Representing the USA: Enrique Iglesias ft. Ciara – Taking Back My Love
Both RedOne and Enrique have made brilliant girl/boy duets before, so this one has a lot to live up to. I wouldn’t say that it is as good as either Breathing Your Love or Not In Love, but still I rather like it. It’s fairly similar to Breathing Your Love, but not as unusual or addictive, although the chorus is very catchy. I think it will definitely go on to be a really big hit (Enrique and Ciara are much, much bigger than Darin and Kat de Luna after all) and make RedOne the one to go to for great r&b production in the coming year.
Representing Sweden: Basic Element – Touch You Right Now
This is a pretty conventional 21st century Eurodance song, but it’s one of the catchiest I’ve heard lately. For once, someone remembered to put in a hook! Basic Element were big in the 90s but have continued releasing music up to now. They’ve released 6 albums and 19 singles in Sweden, yet still they’re utterly unknown in the UK and have never had a top 40 hit. I think this cheery, energetic song could break that trend, if it was given the chance. Those who like Danny Saucedo should certainly give it a listen. The singer may be rather ugly, but the song is much better than All On You. The only problem is the weird, mumbly rap.
Representing Greece: Sakis Rouvas – This Is Our Night
Sakis actually is representing Greece in a much bigger capacity than just on Dirrrty Pop – this is one of the songs competing to be Sakis’ Greek Eurovision entry for 2009. I’m not terribly impressed with the recorded version, but I think it would be a lot better when performed live. I don’t think it’s a winner, but it would do well (his looks and past Eurovision success will help) and be fun to watch. With better production this could be much better, but even then, when compared to the quite similar songs of Måns Zelmerlöw it really would not be able to compete. However, it is the best ’09 hopeful entry (outside of Sweden) I’ve heard yet – far superior to our awful song for starters!