Review: Portugal- Salvador Sobral ‘Amar pelos dois’

Portugal return to Eurovision following a years’ absence. They have chosen 27 year old heartthrob Salvador Sobral for 2017 who will sing ‘Amar pelos dois’ a song written by his sister Luisa. The song is very different from anything else in the Contest this year mixing the genres of Pop and Jazz, and has quickly become a favourite with bookies, fans and critics.

I however just don’t get it. The song has a beautiful melody and there is no doubting Salvador’s vocal ability and his sister’s songwriting skills, but to me what I think is intended as a throwback to early Eurovision songs of the 1950s, just comes across as dated, out of touch and boring.

The classic combination of piano and strings with Salvador’s vocals without supporting backing vocals is like something from a bygone age. Salvador’s appearance however is at odds with his musical style. He is very much a modern day hipster with scruffy stubble beard, top knot hairstyle and tartan blazer.

The song’s lyrics are very accomplished, effectively conveying a uniquely melancholic tone regarding the impact of unrequited love. Pain and sorrow are what ‘Amar pelos dois’ is truly about and you can see this in lines such as:

‘My dear, listen to my prayers
I beg you to return, to want me again
I know that one can’t love alone
Maybe slowly you might learn again.’

However, I think while Portugal have become one of the favourites for the win, Eurovision will want a more upbeat song to take the crown in 2017, to counteract the serious tone of Jamala’s ‘1944’ which won last year.

My Ranking: 38th

My Prediction: 11th in the Final

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