Representing the Netherlands: Future Presidents – Love Don’t Pay The Bill$
I’ve written about this group before, but I think they deserve another mention because their new single is their best yet. It’s super-catchy and jaunty with memorable lyrics and an amusing message, and best of all it’s proof (after the disaster of Dutch X Factor) that the Dutch are still capable of making good pop music. The sound is similar to Swedish MF entrants Lovestoned, light and summery radio-friendly mid-tempo pop. The group has two male lead singers, both of whom’s voices I like, and the longer haired one is quite cute too. Definitely a thumbs up from me, although with the dodgy activities depicted in their London-set video I don’t think they’ll be elected as presidents any time soon!
Representing Ireland: Brian McFadden ft. Kevin Rudolph – Just Say So
The trend for electro-r&b pop is still strong and it seems no-one is immune – even Brian McFadden is having a go at it, and bizarrely he’s roped in Kevin Rudolph to help him out! Considering how awful both artists’ previous work has been, this isn’t actually too bad. It’s catchy in a bland way, and the ridiculous swimming pool dance routine makes the video quite amusing to watch. Also hilarious is Kevin Rudolph not even recording a bit for the video, let alone deigning to be in the same place as Brian. With Brian judging Australia’s Got Talent at the moment (he lives there with his far out of his league wife, Delta Goodrem), this will probably be an Aussie hit but wouldn’t stand the slightest chance in the UK.
Representing the USA: Tino Coury – Diary
Diary is a cheap and cheesy RedOne rip-off, but that’s not a criticism. I have nothing against cheap and cheesy, and if you have to emulate any pop writer/producer’s style, of course you should make it RedOne! Tino is blandly handsome, but not enough so to make him a star – he’ll need really strong singles in order to stand out in the competitive r&b-pop market and I don’t think this is strong enough. It’s better than any of Justin Bieber’s singles, but Tino isn’t a cute 16 year old. Jason Derulo (who Diary could easily have been by) overcame the same problem that Tino has with a distinctive debut (Whatcha Say) with a clever sample. Unless Tino can come up with something similar, Diary will probably be both the first and last we hear of him.