Eesti Laul 2022: Quarterfinal #2 Reviews and Rankings

I suppose you could call this “Estonian Week” at Eesti Laul, as all of the 10 entries were sung entirely in Estonian. Same format as last week: three of the qualifiers from the public vote, two from the jury. I should say at this point that I looked up the translations of the lyrics to get a general feel for what the song was communicating, but didn’t read them in detail. Lastly, I know next to nothing about the Estonian music scene, so if there are big names I’m ignoring or downplaying, my apologies!

Wiiralt “Kuradile”
Showy glam-rock, something we’ll probably be seeing a fair bit of in the wake of Måneskin’s win. Didn’t feel like it offered anything particularly original.

Desiree “Siiani”
Standard piano-oriented power-ballad. Competent but not particularly compelling.

Silver Jusilo “Elu rüpes”
Normally I’m not a fan of the “sensitive man with acoustic guitar” sub-genre, but I thought the swirl of background synths worked really well to complement his gentle voice. Despite the slow pace of the song, I was surprised how quickly the three minutes went by.

Kaia-Liisa Kesler “Vaikus”
Another power ballad, but this one felt dynamic and the refrain was more memorable. The video clip was simple but I think did the most to sell the song of the selection so far.

Helen “Vaata minu poole”
Inoffensive disco-tinged mid-tempo dance pop. That might sound like an insult, but at these early stages of national finals, it’s often enough to get you through to the next round.

Jyrise “Plaksuta”
This is probably just me, but I’ve found that rap can be a struggle if you don’t know the language and cultural context. I appreciate the positivity in the lyrics, but I’d had enough of this one after a couple of listens.

An-Marlen “Lõpuks muutub”
I knew I’d like this from the first few seconds — pacy, quirky electro-pop with trap beats. The song feels like it comes at you from strange angles, and An-Marlen mixes up her singing between higher and lower registers very well.

Andrei Zevakin feat. Grete Paia “Mis nüüd saab”

Latin-influenced duet with some old-timey sounds: the singers work well together and the song remains engaging throughout.

Meisterjaan “Vahel lihtsalt”
Not sure what to make of this seemingly lackadaisical, improvised song with what I think are Chinese note scales. The video clip made even less sense, but perhaps this was the point given that the lyrics point towards references to random things like Transformers and deconstruction. I guess ultimately this falls somewhere between dream pop and bedroom pop.

Triin Niitoja ja Frants Tikerpuu “Laululind”
Arguably the most professional-sounding and polished song of the night, with soaring vocals, thundering pianos and the creation of a distinctive, pleasingly tense atmosphere.

My ranking (actual qualifiers in bold):

1) Silver Jusilo “Elu rüpes”
2) Triin Niitoja ja Frants Tikerpuu “Laululind”
3) An-Marlen “Lõpuks muutub”
4) Andrei Zevakin feat. Grete Paia “Mis nüüd saab”
5) Helen “Vaata minu poole”
6) Kaia-Liisa Kesler “Vaikus”
7) Wiiralt “Kuradile”
8) Meisterjaan “Vahel lihtsalt”
9) Desiree “Siiani”
10) Jyrise “Plaksuta”