Road to Malmö: Natália Kelly – “Shine” (Austria)

A little late on in the day, but let’s take a look at the first song to be performed in next month’s contest in Malmö. Austria are kicking off the first semi-final in a little over two weeks now (squee!), and are another of the old guard in Eurovision, debuting in the 2nd contest in 1957.

Austria eurovision heartSince then they have sent 45 entries, with a victory in 1966. Their history may be peppered with last-place finishes and a few extended absences, but in general Austria have paid their dues. Last year’s entry for Baku added another last place to their tally, with “Woki mit deim popo” ooh-oohing its way out of the contest in the semi-finals. Can they make it back into the top 10 for the first time in a decade?

A brief national final took five acts in front of a jury and a public vote (see my review here), with Natália emerging victorious. I’m not entirely sure this is a dead cert for qualification. Austria’s qualification chances are difficult to gauge, as they sat out most of the semi-final era after their failure with 2005’s lovely “Y Asi”, but the German win in Oslo was enough to lure them back to Dusseldorf in 2011 where the delightful Nadine sang a lovely Disney ballad.

natalia kelly shine austria eurovisionBut after that and last year’s rap effort by Trackshittaz, it’s time for a sort of … I don’t know what “Shine” is. Mid-tempo, acousticy rock ballad? Either way it’s pretty good, certainly better than a lot of iffy songs with the same name (2010’s Georgian entry notwithstanding).

I like that spotlight at the start, I hope that stays. Natália is a good singer, I’m just not that sure about the song. Reminds me of Anastacia or something, it’s supposed to be inspirational but that minor key just makes it a bit of a downer.

That’s not to say I don’t like it, I’m just not sure it stands out particularly. Unfortunately it’s got the opening slot in the tougher semi-final, exactly where it doesn’t need to be. There’s a block of extraordinary power ballads in the middle of this semi, and if she’s not careful she could end up totally forgotten. Oh I want them all to qualify, dammit… why’s life so hard?

For more ESC 2013 reviews and news, please visit my Malmö 2013 hub, or click “Malmö 2013” at the top of the page.

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Filed under Eurovision, Malmö 2013, Music, Reviews

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