plus as the name suggests it’s xtra basic. storm is a mashup of straight locals’ fave songs from 2016 essentially. i’m not vibin with these.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

On the lyrics:
She’s drifting away from her lover emotionally, so she’s still searching for emotional fulfilment. “Hold me close” is her begging to be emotionally closer, not physically closer.
In the verses, it’s also clear that she “needs to find that one last piece”.
Does that work?

Julia
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Julia

Hold me close neeeeds to win

Oisín T
Guest

For me, Victor Crone’s song is the highlight of this year’s Eesti Laul. I think it’s got a great chance to win the whole thing

William
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William

I think Storm isn’t that modern, it sounds like Avicii/David Guetta in 2012.

Colin
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Colin

Storm – Calming, very well produced and with a great singer. I really like the melody and the build-up. The lyrics are really beautiful. I might prefer other rhyme in the chorus instead of ”this” and ”this”, but I honestly started to like it this way too. It’s one of those songs which could appeal to wide masses while still keeping their artistic integrity and emotion. – 8.5/10 Hold Me Close – I really like the verses and they slowly, yet effectively build-up to something and then – a drop with a repetitive chorus. It’s a pleasant and really well… Read more »

Alex
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Alex

He’s the only hope for success for Estonia. Vote Victor!