The annual double cd release which collects all the entries from that year's Eurovision song contest. In this case all thirty six songs that entered the 2014 event in Copenhagen.
This follows the usual format for these, in that the inlay booklet gives a brief introduction then has photos of all the artists along with all the required information about their entries such as nationality, song title, running time, plus copyright notices.
The songs this year do lean towards female singers with backing artists, but as ever there is a fair amount of variety. Hearing them on cd does allow you to appreciate - or not as the case may be - some where perhaps the performance may not have measured up.
They are as follows:
Albania. A high pitched lady singer doing a very involved song that must have been hard to pull off. It's good but doesn't really have impact.
Armenia. A solo male singer with a loud power ballad. It's very powerful and very good.
Austria. Bearded lady conchita shows us all how to sing. A great performance and number that deserved to win.
Azerbaijan. Another lady singer with an atmospheric number that's not bad.
Belgium. Not too many ballads around this year, but here's one. An operatic ode to mothers. That is good for what it is.
Belarus. A novelty number that ends up being quite catchy and not unappealing.
Switzerland. A whistling heavy tune that brings a smile to the face.
Germany. A pink lookalike with a song that is the kind of thing she might do. It's okay for what it is.
Denmark. A catchy little number playing on love song clichés. It's addictive.
Estonia. Solo lady singer good voice good pop but doesn't stick in the mind for long.
Spain. Absolutely their best entry in ages, a lilting and very effective romantic number.
Finland. Boy band doing some very good pop music.
France. Novelty act comic song which is probably quite good if you speak the language.
United Kingdom. Another solo lady singer with a song that does have a refrain which grows on you.
Georgia. Tries to be different but ends up being three minutes you'll never get back.
Greece. A wonderfully catchy bit of music that makes you want to dance, and deserves to be a club hit.
Hungary. A very well sung song about a bad life and hope that isn't quite as memorable as it could be.
Ireland. Lady singer trying for a bit of irish flavour. It doesn't stick in the mind.
Israel. Another perfectly capable lady singer with a powerful number that also doesn't linger.
Iceland: A wonderfully memorable and jaunty anti prejudice song. Great stuff.
Italy; Loud pop music well sung but those not in English need to be really catchy to be memorable. And this isn't.
Lithuania. And another lady singer doing good but not great pop music.
Latvia: A great and gentle little song about not knowing everything. It really deserved to do better.
Moldova; Lady singer. Powerful song. Also quickly gone from the mind.
Montenegro: a very good tune with a strong ethnic flavour. But it doesn't really linger.
Macedonia: Same comment as the Moldovan one.
Malta; A very nice bit of folk music.
The Netherlands: a superb bit of country and western.
Norway: A solo male singer doing a ballad. He's very good at it.
Poland: novelty song which goes between languages, which never quite works. And won't stick in the mind for long without seeing the performers.
Portugal: a very nice tune to dance to, with a strong Iberian flavour. But not a memorable song.
Romania; excellent 80's style pop duet.
Russia: lady duet in a very Eurovision style song but it's very good and very well performed.
Sweden: Great song and excellent lady singer.
Slovenia: Good lady singer decent tune but doesn't linger for long.
San Marino: Lady singer with a more gentle ballad style. Pretty good.
Ukraine: Good pop music although it does get a bit repetitive as it goes on.
We also on this disc have Rainmaker, the official song of the contest - not something they've done before- which is a good tune and well sung. It wasn't on during the contest, so it's worth a listen.
As ever, really just one for the Eurovision die hards. But something they will definitely want in their collection.
on 20 April 2014
I love the songs from Israel, Montenegro, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Belarus, Russia and even Switzerland.
I hope I will see all these countries in the Final!
May the best song wins!
on 8 June 2014
Exactly forty years after ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Waterloo', its line "the history book on the shelf is always repeating itself" seemed to sum up the 2014 edition of Europe's annual marathon of song. In 1998 Israeli transexual Dana International snatched the trophy in the face of opposition from the Orthodox back home and became an overnight LGBT icon and heroine. Fast forward to 2014 and bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst repeated the trick despite opposition from the Orthodox of Eastern Europe. Many thought such a polarising act could never get the support of the Continent's music 'expert' national juries or the televoting public of Eastern Europe but in the end she did both with ease. Votes even poured in from the East just as rent-a-gob demigods from Belarus to Russia prophesised her victory as heralding the downfall of civilisation. But a powerful vocal and the best Bond theme we've never had proved, in the words of her won victory speech, "unstoppable". But her winning song wasn't the biggest hit from this year's extravaganza; that honour went to The Common Linnets, the runners up from the Netherlands with their laidback Nashville Country tune (busting the myth that overly American styles are doomed at Eurovision). One style remained poison, the strident, angsty, aggressive female singer, yet Italy, Moldova, Israel and Lithuania all sent local examples and all crashed and burned. As did France and its fun homage to the moustache, netting that country's first ever last place. Azerbaijan suffered its worst ever showing after a string of improbable top ten finishes. Warned that they would be thrown out unless they curtailed their cheating ways (bribing the odd jury, hijacking several countries' televotes), they duly complied and tumbled to the bottom of the scoreboard. The voting itself made the news as booing from the 16,000 strong audience greeted each set of points for Russia; one in the eye for Putin and his gay-baiting laws and annexation of swathes of Ukrainian territory.
Prior to the contest the line-up of songs looked a bit grim and downbeat (Hungary even sent a dubstep-lite entry about child abuse). But the qualifying semi finals filtered out the dullest offerings and the magnificant staging of Danish TV transformed even the most unpromising of candidates. Only four out of 37 countries sent songs entirely in their own language (France, Italy, Portugal and Montenegro), a sign that the global march of English also seems "unstoppable". This CD also includes 'Rainmaker', the African-flavoured interval act by last year's winner Emmelie de Forest, who turned up to show that, had she wanted to, she could've easily won the whole thing a second time. So, 2014 ... from human hamster wheels to trampolining Greeks, Polish butter-churning milkmaids to the bearded lady herself, definitely another Eurovision to remember.
on 14 May 2014
If you liked this year's Eurovision, you'll love the album - what more is there to say?! I love Eurovision and I have the last four albums! I am possibly the saddest person on the planet but there you go! Cheesemungus!
on 19 June 2014
I'm out of the musical closet and tripping down the light fantastic in my gold lame tank top and silver spangled platform shoes. For some reason, I'm yodelling. And whistling at the same time (no mean feat when you're trying to, simultaneously, make 'jazz hands'). But despite all this frenetic activity, I'm having fun, and to prove it there's a smile creasing across my normally glum visage.
Why is this happening? You may well ask. Pharmaceutical intervention? Alien abduction perhaps? Or maybe Scotland has finally qualified for a major footballing competition (aye, right!)? Nope. None of the aforementioned. It's all because of Eurovision 2014. That perennial musical extravaganza which explodes onto our TV screens every May like a glitterball filled with Semtex. I can see you chuckling with derision at its very mention. Well, as the late, great Frankie Howard once said, "Titter ye not missus!". This event attracts an audience of 125 million people. That's a lot of humanity (250 million eyes, give or take). And now I've bought the Eurovision 2014 CD and it's great. Given the competition's reputation (especially amongst 'the chattering classes') for presenting a campfest of warbling devoid of any creative or emotional resonance, you would assume that by purchasing this product you were investing in a slab of sweaty, over-ripe musical cheese. And you'd be right.....but only partially. Because hidden in this Aladdin's Cave of La, La, Las, Dooby Dooby Doos and Bitty Batty Bonks, there are a good number of finely-crafted three-minute pop songs. This double CD actually delivers more than it promises and it's a joyous, if occassionally puzzling, listen. Even Georgia's 'song' ("Three Minutes to Earth") has a redeeming quality - although I haven't quite worked out what that is yet. Maybe I can ask the aliens when they abduct me. They probably wrote it.
on 18 April 2014
I really like this album. It contains a lot of great tracks, especially the UK, Norwegian, Dutch, Macedonian, Austrian and Latvian entry.
on 19 April 2014
Based on an initial impression after the first few plays, this seems to be a ballad heavy year with less variety than usual and not many stand-outs.
The live shows introduce the visual gimmicks that make the performances more memorable of course, but based on this soundtrack alone, the final scores look likely to be determined by the bloc vote again rather than by a runaway winner.
The Netherlands and Malta prompted a second listen, but they rarely have enough support to get beyond the semi-finals. As for the UK entry, we have heard similar before, but maybe it could fare better in this year's lacklustre company.
Overall, unless it proves to be a ` grower', this year may disappoint...
Further star added as it seems a grower after all - and the kids love it (fills a gap where TOTP used to be)As in previous years, we will take this in the car for our summer holiday soundtrack.
Lets see how current Eastern European tensions will affect the bloc vote this year... love, peace - and music!
**Final post-match analysis**
It grew a beard! - Conchita not necessarily the best song on the album, but certainly a well deserved winner on the night with a convincing live performance (if imitation is the finest form of flattery, even Israel, the home of Dana International, gave Austria douze points - Eastern bloc take note, vote for the song / performance, not the country!)
Special mention to Molly for being the first UK entry for years to absolutely nail the live vocals with a great performance that exceeded the album track and closed the show perfectly - well done - we are all Children of the Universe!
on 14 June 2014
As always, a complete variety of songs that we have come to expect from those countries taking part. Bearing in mind the millions
of viewers watching from all over Europe alone and their varying tastes, some songs were average, some above average, but most
this year were excellent. The Austrian song was, in my opinion, the best and was a very worthy winner. To me, it is a great event
and a lavish spectacle and this year Danish Television did themselves proud. The Song Contest is the biggest single live television
event in the world and may it live on forever. ORF (Austrian Broadcasting) promise to put on a spectacular show in May 2015 and
they will not disappoint. Good luck Vienna!
on 13 June 2014
I was surprised by the limited range of musical styles represented. I thought there might be greater variations in languages used. The preponderance of English was disappointing. However overall it was not too bad.
on 22 April 2014
The thirty-seven entries (two down from 2013)) appear on this double CD along with a bonus track from last year's winning singer Emmelie de Forest. The tracks are in roughly alphabetical order of country, although for the UK entry is between the songs from France and Georgia. The Ireland and Israel that complete the first CD bear a strong resemblance to one another.
There are a number of good songs and most improve on second and third hearing but none of the offerings can be rated as truly outstanding. It is a mystery why the bookmakers have got the Armenian entry by Aram MP3 as head of the betting, but the second favourites Sweden have a strong entry from Sanna Nielsen. Other good songs comes from hosts Denmark, Germany and Spain represented by 2008 X-Factor contestantant Ruth Lorenzo, the entry bears a striking similarity to a well known Elkie Brooks song, Latvia, the United Kingdom, Malta, Netherlands, Norway and controversially, Russia.
The United Kingdom entry, Children of The Universe has a strong hook and if Molly can reproduce her powerful recorded performance in the live show, a top ten finish should ensue. The afore-mentioned Russian entry is performed by a pair of very pretty blonde twins. The song is about peace and love and could have been cherry-picked by Vladimir Putin. The other controversial entry comes from Austria - their artist is a bearded drag queen. The two turkeys are from Poland, who should be eliminated at the semi-final stage and France who as one of the six automatic qualifiers, will unfortunately get a bye into the final. Eurovision veteran songwriter Ralph Siegel, composer of Nicole's winning song, Ein Bisschen Frieden, and six other top four finishers has his 22nd contest entry with San Marino's song, Maybe performed by Valentina Monetta.
If the best songs qualify for the May 10th final, it should make for an entertaining evening and at under ten pounds for thirty-eight tracks the double CD is good value for money..