Representing Romania: Andreea Bălan – Baby Get Up and Dance
She began her career as a member of a dance duo called Andre (the other member was named Andreea too), then went solo, but recently became famous in Mexico of all places, as a contestant on a TV dance contest, Primer Campeonato Internacional de Baile. Now she is releasing her first international single and her first in English, naturally with a dancing theme. It isn’t the best quality of pop music, but after one listen it’s firmly stuck in my head, and I think it would have been in my top 10 favourites if it was a Eurovision entry this year. If you like the style of music in Eurovision, which I suspect many of you do considering this blog’s main focus is Europop, then you should certainly give this a listen. I love this performance where Andreea barely even tries to mime, and they even show the video instead of her during the chorus – certainly the antidote to the UK’s Jools Holland and Abbey Road shows!
Representing the USA/Sweden: Carolina Liar – I’m Not Over
Max Martin has well and truly conquered the world of pop, and now he’s here to show people with rather less taste just what great music sounds like, with this new rock band whose album he produced entirely. Already this group, a mix of Swedes and Americans, are doing pretty well, with a recent performance on major TV chat show Jimmy Kimmell Live. Soon enough, Mr Sandberg’s music will be soundtracking the lives of the very people who could not even comprehend that a song by Britney Spears or the Backstreet Boys is of the highest quality music can be. The irony is going to be delicious. But it’s not just for that reason that I’m pleased to discover them, as they also have some really nice songs – think Rooney on a good day, or a jauntier Killers. It is such a testament to Max Martin’s talents that he can do the music of his songs’ critics even better than they can.
Representing Belgium: Regi – I Fail
Regi is the producer behind Milk Inc. and many other Belgian dance acts, and for his latest single he’s roped in the Scala Youth Choir. This group of young girls are known for their covers of pop hits, and did a brilliant version of I Touch Myself by The Divinyls, which I’ve had on my mp3 player for years. I never realised before that they were Belgian, and their bio claims they’re most famous for a cover of With Or Without You. I much prefer the cover songs to this track with Regi, which is nothing special really. I don’t recommend I Fail, but I do recommend that you go and listen to some of the choir’s cover versions, cos they’re great fun and sometimes really lovely too.