Every week I try to review a song (at least while we are at this stage of the national finals) with Norway and Iceland finished I am trying to expand my listening but for now we turn our attention to the interesting song sent by France to the Eurovision Song Contest.
France internally selected their artist as usual this year [it may be the last year that they can do so]. There was some surprise at the announcement of well known artist Anggun largely because she it a well respected singer in France. Her song was then presented as Echo (You and I) and the song did divide many fans. Some arguing that this is a masterpiece others arguing that this is to odd a song for it to do well at the Eurovision Song Contest. I agree with both sides and here's why.
Firstly the song itself is extremely strong. It has a great voice to sing it and is interesting in the constant whistle and low pitch of Angguns voice. It has some great moments it too. I personally feel it has a slight jazz feel to it. On the down side the song is interesting but lacks a crescendo. Each verse in the main sounds the same as the one that came before it. While this may seem not to be a problem, another issue with the song is the lack of a hook, so the alternative is putting in a huge stomper of a chorus, which is non existant. Because the song lacks a verbal hook the only hook can be the song's whistle. This is not noticeable or unique enough for it to act as the true hook.
The next issue steams from the song's jazz style [even if it is pop] this leads to it becoming a little too complex for the contest. The first couple of times that I heard it I could not fully see the strange trust of the song. This could be a problem at ESC. If people do not see where the song is going they simply will not enjoy it. I think that the song would do better by starting in the semi-finals to allow people to hear it a few times.
However despite my criticism I still think that there are certain items that could give this song a competitive advantage over other songs. Firstly France does seem to be giving this song quite a lot of promotion. Second Anggun is a very experienced performer and will have a lot of stage presence. Thirdly, it is a very creative song which could lead it to coming in the juries top 5/6 which would be a big boost. Finally Anggun has a lot of fans across Europe particularly in countries neighbouring countries to France.
Verdict: On a personal level I think that this song is, on balance a very good one however there are many reasons why it may not appeal at Eurovision but an equal number to suggest it will. However France has often been to the forefront of the odds in recent years (2009 and 2011) and often comes out worse.
Without considering the song I would not be a big fan of a French win. They are far from the most popular country in Ireland at the moment. (Corportation Tax, Henry's handball, to name a few)