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May 27, 2021 6:35 am  #21

Re: Eurovision 2021 Rotterdam

I've just listened to the BBC More or Less podcast which covered the UK's loss at Eurovision amongst other things:

They mentioned a couple of things:
- the UK tend to vote for Lithuania, as do Ireland and Norway. 
- the top coutnries for Lithuanians to emigrate to are the UK, Ireland and Norway so there may be diaspora voting.   - - - there are now 39 contestants, up from 20 forty years ago, so harder to win
- contestants used to have to sing in their native language, which gave UK and Ireland a big advantage who could sing in English, one of the international languages of pop
- songs in minor keys tend to win Eurovision recently, and all of this years top ten were in a minor key, and three of the bottom four were major (UK's entry was in a major key).

I thought the last point was very interesting!  So I had another look and came across this twitter thread;  
and yet another More or Less podcast

I did not know this!  The twitter thread is really interesting and I had a look at the author's guide to Eurovision 2021 here which gives all the tempo, key, etc. information, and has a guide to the characteristics of the winners and losers from previous years.  Wish I had seen it before and will check him out in 2022 if I remember!

Last edited by Liberty (May 27, 2021 6:51 am)


May 27, 2021 3:56 pm  #22

Re: Eurovision 2021 Rotterdam

You keep finding more interesting stuff! 
I had noticed that some songs had key changes, but I hadn't paid attention to how many or which songs had major or minor keys. I wonder if it's related to a wider trend in pop music or not. I don't think I know enough about current music to give a fair assessment of that, but I feel like a lot of the songs sound of their time, so maybe? 
The comment about the lack of success for key changes is interesting because (if you don't mind me going there yet again) when Daði Freyr was writing Think About Things he wanted to include in the song and the performance various elements of previous Eurovision songs, (it's kind of a Eurovision pastiche as well as a song in his own style). The song went viral and while it follows the success of songs in minor keys recently (according to a brief Google search I did just now, even though from listening to it I suspected it was in minor) it also has a key change. A lot of people thought it would have won if there was a real competition in 2020 (although who knows what could have happened if it really went ahead). I just think it's interesting that there's this trend, but it's possible to break from it somewhat.
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May 27, 2021 5:12 pm  #23

Re: Eurovision 2021 Rotterdam

I think the key change is a bit of a standing joke!  Apparently there's a drinking game where you have a drink whenever there's a key change, but it seems as though there aren't as many now... apparently many more in 2000.  It used to be a bit of a cliche with boy bands, if I remember too, years ago.  Kind of funny to put one in as a pastiche element, though, I like that!  Yes, I wonder if Iceland would have won in 2020.  The song definitely got a lot of buzz.  I see he is touring near me in November!  Hopefully the tour will sell well and bring more acclaim.

I'd love to know more about why people are choosing minor keys.  The articles seemed to be saying that it's because things are gloomier now, but you would think people might want something in a major key to cheer them up?  But the UK entry was cheerful and major and obviously did not appeal at all.  I found it a bit bland.  Whereas the San Marino entry was in a minor key but had more of a bouncy, party feel for me. 


May 27, 2021 7:10 pm  #24

Re: Eurovision 2021 Rotterdam

Yes, it's funny how that works, depending on what someone does with the notes in the scale! Even though we think minor = sad, you can still make a fun or happy song with it. A much older example would be the jazz standard Blue Skies.
Maybe it's because the notes in a minor scale give the songs a bit of an edge that major doesn't have? Jazz improvisation plays those "colourful" notes, too, playing with semitones sometimes or use Blues scales and others  that aren't your plain major scale. Maybe it sounds more interesting?

That's funny about the key changes. I never listened to much boy band music, but now that you mention it, I do remember the songs I've heard using a key change. I can imagine it could feel formulaic if you heard many songs in a row with a key change. I guess it depends on the song.
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July 7, 2021 2:45 pm  #25

Re: Eurovision 2021 Rotterdam

This might not be interesting to you, but I ended up watching the final again last month with my mom because she was curious about it (she'd heard of Eurovision but had never seen it before). She ended up getting into it! We liked pretty much the same songs. She thought Malta and Germany were fun (though she had trouble deciphering lyrics and I had to explain the dancing finger to her), thought Iceland was creative, and neither of us liked the Moldova song. She had the same initial reaction to the Ukrainian song as I had, that the singer's voice is quite harsh, but she was tapping her toe along to the eat by the time it got to the fast part at the end (which is the part I really like!) While I still find the song from Cyprus very catchy (it still gets in my head once in a while), the vocals weren't as strong as I remembered, same with UK (though that one was never a favourite, but somehow the live performance was worse than I remembered? although I still like the horn section of the song kind of)
I had also been listening to "Fallen Angel" from Norway quite a bit between the first time I watched the final and when I watched with my mom, and I think it's higher up on my list of preferences than I had initially realized! I've been listening to it a lot. I think I appreciated it even more than I already did when I learned the story behind it. I even started to explore TIX's other songs. Some of them I liked, but there are also some of his songs I REALLY don't like. I enjoy his personality when I watch him in interviews and stuff, though. Have you seen this live performance of the song he recently did in Norway (I think it's a yearly summer concert they have on TV there)? I liked the arrangement of the song, and all the kids who are fans in the audience are adorable!


Last edited by Yitzock (July 7, 2021 2:49 pm)
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July 7, 2021 3:33 pm  #26

Re: Eurovision 2021 Rotterdam

No, I hadn't seen that performance.  Thank you for posting it!  At the end, there was link to this video:

which is just lovely!  (I seem to have problems embedding it, so here's the link to youtube if the above doesn't work )

That's fun that your mom watched with you and enjoyed it!  Who was her favourite?  I bet you'll both be watching it live next year!   I haven't rewatched, but do remember that the UK vocals were off - I think he sounded breathless?  But did think he had a good reaction to having double nil points!

I keep seeing Maneskin pop up in the news now.  They seem to have become quite popular internationally, charting in various countries, so good for them!  They maybe have a bit more appeal to new/younger people than some of the acts, so might bring in a few more fans for next year (I say that as if I know what appeals to young people - I don't!).

Last edited by Liberty (July 7, 2021 3:36 pm)


July 7, 2021 9:57 pm  #27

Re: Eurovision 2021 Rotterdam

Yes, I have seen that video! Really sweet. And her vocal is very pretty.
My mom didn't single out one favourite when I asked her, I just told her which ones I liked best as we went along and afterwards she said she pretty much liked the same ones I did. The ones she said outright she liked were Malta ("This one's fun"), Iceland and Norway (about 30 seconds in she said "I like the song").  She said Måneskin reminded her of the movie Sound of Metal, which we had watched a few days before, which means I don't think they were to her taste (though, as I said before, I think there performance was good even though I don't love the lyrics) I can't remember any more of her comments, as it was a couple of weeks ago, haha.

Yes, I definitely think I will be watching next year! At first I figured I wouldn't because I had a specific reason to watch this year. But I ended up enjoying several other songs (and started following several of the artists) and a lot of the stuff going on in the leadup, and the show itself was fun. I can't imagine not continuing to follow it.

Last edited by Yitzock (July 7, 2021 9:57 pm)
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