25 January 2016

Eurovision 2016: Review: Belgium: Laura Tesoro - What's the Pressure?

Laura Tesoro / Eurovision 2016 / Belgium
Laura Tesoro sings for Belgium

Over recent years, Belgium has had to endure a roller-coaster ride of Eurovision results. Only three times in the last decade has the country managed to book a place in the Grand Final. This year, Laura Tesoro is hoping that she can follow in Loïc Nottet's impressive fourth-placed footsteps with her song What's the Pressure?

The Belgian national final was a strong reminder of how the UK used to choose its entry: a somewhat cut-price television show containing under par songs by singers that virtually no-one has ever heard of.

What's the Pressure? was the best of this so-so bunch, but nevertheless reflects what has been popular on global charts over the past year or so. It possesses an incessant club beat along with an obvious brass backing which gives one the impression that it was birthed out of the same mould as Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk in a mashup with Fleur East's Sax.

On the face of it, this should be the ideal combination for Eurovision. High energy dance tunes generally do well, but it feels as if a vital component is lacking which is likely to see the song ultimately fail. After several listens, it becomes obvious that it is Laura's vocals.

No-one is about to accuse her of a bad voice, she just has the wrong voice for What's the Pressure? What it needs is a ballsier execution, a vocal weapon that Laura does not have in her armoury. A shame really as a funkier interpretation could have seen this song do pretty well.

Having just been handed a second half berth in the second semi-final, this is likely to boost its chances of qualifying - particularly if it is surrounded by a glut of ballads. Other than that, it's doubtful that What's the Pressure? will trouble the left hand side of the scoreboard.

What do you think?

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