Well hello there guys. It’s a Friday night in the middle of March, and Valentina Monetta has just released a song which will go to Eurovision. Please tell me I’m not the only one getting severe déjà-vu?
Back in June last year, just 32 days after the 2013 final, San Marino announced that Valentina Monetta would be their representative for the third consecutive year in 2014. It was also one of the first news stories we covered, as the announcement came just a week after we started our little blog! Anyway, with just under nine months advance notice, it’s fair to say that we were all hoping and praying for big things from the Sammarinese team this year…
… and this is what we’ve now got:
In my estimation, there are three main forms of music which can be categorised under the adjective “dated”.
We have “cool dated”, encompassing those retro-inspired numbers such as Nina’s “Caroban” and Viktor Király’s “Running Out Of Time” which feature a younger performer injecting a new lease of life into an otherwise archaic style of song. We have “credible dated”, records like The Common Linnets’ “Calm Before The Storm” and Bonnie Tyler’s “Believe In Me” which unashamedly present themselves as a skilful emulation of a traditional genre. And then we have those piles of absolute shoite which can only be described as “send-it-back-to-1977-where-it-belongs dated”.
Hazard a guess as to where I would categorise Valentina’s latest song, entitled “Maybe (Forse)”.
This one is so lacklustre and “send-it-back dated” that I reckon any one of us could come up with something superior if equipped with half an hour and a circa 1992 Yamaha keyboard. Seriously. It’s from the same sonic sphere as “Crisalide” but without any of the energy, without any of the modulation, without any of the tempo variation, without any of the interest… without any of the feeling. What we’re left with is a bland, insipid and – in English at least – barely understandable piece of music which plods along at a disappointing tempo without any redeeming melodic or instrumental points of interest to break up the monotony. It would sound dated next to many actual ESC entries from the seventies. That’s when you know it’s bad.
There’s nothing wrong with Valentina’s voice, or her interpretation of the composition, though. She is a fantastic singer who has once again been let down by a crappy song. As we hypothesised way way back in June, Ralph Siegel is the problem here. He apparently cannot compose a credible Eurovision song anymore; and looking back over his past entries, it’s rather sad to trace his ignominious downfall. He’s had to resort to writing songs as awful as “Maybe” for countries like San Marino with the sole objective of expanding his own record of having composed the most ESC entries in the contest’s history. It’s sad.
Trivia now, because writing about this song positively is something I physically can’t manage. “Maybe (Forse)” features the second occurrence of the nauseating “love/dove” rhyme in the 2014 season so far (alongside the Greek entry). It is also the third Valmon entry to feature part of its title in parentheses – what is it with her team? Can’t they just go with one title and stick to it? Wooo, interesting.
On a slightly positive note, I must point out that Rory isn’t as vehemently opposed to this entry as I am – and we both agree that Valentina’s hair is looking rather fabulous in the dramatic windswept video!
Similar to Montenegro, when we speculate on San Marino’s chances in the contest this coming May, we must bear in mind that we’re talking about a country who have NEVER reached a Eurovision final, despite multiple efforts to do so over the years.
The only difference is that Montenegro have a brilliant song. San Marino don’t.
In fact, in my view, they barely have a song at all. If I were SMTV, I wouldn’t even bother paying for the flights to Denmark. This is not going to work; there is no way in hell the wider Eurovision audience will be able to connect with a single aspect of this dirge. Not only are they 90% certain to fall at the semi-final stage, I would tip this as most likely to hit rock bottom, 16th out of 16. Look at what else is in that semi. Eastern bloc countries in their droves, and plucky beacons of quality from places like The Netherlands and the aforemetioned Montenegro.
I hate to put it so bluntly, but Valmon hasn’t got a hope in hell with this song.
Keith Mills from Ireland: Oh dear, a great voice wasted on another awful song.
Jade Hill from the United Kingdom: Thought I was listening to a Disney album for a while there. It’s okay but yeah. Ralph Seigel isn’t good for her. She’s a jazz singer and should be given a jazz song
Conor Somers from Ireland: My problem with this song is, nothing actually happens in it? Where is the climax?
It must be said that Valentina’s third consecutive entry hasn’t exactly prompted the reverence that last year’s Crisalide managed to cultivate within the fan community. Of course, there will always remain a faction of our group who remain eternally loyal to the inimitable Valmon and all that she engages in, but in the majority of cases, “Maybe” just hasn’t quite connected.
What do you think? Are you disappointed by Valentina’s latest effort or do you think this song will be the one to propel her into the final for the first time? Feel free to let us know in a comment below!