February 18, 2011
Shortly after last year’s “miracle,” Lena Meyer-Landrut announced plans to defend her title in 2011. She is, once again, mentored by television host, aficionado, former Eurovision contestant, songwriter, and all around kick-ass guy Stefan Raab. Can she pull off the repeat? To do it, she’s going to need another song that’s quirky, cute, catchy, and a fit with her unique stage persona. The song has also got to be big enough for Eurovision, or like Satellite last year, have an anti-Eurovision X factor that’s endearing and drives votes. Not an easy task.
Enter Unser Song Für Deutschland. 1 winner, 12 candidate songs, 6 finalist songs, 1 entry for Dusseldorf. Lena picks ‘em, records ‘em, performs ‘em, and now it’s up to you, gentle German televoter, to tell her which song to sing. We presume Stefan had a little (read: a lot) of input in the song selection. Three of the six finalist songs, “A Million and One,” “Mama Told Me,” and “What Happened To Me,” are written by Lena and Stefan or just Stefan.
- How will Lena handle her sophomore year?
Last year, a lot of Lena’s charisma hinged on her freshness — she was so new to the whole music business and celebrity thing. She was unpolished and adorable. A year later of celebrity, can she still be unpolished?
- Can Lena find another song that is lightning in a bottle?
Based on the semifinals, we think probably not. But it’s early, and what the hell do we know. To her credit, most of the candidate songs are a good fit with Lena’s identity as an artist. The other challenge is finding a song that’s a fit for the ESC. Unser Song gives us lots of songs for her next album but little that sounds like a breakout hit.
Songs We’ll be Looking For:
Taken By a Stranger. Reminds us of Hall and Oates’ “Maneater,” and that’s a good thing. The world could use more Hall and Oates throwbacks. We also need more good stalker songs. Detractors will find the track moody and dated. To EuroLemur’s ears, this song captures her anti-Eurovision vibe, which–in a backwards way–makes it Eurovision-ready. After watching both semi-finals, this is the only tune we can still hum. This is our favorite, but we use the term “favorite” pretty loosely. It’s also the bookies’ pick.
Push Forward. This emotional ballad generated some buzz after the second semi-final. It doesn’t sound like anything we could place, which is a plus. Though the best of the rest, it’s not a particularly good fit for Lena’s voice and consequently not very memorable. “Maybe,” the other finalist song, is an upbeat ditty from the same songwriting team.