This album is the compilation of all 43 songs which made it to the final and semi-finals of Eurovision. With a rich cultural mix of languages (though English certainly dominates) and styles (ranging from a Capella to operatic pop) there’s something for everyone in this album. Despite the lack of the all-important visuals which are included in the live performances, most of the songs still manage to deliver well (with the marked exception of pseudo-mainstream attempts such as ‘Celebrate’), with their impressive vocals and melodies intact.
Generally considered to be a gimmick by those not well acquainted with the contest, the musical provender it provided this year belies this perception with valour, only being held back by Portugal’s entrants (comedians who chose to sing in Portuguese, which led all non-Portuguese speakers to take them seriously) and Moldova’s choice of gyroscopically-oriented colours and shapes.
I enjoyed listening to the CD because of the gorgeous cross-section which it presents of European music, void of an American plastic soul. The tunes are largely catchy (such as Denmark’s ‘New Tomorrow’) or poignant in their otherworldliness (such as Greece’s ‘Watch my Dance’). The highlights of the album include Switzerland’s poetic ‘In Love for a While,’ Estonia’s boppy ‘Rockefeller Street,’ and the tidal wave of emotion which is France’s ‘Sognu.’
The album’s drawbacks are parallel to its benefits; everything is included. You’ll find yourself skipping over countless tracks such as Bosnia & Herzegovina’s tiresome ‘Love in Rewind,’ and Lithuania’s drably musical ‘C’est Ma Vie.’ However, these negatives are far outweighed by the positives, and despite the tradition which the contest is steeped in, it’s managed to revive itself again this year with fresh songs and exhilarating new beats to tap your feet to.