International Video Challenge

Representing the UK: Marina and the Diamonds – I am not a Robot
As Marina says, she is not a robot, and that is why (controversy alert!!!) I have decided I prefer her to Little Boots. To be really honest, neither of them have totally won me over personality-wise, and I don’t feel as excited about either of them as I feel I should, but I do like all the songs they’ve released so far. Little Boots is more poptastic than Marina, but I’m more compelled to listen to Marina’s songs again. They’re more interesting. However, I don’t know if Marina herself is that interesting – she seems more normal, as a person, than you’d think from her music. However, her glittery video is gorgeous, so she must have good taste. This song is lovely and I think it’s my favourite of Marina’s yet.

Representing Germany: Marquess – Arriba
Marquess are an interesting band – they are German, but sing entirely in Spanish. I always thought they were Spanish until they came on the radio when I was with some Spanish friends, and was informed in no uncertain terms that the singer was not a real Spaniard! My research (and translation) tells me he’s actually half German, half Italian, so he was presumably just recruited cos he looked like he was from the south. It’s quite telling that, according to Wikipedia, they are popular in Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Finland and Austria, but not in Spain. The music’s not too bad, though, and they had a sizeable hit with Vayamos compañeros two years ago. It’s fun summer music but Arriba is very forgettable and unoriginal.

Representing Belgium: Milow – Ayo Technology
These acoustic-y cover versions can be quite hit and miss – I loved José Gonzales’ version of Heartbeats, which gave it a new lease of life after I’d listened to the original countless times, but others have simply zapped the life out of the songs they’re re-working. This one, a cover of a 50 Cent song, has been a huge hit in Europe and I reckon it could do well in the UK too. The fact that I like it is particularly remarkable, because I don’t like the original at all. It’s good that the sleaziness of the song is acknowledged in the video, rather than dressing it up as something sweet and lovely. The kind of people who are repulsed by singer-songwriters (many people have an odd knee-jerk reaction against them) will definitely hate Milow, and I can imagine that it could be overplayed on the radio and become annoying, but for now I just think it’s a big improvement.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *