As we move into June we are treated to even more hits from former Eurovision stars. As June saw the opening of the FIFA World Cup we have been inundated with World Cup songs from the likes of Buranovskiye Babushki (aka the Russian Grannies), Armenian singer Iveta Mukuchyan and Malta’s Ira Losco teaming up with Jason Derulo. As well as that we have non-sporting new music from Belorussian 2018 representative Alekseev, Dutch girl band OG3NE and Eurovision 1988 winner and all round legend Celine Dion. Read on to find out what we made of each song!
Alekseev- ‘Сберегу’ (‘Saving’)
Alekseev is fresh off the back of his Eurovision 2018 appearance and although he gave us some memorable staging, his song ‘Forever’ didn’t advance to the Grand Final. Not to be deterred the 25 year old Ukrainian is powering on with new material and the successor to ‘Forever’ is called ‘Сберегу’ or ‘Saving’ in English. The song is instantly forgettable and Alekseev does this weird shrieky spoken vocal that is hard to stomach. Again he works better with visuals, with the video being the best thing about his latest release. In it he stands by a wall of books while being blown by a wind machine. Reading is fundamental.
OG3NE- ‘Clouds Across the Sun’
Dutch girl band O’G3NE are known for their perfectly executed harmonies which saw them become the first ever group to win any international version of talent show the Voice. Not only this but the singing siblings represented the Netherlands at the Junior Eurovision and in 2017 the main Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Lights and Shadows’, a song their father had written for their mother who was suffering from a long term illness. The group finished in 11th place and having released a single named ‘I Do’ in 2017, their next song is called ‘Clouds Across the Sun’. The song sees the girls continue to do what they do best: sing. Their vocals on this track are soft, sweet and melodious, a perfect lament for their late mother.
Iveta Mukuchyan ft Narek Mets Hayk, Roland Gasparyan and Hayk Karapetyan- ‘Mets Khagh’
We now move into World Cup song territory. The first of these comes from Armenia and sees 2016 representative Iveta Mukuchyan team up with a host of stars including Narek, Roland Gasparyan and Hayk Karapetyan. Their collaboration is entitled ‘Mets Khagh’ and sees them throw just about everything they can at it. The song has Armenian horns, a Caribbean drum beat, and oles, while the video is reminiscent of ‘Pump It’ by the Black Eyed Peas. Iveta steps out of a boy racer car in a pair of high heel boots and punctures a ball with them. But the fun doesn’t end because she has a spare ball in the boot of her car. What happens next is a fun party/football match in a warehouse and it seems that everyone is up for the craic! Major bantz!
Ira Losco and Jason Derulo- ‘Colors’
The next World Cup anthem sees Ira Losco join international superstar JAYYYYSON DERULOOOOO! for his latest track ‘Colors’. The song is an unlikely collaboration but the two singers’ vocals are evenly matched and work well together. The lyrics call on people of all nations in the World Cup (and those who aren’t i.e. USA and Malta) to celebrate the tournament, how every nation should be proud to wear the colo(u)rs of their country and to rejoice in coming together in unity for a big worldwide event (sponsored by Coca Cola).
Dschinghis Khan- ‘Moscow Moscow’
German outfit Dschinghis Khan who had a hit with a song of the same name and finished fourth with it at Eurovision 1979, reformed in 2005 and replaced the lead singer with Jay Khan in 2014. They have cleverly re-recorded one of their biggest hits ‘Moskau’ (rebranded ‘Moscow Moscow’) just in time for the World Cup which conveniently kicked off last month guess where? That’s right in Moscow! The song has an operatic/bollywood vibe along with the clapping, ridiculous outfits and dance routines we expect from the group.
Buranovskiye Babushki- ‘Welcome to Russia’
Who doesn’t remember the most elderly group in Eurovision history? Buranovskiye Babushki (aka the Russian Grannies) sang and baked their way into our hearts and second place at Eurovision 2012 with ‘Party for Everybody’. Their recent musical ventures have been limited to covers of rock songs such as ‘Hotel California’ and ‘Smoke On the Water’ and in 2018 we get our first taste of an original song since Eurovision. The song is another World Cup song and sees the ladies extend the welcome mat to visitors with ‘Welcome to Russia’. The song is essentially a naff dance beat that you’d find on a demo track, with the women uttering gibberish words and sporadically yelling ‘Welcome to Russia!’. The video meanwhile is no better with the grannies standing against various back drops with fake snow or wheat fields while images of bread baking flash across the screen.
Donny Montell- ‘Don’t You Know’
Donny Montell has twice represented Lithuania and twice made it to the Grand Final. His first appearance in 2012 ‘Love is Blind’ finished in 14th place while his second attempt in 2016 ‘Waiting For This Night’ did even better coming in in ninth place. He’s enjoyed moderate success over the past few years, most notably with songs ‘Screw Me Up’, ‘Fly’ and ‘Move Your Body’. His next single ‘Don’t You Know’ has Radistai DJs at the helm and is a fun, headbopping, pop track, and proves that his recent tracks are a lot better than both his Eurovision outings.
Celine Dion- ‘Ashes’
An absolute behemoth of entertainment and the Eurovision 1988 winner, Celine Dion returns to music with her new single ‘Ashes’. Celine has been a touring powerhouse in the last few years performing extensively in Asia and holding down a Las Vegas residency. Her latest song featured on the soundtrack to Marvel Superhero/Comedy sequel Deadpool 2. The track is everything you’d want from Celine- an anthemic power ballad with all the vocal theatrics we love her for. The sentiment conveyed in the song is beautiful and given her recent personal tragedies, it is at times heart wrenching. Although the song is used in a very tender moment in the film, the pairing with Deadpool is somewhat incongruous.
Emmelie De Forest- ‘Rabbit’ ★★★★★★★☆☆☆/ ‘Any Less’ ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆
Emmelie De Forest won Eurovision in 2013 with her song ‘Only Teardrops’. She quickly followed this up with the release of tracks such as ‘Rainmaker’, ‘Hunter and Prey’ and ‘Hopscotch’. In 2017 she was part of the BBC songwriting camp for the UK’s selection show ‘You Decide’ and her song ‘Never Give Up On You’ was selected and performed by Lucie Jones at Eurovision that year. She returned towards the end of 2017 with her own new material including the tracks ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘History’ and follows this up with two new tracks. The first ‘Rabbit’ is a strange track for Emmelie with a chorus which sees the Dane sing emphatically and in a high pitched voice about her rabbit (the video is very Alice in Wonderland). The second song ‘Any Less’ is more what we’d expect from her, a quiet ballad about unconditional love.