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Eurovision 2010: Azerbaijan

May 15, 2010

Azerbaijan’s song is written by three Swedes. It’s not the only country this year whose songwriters are from other countries. Nor is this year the first year either. Contest history is littered with examples of participating countries forging creative links with songwriters and performers right across the continent.

The stickler in me rather wishes all Eurovision countries would impose the ‘only resident composers’ rule. That way the song which represents a particular country would come from that particular country. When it doesn’t the contest is revealed in a different light.

That’s when the Eurovision is shown to be nothing more than a platform for songwriters and record companies pedalling their wares, hoping for the sales the global exposure Eurovision promises.

And whilst I’m all too aware that this view is dismissive, mean and fundamentally contrary to what the rest of Eurovision fandom thinks or feels (I’ve never wanted to fit in – why change the habit of a lifetime?), I’m also aware that in an unexpected way, allowing songwriters and lyricists to offer up their work to whatever country wants it is – really and truly – how the competition should be.

As much as I’d like each country to field something which truly represents them, I also favour the idea that songwriters are given a platform and that in turn it is the songwriter’s efforts which are commented on, blogged about and voted on rather than the country their work is representing or indeed the artist.

Azerbaijan’s singer Safura is – from the look of her promo video at least – fairly staple Eurovision fare. There’s nothing overwhelmingly stunning about her, other than her looking gorgeous for TV and sounding pretty good in a studio too. I understand from eurovision.tv she’s really very popular and successful and all that stuff.

The anthem has an infectious hook and a dance to go with it. Think Brotherhood of Man updated for 2010. We’ll all be doing the dance in twenty years time after someone’s asked “What exactly is the Drip Drip song?”

And aside from it being a satisfying and surprisingly non-Eurovision sounding song, the “Drip Drip” song also has a perfect ingredient for the final which Azerbaijan will no doubt steam through.

The title, the dance and the hook (one which doesn’t finally arrive until 1’32” into the song) will act as an aide memoire for the part time fan and first time viewer.

That will make choosing which song to vote for a whole lot easier.

There’s the kind of Eurovision efficiency I like. Songwriters doing themselves proud and providing good material for 3 minutes of TV. Let’s hope the production team doesn’t overegg the pudding.

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