It's that time of year again, the Malta Song for Europe is tonight, after which Malta's representative for the 2006 Eurovision will be chosen.
Toni's post reminded me about it this morning, actually. I don't have time to sit down and go through all the entries like I did last year, because I am off to have lunch with friends, but I did have time to download all the samples, bung them on my mp3 player, and listen while doing my ironing and general dashing-around-getting-ready (a reminder that hairbrushes and clip-on earphones are a bad combination).
This year the sound quailty of the samples was great, unlike last year, but this time we only got 40 seconds (one fifth) of each song instead of the whole thing. Not bad, but in a couple of songs this meant we missed the choruses.
Anyway, here's my impression:
As usual we have quite a few europop songs, with synthesized, uninspiring backing tracks and insipid lyrics that are either about peace and love in all of Europe, or a whiny tirade against an ex-girl/boyfriend.
Then there are some ballads, and unfortunately in most of them the singers are not able to do the song justice. In a ballad the focus is more on the voice, and without power behind that voice, the song flops. Meh.
Also, (warning, pet peeve coming up) I can live with Maltese singers who are incapable of pronouncing "th" as "th", and instead say "t" or "d", because hey, that's a Maltese accent and here we are, Maltese people living in Malta. But I cannot STAND people who instead replace almost every "t" with a "th", as if to show that they can make the sound. It's "truly", not "thruly", ok?
And ANOTHER thing, why the American accents? Eh?
Here's some musical bits I like: the cello at the beginning of 'Echoes of Gaia', the drums in 'I promise you', the music in J. Anvil's 'You Too', the African-style chorus of singers and the hand drums in 'Reachin' Out'.
As regards songs as a whole (i.e. including the voice), Trilogy in "This Heart of Mine" had good music, what sounds like a real piano, rich voices, nice. Not my preferred style, but I will say that it is well-performed, prosit. Likewise for Kevin Borg in 'You're My Dream', both the music and the voice were nice, again prosit.
And the one song that I am raving about, I love it, it's now set to "repeat" on my mp3 player: Nadine Axisa in 'Waves'.
It's got LOVELY music, and that voice is perfect for that song. I have lately been listening to Norah Jones and Katie Melua, and she puts me in mind of them.
P.S. I wrote the above without knowing which singer or song any of it was, my notes were based on the numbers showing on my mp3 player, e.g. "7 - poppy". I filled in the names after writing the post, and I was surprised to find that it was Nadine Axisa that I liked, because I'd heard her name earlier in the week but never heard her sing before. Cool.