26 February 2015

Review: Estonia: Eurovision 2015 | Elina Born & Stig Rästa

Stig Rästa and Elina Born win the national final in Estonia
There was only ever going to be one winner of the seventh edition of Estonia's Eesti Laul, the country's Eurovision national final, and so it came to pass: Goodbye to Yesterday sung by Elina Born and Stig Rästa goes forward to the first half of the first semi-final in Vienna in May.

Twenty songs started out on the journey to become Estonia's representative, but after the elimination of half of them over two semi-finals, the remaining ten took to the stage in Tallinn to battle to become the ultimate victor. The eventual result was decided upon in a super-final in which the public voted for their favourite among the three songs that remained: Superlove, Burning Lights and Goodbye to Yesterday.

As it turned out, it was truly a no-contest. Once the votes had been counted, Stig and Elina's superior song had captured 79% of the poll. A landslide decision.

That same night Lithuania had also gone with a duo, but while Monika and Vaidas veered away from The Common Linnets comparison, the package offered by Stig and Elina has inevitably suffered from charges of (unintentional ?) replication. That's a shame, really.

As a stand alone track, it's an excellent pop song. For some reason, George Ezra's recent successes initially jumped into my head when I first heard it. Perhaps it's his guitar sound and the intonation which make the song sound so familiar.

There is definitely a styling similarity. The instrumentation evokes an earlier era in popular music, contrasting the modernity of the duo's voices while giving the song a contemporary country flavour. Lyrically, it has all the elements of an answer song, even if that theme is housed within Goodbye to Yesterday's single frame.

Where it may fall down is in that near-replication of the Dutch presentation. Vocally, it differs from Calm After the Storm's moodiness, but stylistically and visually there is an obvious resemblance. I'm sure I'm not the first to notice the staging: a noticeable physical separation of the two singers, giving the perception of an emotional distance filled with hurt and regret. All of this enhanced by stark, monochrome imagery.

Because of The Netherlands' accomplishment in Copenhagen, it's highly likely The Common Linnets' performance and visuals will be well remembered. In Vienna, Stig and Elina should endeavour to avoid the comparison.

If that's possible, I foresee this song doing very well. At the moment, it quite easily has Top Five potential. I may even stick my neck out and predict the possibility of another win for Estonia.

How about you?

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