Review: Romania- Ilinca ft Alex Florea ‘Yodel It!’


ilinca romania eurovision 2017Imagine if Eurovision was an episode of ‘Dragon’s Den’. I feel like Ilinca and Alex Florea would be one of the risky investments that few of the dragons would invest in and were they to invest they would give hardly any money and ask for a lot of shares in return. You would think that if someone was to say ‘I have this idea for musical fusion. I want to bring the world of yodelling folk music together with rap music’, any one who knows anything about music’s response would be ‘I’m out!’. Moreover, if you were to pin down a country that would propose such a musical fusion you would think it likely to be an Alpine country like Switzerland or Austria, but it is in fact Romania who has brought this proposal forward and strangely the combination works a treat.

Both Ilinca and Alex Florea came to prominence competing on Romanian versions of singing competition shows (The Voice or X-Factor). Both accomplished vocalists, Ilinca also brings the innovative yodelling style, while Alex provides the urban husky vocal undertones.

As I outlined in my introduction, the pairing is a risky one, but definitely one that pays off. While the song ‘Yodel It!’ has the power to split Eurovision fans right down the middle, I think that if it manages to qualify from its semi final, that it will be one of the more memorable songs from this year’s bunch. I can imagine in a few years’ time people looking back and saying ‘Ach here, do you remember that yodelling song from a few years ago, that was one of my favourites!’.

Romania do have a lot to prove, having been forced to withdraw last year due to repeated failure to pay outstanding debts to the EBU. That seems to have been sorted and they will be hoping to impress audiences this year.

The song’s lyrics basically just consist of yodelling and saying the word ‘Yodel’ interspersed with the occasional Eurovision cliche such as ‘If you never try, you’ll never be alive/ You are gonna miss out on this ride’. The song does however comment on the mundanity of life and striving for more and has one of my favourite lyrics of this year:

‘Sitting alone at my desk on a 9 to 5 program, it just won’t do/
Get another coffee, get another one to make it through.’

The music video that accompanies the song got its release earlier this week and sees Alex Florea sing atop a giant concrete plinth with the Romanian city of Cluj serving as the back drop. Ilinca meanwhile strolls through the city’s streets showing off the beautiful buildings and when she starts to yodel her very own plinth begins to rise out of the street where she stands, until she joins Alex amidst the skyline of the city where they sing the duet together.

My Ranking: 12th

My Prediction: 13th in the Final

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