While Anti Social Media’s “The Way You Are” was the strongest entry in a weak field, is Denmark pulling its punches for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
There are certain music genre throwbacks which tend to creep into the Eurovision Song Contest each year. Here are some examples:
- 2009 Belgium: “Copycat”
- 2010 Netherlands: “Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-La-Lie)”
- 2011 Serbia: “Caroban”
- 2012 Italy: “L’Amore È Femmina”
- 2014 Austria: “Rise Like a Phoenix”
These throwbacks have varying degrees of success. Obviously this worked in Austria’s favor last year, winning the Contest. Italy and Serbia’s entries are two of my all-time favorite songs that have competed. Then you get the…interesting…submissions from Belgium and the Netherlands, neither of which advanced.1
Denmark seems to be employing the throwback strategy with its selection of “The Way You Are” by rock group Anti Social Media. Take a listen:
First, if you are going to give yourself the name Anti Social Media, there should be some antisocial edge to what you are presenting. It does work as a memorable name, which may have been what sealed the deal at this year’s DMGP competition. Of the ten finalists, only a few had a hook or anything memorable from a music standpoint, and “The Way You Are” was one of the least bland song titles.
Second, the actual track vacillates between wanting to be a ’60s Herman’s Hermits/Monkees tribute and ’80s proto-New Wave. I suppose ’80s proto-New Wave may have been a ’60s rock throwback in itself, but this re-application doesn’t carry a strong point of view. This was made evident by a performance by last year’s Danish representative Basim, whose “Cliche Love Song” draws on throwback elements but creates a modern track.
One has to wonder if perhaps Denmark pulled its punches this year. After hosting last year and serving as de facto host for the 2013 Contest in Malmo, Sweden, perhaps the country wanted to make sure Copenhagen wouldn’t have to throw a third European party in four years. To be fair, “The Way You Are” is one of the stronger entries in the current, albeit small, field. We’ll see if the field gets stronger as more countries make their Eurovision selections.
- Shocking, I know. ↵