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Wednesday, 15 January 2014 05:30

MESC 2014: Reviewing the track ‘Hypnotica’

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(4 votes)

In 2014, the Public Broadcasting Services, responsible for Malta’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest decided to conduct a national final with just twenty (20) entries, rather than the typical twenty-four (24) which many had become accustomed to in recent years. Promotion is always vital, and escflashmalta.com has sent each entry to a professional panel of individuals in the music industry, who have in turn passed on their comments. This year, we have asked the likes of John Scott from the United States, Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States but based in Sweden, Stano Simor from the Czech Republic and Greig Watts from the United Kingdom to do the honours. Today’s review is centred on Hypnotica, composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg with vocals provided by the group Jessika.

Jessika, one of the most popular artists in the local music scene for the time being, mostly due to her main role in the hit television series, Il-Klikka which airs Thursday nights on ONE. Following her debut at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest back in 2008 with the track Tangled composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg, she has never looked back and made it through to the live stages on a further three occasions; in 2011 with Down Down Down which she co-wrote with Philip Vella; in 2012 with Dance Romance also co-written with Philip Vella and finally with Ultraviolet composed by Philip Vella and Thomas G:son to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg in 2013. Amongst the vocal coaches that Jessika has had the pleasure to work with, there have been none other than Seth Riggs and Joshua Alamu, the latter having just released a duet with Valentina Monetta.


Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg, the most successful songwriters in Malta, having been given the opportunity to represent the country in the Eurovision Song Contest on no less than five (5) occasions, all of which came in the past decade; kicking things off with Desire in 2000, and moving onto 7th Wonder in 2002, On Again .. Off Again in 2004, Vertigo in 2007 and Vodka in 2008, respectively. It has been six (6) years since their last victory and whilst they have been close, most notably with Claudia Faniello and her entry Pure back in 2012, they are yet to head over to the international competition for a sixth (6th) time. Apart from being a successful combination on a local level, it is well worth pointing out that they have also achieved national final success in Norway and The Netherlands where their entries managing third and fourth place, respectively.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 65%

John Scott: Reminds me a lot of the 2012 winner ‘Euphoria’, but I feel it’s not as strong. The vocals are not strong at all. Overall, it is not a great or memorable performance.

Martin Isherwood: Nice raincoat style dress. I'm in Hypnotica'? Where is that? Is this in English? Some strange lyrics - seven shades of you? Something’s roaming over my …? Shades of the David Guetta – Titanium. Given the 2012 winner 'Euphoria', it's probably not going to be a winner, but it is a decent track.

Sharon Vaughn: Again, an over-used approach but this somehow moves into pure Eurovision territory. A little too close to Euphoria on the title line, but very commercial.

Stano Simor: Jessika looks very good on stage. She also has a nice strong voice. I believe that Hypnotica should be at least one tone lower, in order to fit better with the colour of her voice. Definitely a very good dance song and with the right performance, it will look great on screen.

Greig Watts: Opening riff is reminiscent of Cry for you by September but just in feeling not in notes. I like the song, I worry that this will be performed well live though as not all dance songs come across well live, also from an English lyric perspective, what is Hypnotica?

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com


Last modified on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 05:34