03 March 2016

Eurovision 2016: Review: Iceland: Greta Salóme: Hear Them Calling

Greta Salóme / Iceland / Eurovision 2016
Greta Salóme will Hear Them Calling in Stockholm

You can always count on Iceland to provide Eurovision with an appealing contribution. The trend continues this year with Hear Them Calling sung by Contest "veteran", Greta Salóme.

Although Greta's previous experience of Eurovision was not as auspicious as it should have been - 2012's Never Forget with Jónsi deserved much better than its 20th place - hopefully, her time in Stockholm will prove more fruitful.

Over the past few years, none of Iceland's entries have managed to match Yohanna's second place in 2009, but Hear Them Calling could pluck the country out of the middle of the pack and lift them into a more satisfying position on the scoreboard.

While the song was not always the most popular throughout the Icelandic selection process, over time its reputation was enhanced by some compelling support from within the Eurovision bubble. In fact, at the time of its selection, Hear Them Calling was considered the best of the (then current) bunch.

It's not hard to appreciate why. Greta is now a seasoned artist who possesses impressive vocals and, with the help of some back projection imagery, she not only sings the entry but also acts it out as well. This makes for some understandable comparisons to last year's Swedish package which accompanied the winning song by Måns Zelmerlöw.

It's not just the graphics, though. There are parts of the Icelandic entry which have clearly been influenced by both Heroes and Loreen's Euphoria, as well as portions of David Guetta's and Aviici's back catalogues. Inevitably, this mélange combines to make the drama of Hear Them Calling into something which seems naggingly familiar; a lively toe-tapper with a strong melody and a memorable refrain.

Marry up all these elements and it's going to sound good and look impressive on stage - even if the symbolism of the pseudo-Gothic imagery is difficult to grasp. Of course, for a lot of Eurovision entries the presentation is half the battle for points but whether Greta's over-exaggerated movements, combined with the confusing graphics, will act as a disconnect with the audience is up for debate.

If it's all seen as a positive, then a berth in the upper reaches of the scoreboard seems assured for Iceland this year. If there's any justice, the song alone should guarantee this. Perhaps a Top 5 finish is a possibility?

What are your thoughts?


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