11 February 2018

Taboo / Christabelle / Malta | Review

Christabelle Borg | Malta | Eurovision 2018
Christabelle wins the Maltese ticket to Lisbon

Malta failed to make the cut last year with Claudia Faniello's romantic offering Breathlessly, so this year the island is trying to up its game with a Clubland-lite banger courtesy of Christabelle Borg.

Flag Malta
Unanimously voted through by both a jury of music professionals and the public, Taboo seems as if it is straining to be epic, but suggests that it borrows heavily from the likes of Ariana Grande's and Adele's back catalogue.

The track starts at a fairly pedestrian pace and slowly builds before exploding into a generic dance/pop tune that you might hear at a club on Ibiza.

In its favour is that it comes across as a tune you might expect to hear at Eurovision: uptempo, memorable chorus and, with the some tweaking to the staging, a more than competent presentation.

There’s a problem with entries like this, though: it’s especially tough to make an emotional engagement with them. Your average dance tune tends to be lyrically vacuous, depending on their beat and instrumentation to really draw the audience in. For me, Taboo never quite does that. It’s catchy, sassy and tries to make all the right moves, but something about it is just not right. Maybe it's Christabelle's less-than-convincing vocals or her forced "paint-by-numbers" movement.

Nevertheless, there’s a good package here. We’ve already seen that the song can be well represented on a bigger stage, and Malta usually know how to generate a robust but uncomplicated production.

Can they qualify, though? Taboo may find it difficult in what could turn out to be a highly competitive Semi-Final 2.

Should they push through though, I can't foresee too much from them in the Final – despite their best attempt (with the help of serial Eurovision composer Thomas G:son) to create a moment. This is an entry that could very easily get lost in the melee.

Artist: Christabelle
Song: Taboo 
Semi-Final 2 | Second Half

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