Eesti Laul 2021 - The Aussievision Jury has voted!
We've been treated to a star-studded line-up for the Estonian National Final 'Eesti Laul' this year. Christmas has come early with buckets of previous winners and a delightful group of songs - nine of the Aussievision team listened to all 24 entries, we've crunched the numbers and this is how the Aussievision Jury Voted:
1st Uku Suviste – 'The Lucky One' (71 Points)
Highs: 12 points from Dale, Guy & Hugo. 10 points from Mike.
Lows: 0 points from Ruby.
"There's a lot of pressure on 2020 artists to come back with something better or as good as their previous entry. For Uku I think he's pulled together a superior package from 'What Love Is', which is a song I really enjoyed! 'What Love Is' harked back to a type of male power ballad that had seen it's time, meanwhile 'The Lucky One' still sits in a comfortable and familiar range for Uku but brings him much closer to 2021 music. He follows a similar path to his last two Eesti Laul entries - softly spoken verses which are just a vehicle to get to a power chorus with a memorable hook and a BIG finish. That's not everyone's cup of tea, but I drink that stuff up! Additionally he's brought a real 'The Weeknd' production to this to help modernise what could still be a little dated and certainly pump up a jury score. At times it is a little overproduced, but I think that will actually help it live in the long run. A surprising good effort from him and my 12 points!" ~ Dale
"I wasn’t a fan of Uku’s song last year, but I really liked his performances in the home concert series. He’s a talented producer and performer and now he has come back with a better song. It’s well written, has a nice full and contemporary sound in the production and his vocal sounds great. We’ve seen him deliver good live vocals, so I would say this will be a good performance. He’s shown he’s serious about getting his turn at the contest with this song and it would be nice to see him get there." ~ Guy
"Uku was not my 2020 winner, but he is my 2021 winner. ‘The Lucky One’ has a really professional production, and I love the heavy instrumental paired with a catchy chorus. A modern, pop-ballad with a fantastic cinematic music video. This seems the most Eurovision-ready at this stage, with great staging potential." ~ Hugo
2nd Koit Toome – 'We Could Have Been Beautiful' (51 Points)
Highs: 12 points from Kyriakos. 10 points from Guy.
Lows: 0 points from Ruby.
"I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. Koit Toome gets my 12 points. His vocals are so emotive and sound spectacular. I can't wait for his live performance. This track has by far the best vocals out of all the Estonian national final songs this year." ~ Kyriakos
"I think this is a perfect male ballad. It feels like it’s made for the Eurovision stage and could make a huge impact if teamed with good staging. You can imagine this being a vote winner across quite a broad audience, so it’s going to have a good chance at winning." ~ Guy
"On first listen I was really unsure if I liked or hated this - I think I've concluded it's okay and I find the production package a bit odd. His vocals with the instrumental is just a bit oil and water for me." ~ Liv
3rd Sissi – 'Time' (48 Points)
Highs: 12 points from Laura & Mike. 8 points from Dale.
Lows: 0 points from Fleur & Guy.
"A delightful modern song performed by a striking singer. A driving bassline underpins a song that still has peaks and troughs. It progresses beautifully from an exposed opening vocal to a rousing gospel pop ending, This sticks in the memory long after it finishes. Send it Estonia! (Sorry Uku)" ~ Mike
"I'm not a fan of these 'jazz cafe-esque' entries - personally it gets completely lost in the 24 songs and I find it hard to remember." ~ Liv
"I'm not gonna lie, on first listen, this song wasn't quite what I was expecting from Sissi considering her previous, more up-tempo effort 'Strong' in Eesti Laul 2019. However, 'Time' suits Sissi super splendidly! I love the inspirational lyrics, the gospel touches, the harmonies in the verses, plus the fact it sounds like an Aussie hip hop song makes me feel a bit nostalgic. I am confident that Sissi will deliver when it comes to the live vocal performance too! Well done!" ~ Laura
4th Heleza– '6' (36 Points)
Highs: 12 points from Liv. 10 points from Dale.
Lows: 0 points from Fleur, Kyriakos, Guy, Laura & Mike.
"I ADORE this *mwah* stunning. Mysterious and the perfect dance between a light-hearted song with some sombre undertones and darkness creeping through. The videoclip is tells the story really well of reflections from the past and the ripples they have on your present. Seriously the combo between Estonian and French is giving my all sorts of endorphins - this is the first national final song of the year which really has captured my heart. I am praying to any and every deity they nail that staging." ~ Liv
"Have I heard this before? I'm pretty sure I have a hundred times. This is the classic Eesti Laul 'Spotify song' that washes over you and you forget 3 mins later. There's nothing wrong here, but there's nothing I really hold onto either." ~ Mike
"This is just an absolute delight. Combining two beautiful languages in Estonian and French over that driving yet chilled dance beat is just a delight. It gives me Flight Facilities 'Crave You' vibes combined with some random track off an early 2000s Chilled Ibiza CD. Look, it's going to struggle to produce the magic live on stage, but it's a song I couldn't stop going back to and hitting repeat. Had to get my 10 points. Love it." ~ Dale
5th Jüri Pootsman – 'Magnus Melanhoolia' (35 Points)
Highs: 12 points from Ruby. 10 points from Hugo.
Lows: 0 points from Dale, Guy, Laura & Mike.
"Oh Jüri, I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you! This starts well, nice production, his voice suits it well and the Estonian language is fantastic. But after the chilled verse to bridge I am slapped in the face like a harsh cold Estonian winter. A wall of over-produced noise hits you with absolutely no redeeming features. What am I meant to take away from that? It's grating, bordering on painful, and I really struggle to listen to the full song. If he can pull off that vocal, and he is a great singer, perhaps I could be won over live. But it's not looking good and I'm avoiding it like COVID for now." ~ Dale
"Took me a few listens, but now I really like this one. So different to his 2016 entry in every way. Sounds so modern with the production, especially those snare drums, and the music video to suit. Let’s hope he can hit that falsetto live, because I think that will be the deal breaker here. Also at only 2 mins 15, it seems like it’s lacking a bridge and final chorus, but it finishes on a strong note. Barring a vocal blunder, I can see this one doing well." ~ Hugo
6th Andrei Zavakin & Pluuto – 'Wingman' (33 Points)
Highs: 10 points from Liv. 8 points from Guy.
Lows: 0 points from Fleur, Kyriakos, Hugo & Ruby.
"What a neat little studio track this is! You get the Drake influences and it grooves along nicely. Loving the Estonian language element as well. I worry about pulling this off live, but this makes my end of year playlist easily!" ~ Mike
"This is a B O P. This has some really solid instrumentation, nice clean sound and great production quality. A lot of these latino-pop-drop songs can fall into the territory of 'painfully repetitive' - this on the other hand has a nice short chorus, good variety in the verses, various musical breaks/rapping/spoken word to keep you on your toes. Hearing a song of this genre in Estonian is certainly a combo I couldn't have imagined till now. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing to be honest." ~ Liv
"Not the biggest fan of the genre, so this isn’t my favourite song. Still a nice modern production and fits the vibe well, but this just isn’t my type of music. Very low tone of voice and very wordy, so the live vocal will be the challenge. Also these types of songs are good radio tracks but can often fall flat on a live stage. Finished outside my top 10, and it just gets a bit boring after a minute." ~ Hugo
7th Gram of Fun – 'Lost In A Dance' (31 Points)
Highs: 12 points from Fleur. 7 points from Guy & Laura.
Lows: 0 points from Mike & Liv.
"When I first heard this one it didn’t jump out at me… but then over the next few days it became clear how catchy it was when it kept getting stuck in my head. It’s a fairly straight forward song, but has a nice blend of electronic pop and guitars and has a good melody. It probably needs some kind of moment to make it stand out though, because 3 minutes of rolling along with a good melody probably won’t be enough for it to get ahead of the other songs this year." ~ Guy
"I know the point of saying something is 'dated' is a bit redundant when they're intentionally going for an 80s vibe - but there's a difference between throwback done well (eg. the *studio* of 'Wake Up' - Belgium 2019) and throwback that is just...well dated and bad. I think this draws from some fairly weak aspects of the soundscape of the 80s which kills it for me" ~ Liv
"This was my favourite. I tend to lean towards electronic upbeat pop for most Eurovision songs and the Baltics seem to do a good job with songs like this. I like the nod to the 80s too obviously. It's a catchy song and has a nice hook. Not sure how it will sound live, but I'm really enjoying listening to this." ~ Fleur
8th Hans Nayna – 'One By One' (27 Points)
Highs: 10 points from Kyriakos. 6 points from Guy.
Lows: 0 points from Fleur, Laura, Hugo & Ruby.
"Hans vocals are so unique and raw it makes this song stand out from the Estonian pack. The song is very contemporary and radio friendly. I see it easily getting mass appeal when exposed to a broader audience. Also great to see some Mauritian representation in the national finals." ~ Kyriakos
"This song is all about the vocal, with the rest of the production being fairly minimalistic. That means there won’t be much to hide behind in the live performance – so it will likely fly or fall on that vocal. I think it’s one of the best down tempo songs in the line-up this year and judging from some clips online, it looks like he will put on a good performance." ~ Guy
"Hans has a very interesting voice and it is well suited to this song. However, this song just does not appeal to me. It does sound brand Estonia of late though, so I think it will do quite well. With a re-vamp though, I may like it." ~ Fleur
9th Kéa – 'Hypnotized' (26 Points)
Highs: 8 points from Laura. 6 points from Fleur.
Lows: 0 points from Kyriakos, Ruby, Mike & Liv.
"This has a strong Scandi pop sound to it, so it appealed to me almost instantly. Not sure if it is a strong contender but I definitely enjoy listening to it. Another song that I am looking forward to hearing live. I hope the energy of this translates well onto the stage." ~ Fleur
"Honestly I don't dislike this but it also is so painfully done before that I can't entertain it. Sorry Kea." ~ Liv
"I love the high energy of this track! It's such a feel-good song. I hope Kéa will bring some awesome vocals and staging to the live performance to truly make the song her own." ~ Laura
Equal 10th Tuuli Rand – 'Üks Öö' (22 Points)
Highs: 10 points from Laura & Fleur.
Lows: 0 points from Kyriakos, Guy, Hugo, Ruby, Mike & Liv.
"Look my Estonian is fairly non-existant but this sounds like a fun song. 'Üks Öö' translates as 'One Night'. Tuuli is giving me INGA vibes from a couple of years ago. Upbeat, cool and a great listen. I love that it is Estonian as well. Has a Dua Lipa sound to it, which I also like a lot." ~ Fleur
"This song is pleasant, but it sounds like an album filler to me. There isn't anything unique about it and it pretty much goes nowhere.... yeah...." ~ Kyriakos
"'Üks öö' makes me want to put on my roller-skates and head down to the rink! Loving the vintage feel of the song, but it also wouldn't sound out of place on the modern charts either. What a bop!" ~ Laura
Rounding off the rankings:
=10. Egert Milder – 'Free Again' (22 Points - lower due to countback) 12. Wiiralt – 'Tuuled' (19 Points)
= 13. Uku Hasma – 'Kaos' (17 Points)
= 13. Nika Marula – 'Calm Down' (17 Points)
15. Suured tüdrukud – 'Heaven’s Not That Far Tonight' (16 Points)
16. Tanja – 'Best Night Ever' (13 Points)
17. Redel – 'Tartu' (11 Points)
18. Ivo Linna, Robert Linna & Supernova – 'Ma Olen Siin' (8 Points)
19. Kristin Kalnapenk – 'Find A Way' (6 Points)
20. Karl Killing – 'Kiss Me' (5 Points) =21. Helen – 'Nii Korgele' (4 Points) =21. Kadri Voorand– 'Energy' (4 Points)
=23. Rahel – 'Sunday Night' (0 Points)
=23. Alabama Watchdog – 'Alabama Watchdog' (0 Points)