Hola amigos and welcome to another Eurovision post on TheBloggingDJ.
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Today I will be rating the ten potential entries for Spain in this year’s national selection, a one-off special featuring the acts of Operación Triunfo 2018. A combination of jury and online voting have already whittled the line-up down from seventeen, and, on Sunday the 20th, we will know who will fly the Spanish flag in Tel Aviv. The full versions of the songs have were only released yesterday (17th) so these reviews will be accompanied by the one minute demo snippets. Full versions can be found at http://www.rtve.es/television/eurovision/. On to the songs.
Carlos Right – “Se te nota”
The first song I listened to in full in this national selection is sadly lacking. The guitar strumming at the start gives me hope, but the verses are plain and lacking in any kind of excitement or identity. There are a couple of fun touches in the chorus to make it feel breezy but it is so middle-of-the-road that I am struggling to see who this will appeal to. 5
Famous – “No puedo más”
Famous won Operación Triunfo 2018, the talent show that all of these acts competed in. Knowing this, I’d have hoped that his song would be more than run-of-the-mill. I’ll admit that the chorus is rather catchy, but it is very repetitive so it becomes stale towards the end. I hope that he can find some big notes live, but this is nothing we haven’t seen before. 6
Julia – “Qué quieres que haga”
This entry starts out sweetly and softly and builds upon it, layer by layer. There is nothing surprising about this entry again but it was decent to listen to. Julia has a great voice, full of clarity, and the song has rightly been produced around her. The slightly heavy-handed beat in the middle section is the only real misstep musically. If she can pull this out live then it will be a great performance, but I worry that not stepping away from a certain set of rules may limit how well it will do. 7
María Villar – “Muérdeme”
The hot favourite to win Spain’s ticket to Eurovision and, judging by the summery instrumental, it is not hard to see why. I am not quite as enamored as others though, because I feel the lyrics are not sharp and impactful when the song requires. If it weren’t for the music video including the song lyrics, I wouldn’t be able to pick up what she is singing in the chorus. Whilst I’m sure the staging will be peak Spanish festival, I worry about how the song itself will feel live. 7
Marilia – “Todo Bien”
From the outset, this song creates a Fiesta in your ears with the great use of instrumentation. The guitars, the maracas, and even the more modern sounds bring with them a great feelgood vibe. I must commend her on her voice as well; it stays clear and full of energy, so that it rises above her colourful surroundings. One thing I must say though is that the song itself is second best to the music; it is just more of what has already been heard in this selection. This is great fun though. 8
Miki – “La venda”
So much fun to listen to, Miki brings all of the colour and vibrancy of the circus into his entry. It does start a bit too full-on though, so that when it comes to the final minute, it plateaus because it has already exploded. The singer’s energy matches that of the song and I can imagine that he will try to pull out all of the stops live. I think it deserves an extravaganza! This could be the dark horse of this contest if done right. 8
Natalia – “La clave”
With many of the songs going for that traditional Spanish sound in this national selection, going down a more modern, chart-friendly direction should have helped Natalia. But for some reason, I find the song, and the chorus in particular, quite laboured. There is a high amount of EDM and modern production in this, but the energy doesn’t match it. It’s not a bad song, but apart from the shouts in the backing vocals, nothing stands out. 6
Natalia y Miki – “Nadie se salva”
I’m feeling very on-the-fence with this entry. Both of them have great voices and the song manages to do something a lot of its competition don’t, by combining both modern and traditional Spanish sounds. When the pair do sing together, there is a power and a quality to it, such as repeating the titular phrase. However, for a duet, they sing too much in isolation and there are not enough harmonies. This is disappointing considering the song is at its best when they sing together. 7
Noelia – “Hoy vuelvo a reír otra vez”
Finally, just when I was resigning myself to listening to a samey national selection line-up, this comes up and gives me life! It goes without saying that Noelia has a great voice; there is a lot of light and shade in her voice, as you need for a song like this. The fact that it is a ballad (and mostly classically styled) helps it to stand out from the traditional sounding entries. What I love most is that it has shades of “Quedate Conmigo”, one of my favourite ballads in the history of the contest. I really hope she smashes it live. 9
Sabela – “Hoy señaré”
The most interesting thing about this entry is its composition. The opening section gives me nautical, almost mystical vibes. During the verses, it flows up and down in such a natural manner. Her singing is good and she manages to match the direction of the music with her voice. Sadly, the chorus doesn’t quite match the interesting nature of the majority of the song, which is a shame but it is taking the ballad form from a different angle in this selection. 7
So those are my thoughts on the ten songs that will potentially represent Spain at Eurovision 2019. At the moment, my personal favourite is Noelia’s soaring ballad but I can see one of Maria or Miki doing very well. I am disappointed that many of the songs have gone down a similar musical vein so that only a couple truly stand out from the crowd.
What do you make of the “Eurovision Gala 2019” lineup? Is there a winner in there for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.