Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Greatest Plan?

It's time for Eurovision Song Contest (Euroviisut) once again. Most European countries willing to participate are having their national song choice contests going on at the moment. On Friday, there was Finland's third and last semi-final on TV. What did we Finns hear and see? An international Finnish singer performing a completely structureless tune, hip-hop in sing language (whatever happened to music?), another schlager from every grandmother's favorite son, Mr. Sillanpää..

I was quite surprised when I suddenly heard melodic pop-rock played on the show! I had no idea what was about to happen, but the song made me tick right away. It was a band called Vink ("Wink" is probably the most accurate English translation..) that performed
a song called The Greatest Plan. It was an energetic piece of music, and slightly My Sharona-esque, I might add.. This band is a very new one, so it wasn't so strange that I had never heard of them. They've only released a couple of singles so far and their songs have been playing on the radio (that I never listen to - apart from the soul/funk/disco channel Finnish radio sucks big time.).

Vink's song didn't win the semi-final, neither it will most probably succeed in the "second chance round" that will take place in a week, but it was a really nice thing to hear among all those other songs, most of which were, in my opinion, (if not bad -) incredibly uninteresting - to say the least. Ever since Finland won the contest in 2006 with an 80s-styled hard rock tune
Hard Rock Hallelujah performed by Lordi, there have been many hard rock/heavy metal songs in Finland's national semi-finals, and other types of music represented include hip-hop, schlager (iskelmä), eurodance, and some other genres that are more difficult to define. There really seems to be little room for pop-rock and fresh melodic hooks in the contest.

Listen to this Vink's song, if you like.. According to the rules of Eurovision Song Contest, only lead and backing vocals are to be performed live in the contest while everything else is playback.

If you have no idea what this Eurovision Song Contest is and you'd like to find out, check out some info at Wikipedia.

Update: Vink made it to the finals but not the super-finals. Finland's representative for this year's contest is Waldo's People. They are a eurodance group that was quite successful in the late 90s. The song isn't entirely bad but.. Eurodance is the most predictable type of music you could ever send to ESC. I just gotta say that everytime someone starts speaking in music (instead of singing), it's such a huge loss for music. Music has the potential of being melodic, and there is nothing more magical than a good melody.

Vink - The Greatest Plan


Curty Ray said...

They ain't pretty to look at, but I enjoyed the song!!

Curty Ray

Melody Freak said...

Well, yeah.. Eurovision Song Contest is mostly a beauty contest these days anyway. But there are exceptions. For example, see Finland's winning song from 2006! People thought hell was going to freeze before Finland wins the contest, but Lordi's face (and perhaps bat wings and axe?) made it.

So, ESC is really about anything else but music. It's about politics, scandalous or surprising contestants and pretty faces. I guess melodic hooks aren't scandalous enough so that anyone in whole Europe would notice them (and Finland will again send something totally meaningless to the contest instead of Vink). As a result, most ESC winner songs are really dull these days. Hard Rock Hallelujah (by Lordi), for instance, wasn't really THAT good as a song. It only won because it was something different - both musically and visually. A vast majority of ESC music nowadays is cheery, pointless dance-pop.