The Eurovision 2018 Review: Day 05

Anyone with a fine grasp of the abstract should pull themselves up by the metaphoricals and soak up the sun. And with this year’s Azeri entry, we have exactly that in Aisel. Never before has a human being managed to wrap their fingers-tips around a firewall, that boring thing on the internet which doesn’t let us look at interesting gossip. But our Aisel? Not only can she touch ’em, she can tear ’em down.

This is a fantastic achievement and one we must be quick to praise her for at the very beginning of this blogpost. Because – to be frank – there’s little else to praise in this generic slab of pop, bleurgh, meh… words to describe a song… stuff…. sentence dwindles away aimlessly through lack of suitable adjectives…

Now, I’m aware this is an unpopular view. By the time the fan polls are at their zenith in late April, this is a shoe-in for the Top 10. Slam it on the decks at the Euroclub (presuming this is actually released on white label vinyl for a DJ to do some slamming about with) and there’ll be nothing to worry the wallflower police if they initiate a sudden raid. It’s got plenty of chutzpah and zazz. The only thing is, X My Heart has been created using the same chutzpah and jazz-shaped cookie cutters that’s been available to all the workers on the belt at the songwriting works for the past five years.

Other than a cunning contraction of the verb ‘cross’ that doesn’t use any of the letters in its source word but still makes sense (just think for a moment how head-wreckingly clever that is), nothing in X My Heart is original. It’s like a greatest hits of the bits people quite like in pop songs today thrown together into one song – but instead of dipping them in glitter first, they’ve just had a bit of magnolia gloss sloshed over them. Well, it also rhymes ‘firewalls’ with ‘cannonballs’, so that’s one bit of leftfield thinking in its favour.

It’s sad in a way. Aisel’s superpower in the manual handling of the abstract could have been better employed in rubbing balls of nonconformity together and firing them (from a cannon, natch) over every inch of her song (remember, it has already been proved in the opening paragraph she can do this. That was the whole point of being smart-arsey about firewalls).

I’m not soft. I know this will qualify. I know it will go within touching distance of the top five. That doesn’t mean it’s doing anything new. But this is Eurovision. What is?

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