20 April 2018

O Jardim / Cláudia Pascoal / Portugal | Review

Cláudia Pascoal / Portugal / Eurovision 2018
Can Portugal make it two successive victories?
As Eurovision's musical perspective becomes more and more stagnant, one has to admire Portugal’s perseverance in marching to their own drum, no matter how this is reflected in their final scores. Their entries are always distinctly Portuguese in tone, regardless of their genre.

The breakthrough finally arrived last year with a plaintive, heartfelt ballad which took Salvador Sobral to the top of the scoreboard. Cláudia Pascoal is the singer seeking to repeat the feat for Portugal with a similarly constructed entry called O jardim (The Garden).

The song finds the nation barely shifting gears, rather continuing the wistful, melancholic mood of 2017's winner. Starting quietly, Cláudia pours every ounce of emotion into the song before the beat behind the brooding melody ramps up for a short time, then slows again for a particularly poignant conclusion. Cláudia appears to be a confident singer who sells the entry very well, if the evidence of her Festival da Canção performance is anything to go by.

That said, the concern is that this atmospheric song may very well get lost in the mix. Unlike last year, O jardim has not built up the kind of momentum which Salvador was enjoying at this stage pre-contest  - which probably stemmed more from his personal circumstances than the overall strength of the song.

In fact, dare I say that Cláudia's track is more distinct, sounds more contemporary and should give Portugal another creditable result. However, its competition is seemingly way too strong to allow the country a repeat victory.

Artist: Cláudia Pascoal
Song: O jardim
Big 6 Finalist

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