Estonia - Nick Sowden

Estonian Preselection 2017

Hi! My name is Nick Sowden and I’ve signed up to review the Estonian semi-finals for OGAE ROW. The Estonian selection is smaller and less excitedly produced than other major countries but its depth of music and breadth of genre always makes for fantastic viewing. Personally, I love the alternative music that they throw in, and coupled with the Estonian language always throws up a few favourites.

My quick reviews of the songs are below, and most importantly I’ll answer the question, “but did I download the song?”

Here is the link to watch ALL the videos:

Semi-Final 1 - 11th February 2017

1.     Lenna Kuurmaa – “Slingshot”

A good start, takes a while to get there but she does and the final thirty seconds of this song could be quite nicely performed if she holds it together. It’s a bit middle of the road though.

            Did I download it? Eventually.

2.     Elina Born – “In or Out”
Someone said this is the favourite? How. Its ok in a “She’s trying really hard to be Wiktoria from Melodifestivalen 2016” kind of way. The lyrics are just poor (Rhyming out with out and then out again) and its just not in the same league as some of the other pop songs in the final.

Did I download it? Yes, but only in case it wins and I need to finish the Eurovision 2017 set list.

3.     Carl-Philip – “Everything But You”

On the playlist there is a live vocal and it is on point! Carl brings a slower number with some high notes that I’m really appreciating. This is a nice change up from some of the other songs and should get through to the final.

            Did I download it? By the first chorus.

4.     Ivo Linna – “Suur loterii”

This is nice and quaint. I have absolutely no idea what he’s singing about, probably something thoroughly Estonian. He’s like a one man Estonian “Olsen Brothers” and I’m not sure the world is ready for that.

Did I download the song: No, but I’ve kept the link for when I’m 70.

5.     Ariadne – “Feel Me Now”

Ariadne gives us a good song without it blowing me away. It’s very easy listening and you’ll find yourself bopping along by the end of it. A bit of an also ran I think though…

            Did I download it? By the end of the song.

6.     Uku Suviste – “Supernatural”

This is some solid man-pop, it’s in a semi with some other great pop music though and against the other songs is a little lacklustre in comparison.

            Did I download it? Yes, I’ll forget it by tomorrow though.

7.     Laura Prits – “Hey Kiddo”

Yes. This is where the money is in this semi, a modern pop song with a hint of alternative thrown in. Perhaps it doesn’t quite get there in the end, and performing prior to “Have you now” may cut it down a little. I enjoy this a lot though.

            Did I download it? You’d be bonkers not to!

8.     Karl-Kristjan & Whogaux feat. Maian- “Have You Now”

This is a jaunty little number that is very modern and you wouldn’t be surprised to here this on the radio. It’s a bit Bieber, and has some fantastic production. This deserves to make the final, and would be a strong contender for Kiev.

            Did I download it? Straight away.

9.     Janno Reim & Kosmos - "Valan pisaraid"

A very enjoyable indie sounding Estonian band with a fun melody and Estonian lyrics. It catches on after a few listens, but isn’t the most memorable song.

            Did I download it? On the third listen or so.

10. Leemet Onno – “Hurricane”

This guy gives good energy but I’m not sure it really ends up taking us somewhere, and if it does I’m not sure it’s where I want to be. He tries though.

            Did I download it? I forget?

Top three of Semi 1:

3. Carl-Philip – “Everything But You”

2. Laura Prits – “Hey Kiddo”

1. Karl-Kristjan & Whogaux feat. Maian- “Have You Now”

Semi-Final 2 – 18th February 2017

1.     Rasmus Rändvee – “This Love”

Old mate Rasmus is giving his all for this song and it almost gets there. It’s a good start for the second semi, and brings a new genre to an already broad contest. Enjoyable and a solid contender.

            Did I download it? With my cowboy boots on.

2.     Angeelia – “We Ride with Our Flow”

Very solid number, starts relaxed but some great production brings a good beat and her vocals are beautiful. It builds and builds and gives us something else we haven’t had before. I love you Estonia!

            Did I download it? Yes, yes, YES!

3.     Daniel Levi – “All I Need”

A nice number, bringing some good vocals (in the video at least), it’s modern enough without setting the world on fire. Young teens will enjoy him – I guess. A bit vanilla though.

            Did I download it? I thought about it for a while but yes.

4.     Antsud – “Vihm”

An interesting take on sounds made with mouths. Lots of da-da-dums in there which I enjoy, the rest is all a little confusing I think, would prefer to leave this one in the middle ages where it would fit a little better.

            Did I download it? Hopefully no one can. 

5.     Koit Toome & Laura – “Verona”

This is ok, in a way that only duets can be. Its certainly very Eurovision, and not really modern or radio-ready. The lyrics are simple enough however, that after a few drinks I’ll probably still end up singing it…

            Did I download it? After a few drinks…

6.     Kerli – “Spirit Animal”

Kerli is an Estonian Bjork, and holy heck this is song good music right here. Her vocal produces some fantastic sounds, and the production is very solid. The chorus give this song a chance to get through. Hopefully not a flop on stage. (At the time of writing this is the bookies pick, go you good thing!)

            Did I download it? About ten seconds in!

7.     Close to Infinity feat ian Karell – “Sounds Like Home”

An Estonian Blink 182, not sure we needed it, but we’ve got it and they’re OK. That’s OK in a I got through the three minutes and my ears aren’t bleeding so yay.  Not keen on this one, alas.

            Did I download it? As a laugh. 

8.     Liis Lemsalu – “Keep Running”

Liis is back, back, BACK and with a stomper too! A one woman little mix, this is modern and fun. This is a great song that should get through to the final and a challenger for the win.  If nothing else, this song is a radio hit, and one I’ll be forcing my friends to dance to.

            Did I download it? Bloody oath.

9.     Alvistar Funk Association - "Make Love, Not War"

If you like funk you’ll enjoy this. If not, its just odd.

            Did I download it? I don’t like funk.

10.  Almost Natural – “Electric”

The final song I reviewed, and to be honest I struggled to get through it without going back to some of the (much) better songs… I’m done, this is nice, but meh.

            Did I download it? Nah,  I fell asleep.

Top three of Semi 2:

3. Angeelia – “We Ride with Our Flow”

2.  Kerli – “Spirit Animal”

1. Liis Lemsalu – “Keep Running”