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Eurovision 2010: Germany

April 14, 2010


Just because the BBC Eurovision website trumpets Germany’s entry being ‘a favourite with the bookies’ doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Which bookies do they mean? What snapshot in time are we relying on for that fact? Might things change tomorrow? Indeed, have things changed since the html page was uploaded to the web server?

Having done a bit of digging I can see that today at least (Wednesday 14 April 2010) and according to William Hill.com, Germany is indeed occupying a good place in the leader board – closely followed by Azerbaijan.

I’ve not heard Azerbaijan’s song as yet. I trust it’s something to look forward to. Still, a spot of basic research does seem to confirm that Germany’s song Satellite sung by Lena is a popular number.

If bets are a reliable popularity indicator, then that popularity must surely be deserved.

Combining a sound reminiscent of Lou Bega’s Mambo No.5, Lena’s Duffy-esque delivery exploits the twangy European english we’re usually left with when the artist can’t carry off an American accent.

It’s a spectacular illustration of ruthlessly effecient songwriting. Less than a second after the song has started up, the melody from the chorus is heard in an instrumental line in the backing track, subtly indicating the simplicity of the song – its that melodic idea which underpins the entire track.

A couple of seconds later and a repeat of the opening vocal line is enhanced with an unexpected but delicious descending base line effortlessly committing the listener to three minutes of music they know they’d quite like to go on for longer. Before 38 seconds is up, we’re into the chorus.

The lyrics are convincing because they’re telling a story instead of series of nauseating platitudes about making the world a better place. All of this is delivered by a fresh-faced utterly gorgeous looking singer who you’d want to have as your groovy younger sister.

Clearly the work of people who know about songwriting.

And so they should. Writing partnership Julie Frost and John Gordon have a pedigree. Gordon (represented by EMI) has a writing history in various countries in Europe. According to John Gordon’s EMI profile page, Chicago-based Frost has worked with a number of US stars. Not only that, the audio teaser section of producing team Valicon, offers an impressive array of plausible songs too. This is no fly by night operation by any means.

As one of the ‘big four’ countries, Germany doesn’t need to qualify for entry in the Eurovision final. If the efforts other members of the ‘big four’ (the UK, France and Spain)  may yet again illicit calls for the rules on qualification to be changed, Germany will deservedly escape them. And if Germany actually win the contest it will be a reassuring return to the contest being about the song rather than the TV presentation.

We can but hope.

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5 Comments
  1. I do like this song, but I find listening to it quite hard work, if you know what I mean. The accent she adopts I find slightly alienating. Something of the Lily Allen’s about her too, which for me is no bad thing. I think it will be Germany’s best result for Some Considerable Time.

  2. Sarah permalink

    I like this song and I can see why it’s popular. In my opinion it’s not my favourite though. I also feel Germany have a mountain to climb, similar to the UK. I’ve personally thought their entries for the past 2 years have been good but still seem to have faltered in the voting. Can they really go from that poor track record to winning? To be honest I hope the song shines through and they do as Germany is definitely within an affordable distance to go watch it next year 😀 At the moment I think Azerbaijan is probably my favourite though.

  3. Well, since the final contest is more about country popularity than the singer, I’d dare say German will be going down in flames.

    The singer Lena was actually casted in one of the best casting shows I have seen in Germany. They did away with the whole selection thingy and focused on music alone. The mastermind behind it was Stefan Raab, who is known for promoting new music in Germany through interesting ways (f.e. pitting indie musicians from different federal states in Germany against each other to find the best).

    He has quite a talent for it (being a musician himself (he wrote the song for the German entry in 1998 “Guildo hat euch lieb”)) and is so to say the only inventive businessman in German television atm.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Eurovision 2010 « thoroughly good blog
  2. Eurovision 2010: Winner – Germany « Thoroughly Good Blog

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