Thursday, 11 March 2021

United Kingdom 2021 - James Newman - Embers

What is it about the Czechs and their radio constantly bogarting the UK's song releases, eh? We've got this lovely reveal set up on Ken Bruce, and there they them Bohemians go again and sneak it out early. So seeing as they've done it, we figured we might as well. If you don't want to hear it until the official release, we suggest hanging on until after eleven, if you can.

So what is it like then. Well the first thing you'll be pleased to hear is that it's not entirely shit. That's always the first yardstick to be used when trying to assess a UK entry. It's bring, it's breezy, and it's got a little bit of singalongability about it. It's still a smudge more Radio 2 than Radio 1, but you can still imagine hearing it pumping out of your crystal set on a sunny afternoon. It's got that big choral backing that everyone seems to be having a pop at this year, and some hooky little parpy trumpets too. So all is at least looking promising.

However, it's still got something about it that doesn't automatically drag us onto the imaginary dancefloor with our hands in the virtual air. That intangible, almost indefinable UK-at-Eurovision sheen. It also sounds as if lovely James Newman is gasping for air at points in the song - and if he's like that in the studio we have our fears over what he might be like on the big stage. Hopefully it's a deliberate production choice rather than an actual shortcoming with his voice.

But when all is said and done, it's still pretty decent. The competition might not be coming home, as a few commentators are suggesting (what, Lugano?), but I reckon with the wind in the right direction we can drag ourselves into that big chunk of about a dozen songs in the middle for who a few extra points can mean all the difference in table position when it comes to the final reckoning. And of course, the big fella's clear natural charm is going to win more than a few over on its own.

End of first term report? A definite and positive move in the right direction, and hopeful and indication fo good things to come. But just don't get too over excited about the scoreboard, folks. 

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