Initial Review: “Stripper” by Achille Lauro (San Marino)

Before I review the song, a few sentences on the process. I decided in the end not to review any of the various semi-finals in the Sammarinese contest Una Voce Per San Marino. There was something icky about having a very long run-up to the final with contestants jetting in from all over the world, and then bringing in an Italian star fresh from Sanremo to take the crown. Was there really anyone who would going to beat an artist who just finished 14th (middle of the pack) in one of the biggest national selections? I guess the tourist industry got a boost from all those extra visitors, and no doubt the Sammarinese had fun, so I don’t begrudge them the spotlight. And as I say, countries can choose their entry however they like — but this felt a bit too close to the Moldovan mess for me to want to take a closer look.

Anyway, to the song. It’s pretty good, even if it doesn’t hugely excite me. Anthemic rock mostly in Italian, but with references in English to other songs and musicians like “I love Britney”, “Personal Jesus” and “like a virgin”. The chorus, a repetition of “all I need is love” (to a different tune, of course) will have everyone singing along in the venue and probably at home as well. San Marino should make their way to the final for the third year running. Lauro is a natural performer, and I don’t even think he was anywhere near his full capacity performance-wise, so if the staging is right this is set to become San Marino’s most successful entry ever. It is a more straightforward rock song than Måneskin’s winning song, so it will probably appeal to a broad audience, and I’d be very surprised if this didn’t get the full 12 points from Italy in the televote at least.