Incredibly, 2019 is almost up. And that means one thing — the return of our annual Top Tracks countdown!
As usual, the team from wiwibloggs voted for their favourite 2019 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 finally settled on our top 50. And now we’re ready to share it with y’all. We’ll publish ten tracks daily between now and New Year’s Day.
What song will enter our Hall of Fame?
Let the countdown continue!
Songs by Eurovision artists in 2019: Our top tracks (40 to 31)
40. Måns Zelmerlöw feat. Dotter “Walk With Me”
What we said: In the official press release, Måns says: “It is a great, powerful song, with a lot of soul in. With a text about feeling that you simply cannot live without a person. I saw it from the start as a duet and Dotter always felt perfect as a duet partner.” The atmospheric ballad tells of two tired lovers. Alone they make mistakes, but together they can see the truth and support each other to carry on. (Neil)
39. Anna Bergendahl “Home”
What we said: With the embers from “Ashes To Ashes” still glowing bright, Anna gave us “Home”. Yet another anthem on overcoming adversity. But unlike her Melodifestivalen comeback which was firmly in the “phoenix has risen” camp, this still carries a hint of melancholy. You get the sense that she hasn’t quite managed to shake off whatever shackles are holding her down, but she’s well on the way. (Padraig)
Previous top tracks: “For You” (#39 in 2014)
38. Mikolas Josef “Colorado”
What we said: “Colorado” packs serious western vibes as Mikolas sings about racing through the state with his special lady. He wants to run away with her and live life while they’re “young and free”. Thematically, “Colorado” is a perfect fit in Mikolas’ discography, feeling like the ideal continuation to “Abu Dhabi”. Mikolas continues his global adventure with his lover and we also want some tickets to wherever they’re going next. (Antranig)
Previous top tracks: “Me Gusta” (#2 in 2018)
37. KEiiNO “Dancing In The Smoke”
What we said: “Dancing in the Smoke” sees the trio return to their familiar dance and Europop style. It’s the style that they owned when Europe fell in love. Though it sounds more Tiesto than John Lennon, its political undertones are highlighted through Fred’s signature “joiking” in the chorus, a traditional Sami way of singing. In a statement sent to wiwibloggs, the band say: “The rainforest is on fire. The ice is melting. The young are on the streets protesting, urging the older generations to wake up and start acting as if their house was on fire.” (Katie)
36. Philipp Kirkorov “Стеснение пропало”
What we said: Eurovision veteran and stalwart Philipp Kirkorov has come out punching in the virtual world with his latest Russian-sung track, “Стеснение пропало” (“The Embarrassment is Gone”). Fresh from his recent work at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with Russia’s Sergey Lazarev, the 1995 Eurovision representative has charted those modern Sergey-sounds with a dance banger straight from 2119. (Sebastian)
Previous top tracks: “Mood Color Blue” (#16 in 2018)
35. Mikolas Josef “Abu Dhabi”
What we said: “Abu Dhabi” is about going somewhere exotic for the night and living the high life. In the chorus, Mikolas asks his lover to “pick somewhere exotic, baby we’ll be there tonight”. She chooses the capital of the United Arab Emirates, leading into a signature pop drop tinged with Middle Eastern elements. You can practically taste the baklava in those bars! (Antranig)
Previous top tracks: “Colorado” (#38 in 2019), “Me Gusta” (#2 in 2018)
34. Michael Schulte “All I Need”
What we said: An uptempo track that combines a number of contemporary pop trends. The heavy use of percussion instruments in the first verse instantly helps the song connect with the listener. There are also some tropical influences in the pre-chorus before it all leads to an infectious chorus. (Florian)
33. Bilal Hassani “Fais Beleck”
What we said: The song has a driving electronic sound mixed with Bilal’s R&B vocal styles. Lyrically, Bilal is older and wiser and he isn’t doesn’t have the time for someone who doesn’t appreciate him. While most of the lyrics are in French, it includes some English with the key line “But nobody knows you’re lovin’ me, honey”. Making the message bilingual now means that everybody knows. Bilal calls out his ex, saying (in French), “Your big secret, you do not want to admit it/I don’t want to laugh, I don’t have time for your bullsh*t, baby”. (Robyn)
Previous top tracks: “Monarchie Absolue” (#44 in 2019)
32. Jessica Mauboy “Selfish”
What we said: Mauboy’s recent Hilda LP is a mish-mash of genres and tempos, verging from reflective ballads to pop bops. “Selfish” sits firmly in the latter category. Simplicity is key, as Jessica delivers a ridiculously infectious chorus with little more than a guitar and some light beats. And the song’s message is equally simple — Jessica wants a guy and she’s not in the mood to share. A delightfully cheeky video sees Jessica inhabit the role of manhunter as an assortment of near-naked model types do the chores. (Padraig)
Previous top tracks: “Little Things” (#42 in 2019)
31. Bilal Hassani “Jaloux”
What we said: The song blends a light piano line with heavy electronic instrumentation. The contrast mirrors Bilal’s sweet, elegant demeanour and his inner strength. “Jaloux” opens with examples of the hateful comments Bilal received: “You’re not a real guy”, “You’re too much like a girl”, “You seem a little fake”, “I would like to see you die”. Bilal acknowledges that the words hurt, but he’s not going to let himself be harmed by them. “I will never lower my head/I stay strong and I repeat to myself… jealous.” (Robyn)
Previous top tracks: “Fais Beleck” (#33 in 2019), “Monarchie Absolue” (#44 in 2019)
Our Top Tracks of 2019 ranking is determined by independent votes from a panel of wiwibloggers. They are William, Robyn, Jonathan, Antranig, Pablo, Cinan, Florian, Ari, Mario, Tom and Padraig.
What songs do you think should feature on the list? Are you surprised by our choices so far? Let us know in the comments.