Initial Review: “Miss You” by Jérémie Makiese (Belgium)

Belgium has two broadcasters who organise the Eurovision entry: the Flemish broadcaster VRT and the French-language broadcaster RTBF. They alternate years, and for 2022 it was RTBF’s turn. They announced mid-September that Jérémie Makiese, 2021 winner of The Voice Belgique would be this year’s representative. Almost six months later, we finally have the song: “Miss You”.

I know Makiese hasn’t spent all of last half-year songwriting for the contest, but I admit, I was hoping for something better than this given the lengthy run-up. My old nemesis the snare drum roll (or whatever it is) on the drum machine features prominently in this song, which already drags it down several places on my list. Makiese’s soulful, expressive voice and his backing singers are about the only good thing in this track as far as I’m concerned. The music is nothing interesting, which would be okay for such a vocally-focused song if it wasn’t for the aforementioned drum machine effects of which apparently I’m becoming less and less tolerant. I wish I could like this song more, because Makiese seems to be a compelling performer, but there’s something that I find too abrasive about this.

There’s usually at least one surprise qualification from each semi-final (or rather, one shock non-qualification), and if the juries can find room to give Belgium votes after they reward more obvious jury-friendly songs like Poland, Australia and Sweden, I guess it’s possible Makiese could sneak through like Hooverphonic did last year. However, I think given the competition it’s more likely he’ll continue the trend of Belgium’s meagre results since their trilogy of top ten placings in the 2015-2017 contests.