ESC 2023 Song Review: “I Wrote a Song” by Mae Muller (United Kingdom)

1) The Result

After over a decade of misery and two decades of mostly disappointment, the United Kingdom finally reached the end of the tunnel to find itself bathing in the light of Sam Ryder and his infectious enthusiasm, which resulted in a 2nd place finish at the contest (best result since 1998), including 1st place with the jury. The ongoing war in Ukraine meant that the UK was offered the chance to co-host/host on its behalf, and that’s why the contest will be held in Liverpool.

2) The Process

Understandably not wanting to deviate from the formula which brought them the success of Sam Ryder, the BBC and TaP Music went for another internal selection, picking rising star Mae Muller to continue the UK’s recovery at the contest.

3) The Artist

Mae Muller has been on the music scene just long enough to have found her feet (since 2018), with her debut album and a few EPs already under her belt. But she hasn’t quite reached the heights of being a household name, which means this arguably is her breakthrough moment.

4) The Song

Fortunately, this song bears no resemblance to the ill-considered “That’s How You Write a Song” from Norway in 2018. Instead, we get a bouncy pop track in which Muller offers a relatable story of wanting to get even with an adulterous ex either by direct confrontation and/or property damage, but ultimately settling down to write a diss track instead (well, sort of).

5) The Verdict

I don’t want to get too ahead of the game, but it looks like the UK are back to stay. Now, this song isn’t one of my absolute favourites (I’m not too keen on the rapping, but at least it doesn’t go on for too long), but it’s a fun, catchy listen and sounds like a song you’d expect to hear on British radio.

I greatly appreciate that Muller made her way up as an independent artist before signing to Capitol Records rather than the reality TV direction which a lot of young singers seem to take these days. No shade on them, but it’s nice to have some variety.

In the end I don’t see myself voting for this, but given that it has drawn the closing spot in the grand final, it will be a memorable ending to the show and I would be surprised if it didn’t at least make it to the left-hand side of the results table.

My ranking: 16th