Malta ESC 2022 Reviews: Jessica Grech and Sarah Bonnici

Jessica Grech — “Aphrodisiac”
What starts off with solemn strings quickly turns into a bouncy Mediterranean synth pop track which combines fairly minimal instrumentation to make way for Grech’s vocals. The lyrics — about desire — include some borderline funny rhymes and lines including one about chocolate melting on skin, but in the end they probably don’t distract too much. A lot of the basic dance track formula is here: the breakdown, the catchy, simple chorus and a reasonably big note (no key change though), but there’s something about this that feels unfinished, like the mix could have been bigger and more varied while still keeping Grech in the foreground.

Sarah Bonnici — “Heaven”
Bonnici’s slightly husky voice is the only positive thing here, given that the instruments are barely more than a backdrop, even though they manage to somehow manufacture a key change towards the end. The melody sounds somewhat familiar, like it was derived from a well-known song I can’t quite work out at the moment. Lyrically, the sexual innuendo is more veiled than a certain song from Latvia I reviewed recently, but in the context of the them having been written by a man — another contestant, in fact — rather than Bonnici, this heads into awkward territory pretty quickly and doesn’t really redeem itself.