It's fair to say that not many countries take the risk of sending something different to Eurovision, however Estonia graced the Oslo stage with something new altogether.
In the most part, these Video Video articles proudly showcase the weird and wacky that have graced the Eurovision stage over the past half decade, but now and again something comes along which falls into distinctive memory, not because of its strange or over-the-top fashion, but because it has engrained itself as being the next generation of Eurovision. Malcolm Lincoln, a quirky electro-pop band from Estonia, certainly did that. After winning Eesti Laul, they were on form for a successful Eurovision career, but they unfortunately didn't progress (despite a number of 12 points), only reaching 14th place in the first semi final. Nevertheless, this odd little number is one of those songs that is almost definitely before its time.
Let's see what 12points.tv had to say about this cracking little gem:
"Siren" is a rather difficult song to categorize. Part rhythmic techno, part mournful electro-pop, it doesn't follow a lot of the conventions modern acts tend to follow, but that is what gives the song its charm. It goes one way, then another, and like a swerving car of monumental Estonian synth-pop. I will allow you it is an off-the-ball description, but there is no other way to describe this song. It is just so progressive in its own right, and I am yet to see an act that has paved its own path like Malcolm Lincoln did. With albeit strange lyrics that don't exactly make the most sense at times, you just fall in love with this bewitching anthem. It's smooth and calm, but it holds a fantastic beat once the chorus kicks in. It represents the musical diversity that Eurovision should return to, and although the song could do with a little more upbeat areas (it tends to be repetitive at times), this song definitely shows that if you have a good song, winning isnt everything.
Considering this song has such a unique flavour, I must say the performance was underwhelming. Apart from a piano player who was certainly going for it in the corner, or suffering from arm spasms (either way it was good to keep him in the back), there didn't seem to be much going on. Yes it was supposed to be a slow but bewitching number but there were certain points where you would fall asleep. One of the backing singers literally did at the end! Perhaps going against the machine was a little too much for the poor guy. For a group with such a unique vibe, you would think there would be a wow factor, but alas there just wasn't. Don't get me wrong, their vocal performance was top notch, the harmonies were breathtaking, and Malcolm Lincoln's lead singer certainly new how to work with the camera, but with the audience, it seemed rather disjointed.
Choreography (Including Hair-ography and Arm-ography): 8/12
I'm not the only one that wants to march and spin around when this song comes along right? It's like a drunken friday night. There is an allowable lack of choreography, but it's not like they should be jumping backflips or starting a kickline. Manpower 4 certainly read up on casual backing vocal clicks and sways, it was charming to say the least (but someone should have sent the message to the backing vocalist at the end, those clicks didn't allow for fainting). At least all that spinning wasn't making the lead dizzy, two people falling over is just unprecedented.
Key Change Effectiveness: 6/12
It seems like an eternity ago when there was a good key change to round a song off. This song wasn't supposed to follow the crowd, they were trailblazers in their own right and adding one in wouldn't seem right. Then again, I could never resist a good key change and if they are as experimental as they came across they could have tampered with something, might have gotten them to the final. Its all just a siren in the wind.
That was a terrible pun, then again it's what you should be used to here.
Camp Factor: 8/12
I am pretty certain a good chunk of that score came from their blazers. Hugh Hefner must have put in a claim to get those rags back, hideous! But apart from catty fashion quips, this song stands its ground (like it has in most of the categories) as a number that read a book on convention, spat on all the pages but rather enjoyed the pictures on the way. It didn't need any smoke and mirrors to make this song work, but this song had a certain cockiness to it, a contributing factor to its inability to qualify? Who knows.
Total: 41/60: For a band who took its name from an incorrect answer on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, they certainly didn't play dumb, and although they didn't win the prize, they came out of Eurovision with something different altogether, and that was the fact they were something different. Many acts have tried and failed to become the next generation of Eurovision music, but Malcolm Lincoln succeeded, albeit before their time. Perhaps in years to come, this kind of mournful synth will pop up again in the near future, but in this harsh environment where accusations of scandal and plagarism are rife, its nice to see an act who are in it for the love of musical diversity. This Siren song will hopefully beckon a whole new crowd, and I for one am looking forward to what the future holds after seeing acts like this.
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