International Video Challenge

Representing the USA: Stefy – Hey School Boy
The follow-up to Chelsea has moved on a decade or so from Debbie Harry to surely her modern day counterpart, Gwen Stefani. This is certainly more like No Doubt than Gwen’s solo stuff, and with the voice of the singer (also called Stefy, I think) being very similar to Gwen’s it really does just sound like a forgotten bonus track of the Rock Steady album. Still, that was a great album and this is not a bad attempt at emulating it, even if something more original would have been better.

Representing Sweden: Marie Serneholt – Oxygen
Marie has a great album of surprising consistency, so why she has released the boring ballad I don’t know. There are so many other tracks that would have made fab singles, such as I Love Making Love In The Morning, Can’t Be Loved and Calling All Detectives. The video is nice but not very exciting. Why do great pop acts think it is obligatory to release a ballad? There are plenty of ace mid-tempo tracks she could have gone for instead.

Representing Latvia: Brainstorm – Lonely To Be Lonely
It is rare to find a Latvian band, so apart from Eurovision entries I had no idea what Latvian music sounded like. This is quite a dull guitar-ballad and sounds very much like Crowded House. The cartoon video is quite sweet, though. They must be pretty popular cos they won the first ever Best Baltic Act award at this week’s MTV Europe Awards (although they beat Vanilla Ninja which just can’t be right). Now perhaps some more Eastern Europeans can infiltrate the show and not just so people can mock them now everyone thinks they are oh so hilarious thanks to Borat.

Representing Lithuania: Inculto – Welcome To Lithuania
This isn’t new but I only just discovered it myself and just had to share. It was beaten by LT United to become this year’s Lithuanian Eurovision entry, and as much as I loved We Are The Winners this is much better and perhaps even funnier. The video is great and do you know any other song that includes the line “Sex tourists beware!”? No, I didn’t think so.

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