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Eurovision 2021 Review: Cyprus – Elena Tsagrinou – El Diablo

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Cyprus chooses a female fronted pop banger once more
Cyprus came dangerously close to winning the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2018, when Eleni Foureira finished in second place with ‘Fuego’. The year after, they tried a similar formula with another uptempo pop track performed by a female artist, Tamta’s ‘Replay’, finishing 13th. Last year they wanted to send male artist Sandro with dance infused tune ‘Running’, but he did not get another try after the contest was cancelled. This year, they try the upbeat, female fronted pop formula again with Elena Tsagrinou and the song ‘El Diablo’.

‘El Diablo’ is written by OXA, Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thornfeldt. Thomas Stengaard and Laurell Barker, who had previous Eurovision success with Switzerland’s top 5 finish in 2019. ‘El Diablo’ sounds like it was tailor made for Eurovision. There is nothing really original or unexpected about it, but at the same time it is completely irresistible. The chorus is an absolute banger with a superb hook and and explosion in the production. Admittedly, the verses aren’t nearly as strong. It is often hard to make out what she is even singing about and the lyrics you can understand aren’t particularly strong. The whole song kind of sounds like different ideas hot glued together as one tune, but the instant catchiness of that powerhouse chorus easily makes up for that if you ask me. Sure, if you want to, you can hear some similarities to some of Lady Gaga’s biggest hits, but nothing outrageous that warrants a plagiarism case.

A big pop number like ‘El Diablo’ does need a big performance on the Eurovision stage. A similar concept to the music video (that looks an awful lot like Zara Larsson’s ‘Love Me Land’) could work in the live performance too. At this stage, I am not convinced Cyprus will return to the top 10 of the scoreboard with ‘El Diablo’, as the track might be too generic and often been done before to go all the way, but a spot in the final should definitely be within reach with a decent performance in May in Rotterdam.

MORE EUROVISION REVIEWS HERE: CZECH REPUBLICFRANCEISRAELLITHUANIATHE NETHERLANDS

MORE EUROVISION 2021 REVIEWS: CZECH REPUBLICFRANCEISRAELLITHUANIA



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Watch “Tequila Sunrise” by Max Barskih

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When hearing the announcement this summer – plans were in place to launch our favourite Ukrainian pop megastar Max Barskih internationally. Our feelings about the news were both a mixture of delight and surprise. We have always thought Max has the necessary credentials and artist profile that befit that of a global pop phenom. And have often questioned why his bid for international megastardom has always seemingly been on the back step.

In August, Max made a bold move when he released “Just Fly“. The song, being stylistically very different. The vibe, being a modern take on doo-wop, combined with pop sensibilities. The point was to show everyone he is a versatile artist. He accomplished mission one. So it is on with the next step. Which is, again quite, different. “Tequila Sunrise” is an intoxicating offering. Somewhat moody and notably Hurts, like, (by way of comparison). A step into the alt-pop arena.

Listen on Apple Music

Max describes the song as being…

“This song is special for me. She is about magnetism between people. About the pain and the dance that will end one way or another. But while the music is playing, the two dissolve into each other.”

The Alan Badoev directed music video approach is more of an art form and less outwardly provocative. But nonetheless. Intimate and sizzling with sexual chemistry. i.e. there is a lot of PDA being expressed. Couples, getting very steamy and into one another. They are brought together by sensual music and dirty dancing.

As I predicted in my blog post for “Just Fly“. I do feel “Tequila Sunrise” exhibits a music style that resonates better with a UK audience. Too bad for us, that Max Barskih did not release this one last week. When he was over here in London. We would have so loved to have seen this one played live.

Yes, EQ was there at the London show. Raj made it down to the packed and sold-out gig at Scala. The tickets were a whack load of money as well, £110 each. Raj thought to catch a few highlights for us to take a look at.

Interesting facts:

95% of the show was sung by Max in Ukrainian – no full English songs.

The show was a love letter to his Ukrainian, Russian and Eastern European fans in London.

I have it on good authority from Raj. During the gig, Max mentioned that the next album is sung in English only. Perhaps the Scala show was the last hurrah before the focus switches on the English language market.

To tell the truth, I cannot stop watching this clip. Because I can absolutely feel there was lots of energy in the room. Do you feel it also?





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Listen to (Feels Like) “Heaven” (Fiction Factory Cover) by Roosevelt

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Should you be searching for a thoroughly decent indie electronic-pop album to wrap your ears around at the moment. A good one to look at that might have skipped your notice is “Polydans” by the German producer Roosevelt. In comparison to his first two albums. I haven’t spoken an awful lot about “Polydans“, his third one (released in March). Let me share some feedback on it now. This release locks in with spirit of the 80s. Production-wise, the album remains consummate in its entirety. And the body of work is unskippable throughout. With the stats totted up, streaming figures suggest the track “Strangers” has proved most popular. I am sticking with calling out my first choice, “Sign“, as a standout, that I wrote about on the blog.

The reason why I am writing about Roosevelt today isn’t to share a quick outline of the latest album. I wanted to bring his sparkly cover version of the Fiction Factory, 1983, top 10 chart-topper track (Feels Like) “Heaven” to your attention which appears as a bonus track on the Deluxe Edition.

Listen on Apple Music

According to the internet, there have been 18 recordings of (Feels Like) “Heaven” by different artists. Roosevelt’s glittery, upbeat makeover comes in as #19. What I like about the new interpretation of the song it is significantly different in style to the darker new-wave vibes found on the original Fiction Factory edit.

I think the Roosevelt version of the track will go down a treat when played live. He starts a US tour next week and will eventually snake it’s way over to Europe next year.

(Feels Like) “Heaven” is out now – Find it ONLY on the deluxe edition of “Polydans“. (One of 8 bonus tracks)

Connect with Roosevelt
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamroosevelt
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamroosevelt__
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roosevelt_music/





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Listen to “Sweet Talker” by Years and Years and Galantis

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The thing about Galantis is. I pretty much know what to expect from the Swedish dance hit-makers because their signature sound is easily identifiable. The thing with a Years & Years and Galantis collaboration is. I pretty much can guess how it will pan out musically as well. Had they not delivered a bona fide dance banger like “Sweet Talker” is. I may have needed to send them over some serious questions. What I do like, though, on Years and Years part. The upcoming album “Night Call” seemingly, covers more ground in a music sense than the previous projects. Because as I have noticed with the singles to date. “Starstruck“, “Crave“, and now “Sweet Talker“, the styles explored differ vastly.

I am the kind of music listener who likes to play dance tracks in the winter months to help keep the winter blues at bay. Therefore, I am happy, “Sweet Talker” is the euphoric, fist punching anthem I was hoping for. I am also glad that the track includes a big orchestral arrangement by way of embellishment. Without this, it may have sounded too similar to Whigfield’s seminal bop “Saturday Night“, methinks.

Listen on Apple Music

It genuinely pleases me both the lyrics and narrative of the track are self-explanatory. There is a time and a place for tracks steeped with lyrical depth. “Sweet Talker” just isn’t one of them. It’s a dance track, through and through, of the kind that needs to be played turned up loud. That is all.

If you were looking for some exciting Years & Years news. Olly has exclusively revealed in an interview with Radio One DJ Clara Amfo. (In a chat during “Sweet Talker” premiere as Hottest Record In The World) He will be hosting this years’ New Year’s Eve celebrations on the BBC. (In previous years, there have been special live concerts from Queen and Adam Lambert, Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow.) Olly teased he will be counting us down to midnight playing Years & Years tracks (duh!) and some covers. There will be some extra special guests making an appearance also.

This, New Years Eve. With Years & Years on the television I have no reason to go out. I will definitely need to get some special snacks in, though.

Years & Years third album “Night Call” comes out via Interscope Records on January 7th, 2022. – Pre-order HERE

Connect with Years & Years
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YearsAndYears
Twitter: https://twitter.com/yearsandyears
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yearsandyears/

Connect with Galantis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wearegalantis
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wearegalantis
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wearegalantis/





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