God damn it, Malta, how do you always do this to me? Almost as much as Iceland, even the seemingly average entries turn into growers from this sunny Mediterranean island nation. Growers aren’t always ideal for Eurovision, but then it’s staged in such a way to make instant impact.
Of course it’s not always been smooth sailing for Maltese entries. They debuted in the 70s, but after some poor results pulled out until 1990. But then they really got their shit together, notching up 11 top 10 finishes in 12 years. Two 2nd place finishes in the 00’s brought them tantalisingly close to victory, but it feels that in the semi-final era they lost their way a bit.
Some of their entries have been pretty great, but nonetheless their qualification record is 50/50. A shame they don’t get more payoff, as their national final is a lot bigger than the small nation’s population would lead you to expect. I might have not been overjoyed when Firelight won – I can’t remember what I was hoping for, probably some generic EDM track.
But really this is a slick bit of acoustic pop – something that took Malta back to the top 10 last year with Gianluca’s lovely “Tomorrow“. Though instead of being straight-up cheery there’s a bittersweet note to it, using WWI’s centenary to possibly comment on current conflicts. But above all there’s the uplifting note of coming home, and that relentless rhythm giving a sense of the excitement.
I think if it was just the guy singing, I might have written it off as a nice-enough song, but the twin vocals of the male and female singers really blends nicely. I don’t see why this wouldn’t get through the semi-finals without much trouble, even it has the task of opening semi-final 2. But if the staging is done well, I think it’ll be fine. I’m always up for a Maltese winner of course, and having won the Junior Eurovision back in December, who knows what’ll happen!
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