NF Review: Greece will “Rise Up” in Copenhagen!

We’re late on this one, apologies. We have one hell of a mental week ahead of us in the Eurovision world, as by this time next week, 24 will have become 37. That means thirteen articles like this in seven days. Ouchie. Aaanyway, better late than never, as they say: yesterday saw the staging of the Greek National Final, whereby the song “Rise Up”, performed by Freaky Fortune and Riskykidd was selected for Copenhagen… but what do we think of the decision?

Freaky Fortune will fly the Greek flag in May!
Freaky Fortune will fly the Greek flag in May!

I must apologise from the outset: Tuesday nights are rather busy for both of us, and as a result, neither Rory nor myself were able to watch the Greek final live last night. I’ve caught up on the show thanks to the fabulous guys at MAD TV who only went and put the entire thing on YouTube – but even so, we will endeavour to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again… seriously NERIT, Tuesday!?! What on earth possessed you guys to put it on a Tuesday!?

Anyways, from a field of four stylistically varied entries, the Greek representative was eventually announced to be the duo Freaky Fortune, performing the dance pop song “Rise Up” in collaboration with rapper Riskykidd:

The song:

Here’s the viewpoint from which I’m approaching this song as a piece of music. Somebody has torn the vocal from a Chris Brown record, and spliced it with the kind of plonky, bassy club instrumental that most Romanian producers can put together in about five minutes with their eyes closed.

It feels like no effort whatsoever has gone into “Rise Up”. On the face of it, it’s a perfectly passable piece of vaguely radio-friendly teenies Eurodance. It comes across as modern and contemporary. But in spite of all this, I’ve heard it all before. It is spectacularly forgettable. Songs like this are released in droves, literally by the day. There is nothing special about it whatsoever.

It’s a shame because the start is rather promising – what sounds like some melancholy military march from circa 1936 heralds And then we get a rapper informing us “I’m a dove, I’m in love”. It all plummets rapidly downhill from that point onwards, if I’m honest. Lyrically and musically. The remaining two and a half minutes don’t go anywhere: it’s repetitive and downright boring.

What genuinely surprises me is that there were two such entries in last night’s show – “Rise Up” and “Dancing Night”. In other words, 50% of the competition sounded like this. Why the hell they chose one of these two instead of something more unique or at least original like Krystallia’s “Petalouda Stin Alithea” or Kostas’ “Kanenas De Me Stamata” is honestly beyond me.

Performance-wise, the lead singer needs to shave that rat tash off immédiatement. He looks rather dashing in the picture at the top of the article, with a little stubble and that curled hair… unfortunately, during the live performance he bore a closer resemblance to Dave, the thirty-something binman from the council estate, whose entire family possess a single brain cell between them, and thus, after failing all his GCSEs and dropping out of college, can’t fathom out how to a) shave properly and b) sing a song without looking perpetually constipated.

The show:

If you’d like to watch the entire show back, then MAD TV have kindly uploaded it to YouTube:

It’s got Despina Vandi in it. She’s fabulous. ❤ As is the camp bloke presenting it with her. They make such a good double act, even when they’re speaking incredibly fast in Greek. Favourite line is where they transferred to English for a sec to address the Eurovision fans watching through the internet –

We hope that you will enjoy the show and we also hope that you will vote for our song in two months from now and please do it because Cyprus is not taking part this year!

LOVE IT.

Also, if you’re a general fan of Greece and their forty-year Eurovision history – as I am – then there is plenty to entertain you in the above video; Elpida (she’s aged rather oddly but has kept her lovely smile), Katy Garbi, Kalomira, Paschalis, Marianna, Robert & Bessy and Sophia Vossou all made appearances in one capacity or another. The main premise was to reinvent their Eurovision entries as new modern songs (kinda like what Angela Carter did with “The Bloody Chamber” – lol, A Level Literature reference) in duets with new Greek artists. Personally, it HURTS me to hear the “updated” versions of “Ellada, Hora Tou Fotos” and “I Anixi” because THEY SLAUGHTERED THE ORIGINALS TO WITHIN AN INCH OF THEIR LIVES AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NEVER BE DONE, OKAY. I did, however, like what they did to “Socrates”. It does rather work as a modern minimalistic electro number, if I do say so myself.

Actually, a game of Greek Eurovision Bingo wouldn’t go amiss here – see if you can pick out just how many of their Eurovision entries are featured in one way or another – Despina does “Krassi, Thalassa Ke T’Agori Mou” and various others as part of the opening act, Stelios and Marina do “Die For You”, “Everything” and “Shake It” during the acoustic interval… it was brilliant. Although the lack of “Olou Tou Kosmou I Elpida” was sad. Extremely sad.

Aaaand… (I promise I’ll shut up in a minute) the inner Greek fanboy within me literally died just seeing Despina Vandi and Katy Garbi next to each other having a conversation. Just, you know. Wow. They’re human. And amazing.

Context:

I’ve just spent five hundred words raving about how awesome Greece were in the last forty years. They used to send absofreakinglutely AMAZING songs which both sounded authentically Greek and came across as contemporary pieces of music at the same time. The standard has undoubtedly dipped in the last few years, and I would argue that since 2007, they haven’t sent a single song which has matched the high standard they set for themselves in the 1990s. It’s such a shame, because whilst incredible songs like “I Anixi” drifted to a very forgettable 13th in 1991, I can predict with 95% certainty that a half-arsed piece of crap like “Rise Up” will not only qualify in Copenhagen, but will bring Greece yet another top ten placing.

Call me old-fashioned but I’m an advocate of results being directly proportional to song quality. I know music is an incredibly subjective thing, but in nobody’s book can this year’s Greek entry seriously be considered as top ten standard, right? There’s nothing really wrong with it; I don’t get any particular negativity from it… it’s just god damn boring, and for a clubby song, that is most certainly a bad sign. Still. We’d better prepare ourselves for another strong Greek result, because we all know that’s what’s going to happen regardless…

Your views:

What do you think of 'Moj Svijet'?
Did Greece make the right choice?

Peter Kirby from the United Kingdom: It wasn’t my favourite and sorry I don’t like the rap style. I don’t think this can win.

Janne Bruzelius from Sweden: 5/10 Okay song, it would be better if they worked more with the melody, now it sounds just the same from Borgan to end.

Willem van Eltena from the Netherlands: The sort of stuff I have started to dislike from Greece. Gimmicky generic dance with an ethnic veneer, yawn. Oh it will make the final, sure. But it’s not my cup of ouzo. 4/10

The general mood around this one seems to be that it’s *alright*, with a bit of potential that isn’t really capitalised upon fully. As it’s Greece, people seem to be pretty sure that it will qualify, despite its musical shortcomings, but is this a view you tend to agree with? Feel free to let us know what you think below!

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