The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we take a look at the UK where James Newman has “Embers”. Did his song have enough to start a fire? Read on to find out!
James Newman – “Embers”
Lucy: Never in my time of being a British eurofan have I heard a home entry so in tune with what is popular in the UK today. James Newman has brought the popular and exciting brand of pop he is known to be a songwriting master of with great success — a fantastic move compared to last year’s “My Last Breath”. This would be right at home on the biggest TV shows over here such as Love Island due to the bold summer vibes. It’s clear the BBC is ready to turn things around by being authentic to the artist. James’ vocals are always on point live, so I’m very excited to see what staging he brings to Rotterdam to go with them. The best Blighty has provided in a good while!
Oliver: James is a great songwriter and he has a brilliant voice. There’s a real joy behind this track that really comes through and there’s no doubt this will become a Eurovision club circuit dancefloor staple. But for all its strengths, the song isn’t a roaring fire. As its name suggests, “Embers” is the dwindling remains of a once-great source of heat. Still burning, but not raising temperatures. The brass section could be punchier, and if anything, the chorus feels a little wordy. By UK standards, this is credible, inoffensive and overall enjoyable. But James needs to deliver an extra blast of fuego to make this song really pop.
Pablo: Welcome to the fun side, UK! “Embers” is exactly what they needed in Eurovision; good quality, clean sounding fun that feels organic to the British music scene. James’ voice fits perfectly with the brass sound, it’s not uptempo for the sake of it, and the earnest energy it transmits feels extremely wholesome. If done right, this can storm up the charts all across Europe and then some, and I am so happy that the UK has cracked the code: shaking off the pretensions and just go out there with a bang!
Diego: Light up the room? Here’s the thing; “Embers” sounds like music to disperse a party crowd with. If your party is getting too hot to handle, play “Embers” to reduce the guest list in half. The song may have potential, but it sounds unfinished. Also, the bridge is basic — with all the burning coal it promises, I expect it to explode, but it does the opposite. It actually cools off! Nonetheless, James Newman’s deep, raspy voice is one that I find to be particularly delightful.
Sebastian: Who would have thought it. The UK have actually injected life into the Eurovision Song Contest. “Embers” is a fired-up, energetic change of pace to James Newman’s last entry, and seems to suit his voice and energy to a tee. Listening to “Embers” gets you ready for summer vibes, which is a feeling seemingly absent in this year’s Eurovision contenders. My only gripe would be a slightly lacklustre, dated sound to the production – perhaps the brass needs to sound less manufactured, and the base turned up. In any event, it’s a solid effort from the UK.
James Newman – “Embers” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 2.5 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.82/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!