Bulgaria (Eurovision 2007 Preview)

Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoukov – “Water”

The Afro Celt Sound System goes to the rave. Trinity fights Agent Smith. And very special guest Scatman John joins the party for no apparent reason.

Doesn’t suck.

Austria (Eurovision 2007 Preview)

Eric Papilaya – “Get a Life – Get Alive”

At last, a song that sounds like it belongs in 2007. Guster, with a tinge of Southern Rock and Bon Jovi. This is where Simon Cowell would have steered Chris Daughtry had he been on “Pop Idol” in the UK.

I gotta say, I like this one. It rocks, but not in a way that is too dangerous.

Armenia (Eurovision 2007 Preview)

Hayko – “Anytime You Need”

You know how in Never Say Never Again the songs really sucked, but in this suave, heartfelt kind of way? Hayko is the illegitimate love child of Melissa Manchester meeting Kris Kristofferson in a elite spa in the French Riviera.

Albania (Eurovision 2007 Preview)

Frederick Ndoci – “Hear My Plea”

Ok, so this one totally starts out all Lisa Gerrard, with some world beat orchestrations you might expect out of Peter Gabriel, right after the release of “Passion,” but where he had befallen the fate of Cole Porter, i.e. losing all credibility and jobbing for MGM, working scale. Ok, I admit that’s a long way to go to make the point, but hey, I’m going there anyway.

Then Jean Valjean’s understudy starts singing. And it turns into a power ballad from a sensitive male.

All in all, it kind of reminds me of “Where I Want to Be,” as sang by the Russian in the concept album version of the Benny Andersson-Bjorn Ulvaeus-Tim Rice musical Chess.

Romania (Eurovision 2007 Preview)

Todomondo: “Liubi, Liubi, I love you”

Think Tom Waits as a gypsy who sings in 3, no 4, no 5, languages. Well, I guess with a name like Todomondo, they can’t be accused of false advertising.

Traditional orchestration, and then it gets all klezmer up in the end.

The real comparative advantage on this track is Todomondo’s lyrical prowess. “Only you can touch my flame.” Baby, I know you can touch my flame.

Finland (Eurovision 2007 Preview)

Hanna: “Leave Me Alone”

On the opening riff you think the song is going to be cool. Then it isn’t.

You think it’s going to be some sort of metal thing with a guy channeling the voice of L Ron Hubbard. But it’s a chick singing with a generic rock voice. And the rock loses its edge once the power of the riff abates. Then it drags on. Then it closes with about 2 measures of the riff, a sad reminder of unfulfilled promise.