1963 Contest Song Reviews: Austria, Norway, Italy and Finland

Oops — I meant to review Austria as well yesterday, but went on auto-pilot with the usual three-per-day routine. So let’s start with Carmela Corren and “Vielleicht geschieht ein Wunder” (Perhaps a Miracle will Happen), a tale of unrequited love which ends up being fairly decent entry given the shockers Austria has served up lately. The musical arrangement is pleasingly varied, with strings and piano taking turns in the spotlight. Corren’s steady presence allows for an even balance between vocals and instruments, resulting in a solid entry.

I know we’re only eight years into the Eurovision journey, but Norway’s entry is one that already feels outdated. The soprano vocals of Anita Thallaug with her ballad “Solhverv” (Solstice) sound like they belong to the 1950s era of Corry Brokken and others who sang these kinds of slow songs. I think for this kind of song to be successful at this point it needs an extra boost somewhere to make it stand out, and it’s just not there. The lyrics, describing a relationship in the context of the solstices is a nice bit of imagery, but as there’s no chorus or even refrain, there’s little that stays with you.

When it comes to the live performance, I’m expecting Italy’s Emilio Pericoli to be leaning a fair bit on his personal charisma, otherwise it would be a bit of a waste for a song like “Uno per tutte” (One for All). It’s a swinging jazz-tinged track, with lyrics playing up a character who is constantly two-timing his girlfriends, so you can imagine Pericoli placing a few winks here and there if he really wants to get into character. It’s certainly a change from the ballads we’ve mostly had up until now, but there’s something about the song that feels a bit too easy, perhaps even cheap.

Finland’s entry starts with a series of la la las, which rarely works out in my experience. When Laila Halme eventually starts singing “Muistojeni laulu” (Song of my Memories) in earnest, it becomes clear that we’re headed for another ballad. It turns out that the la la las represent the song of the character’s memories — and hence they return to close out the track — but they’re not particularly interesting musically and there’s not a lot elsewhere in the song.