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Friday, 24 January 2014 17:30

MESC 2014: Reviewing the track 'Pin the Middle'

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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 Pin the Middle, composed by Peter Paul Galea to the lyrics of Debbie Stivala with vocals provided by De Bee.

De Bee, one (1) of the five (5) artists who are making their debut in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and one which is also very much a newcomer to the local music scene in general. As a matter of fact, her experience in the entertainment industry has always amounted to spectacular one off events, some of which are held every other year including Voices and others which take place once in a blue moon such as Xirka Rock and What the Funk?. De Bee, whose real name is Debbie Stivala aims to visit as much countries in the world as possible, whilst also hoping to help those in need, hence her participation in a number of charitable causes. In 2013, she released her debut single Just Like You co-written with Wayne Camilleri prior to leaving for Australia where her entry for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was actually written.


Peter Paul Galea and Debbie Stivala, songwriters of this entry in particular are putting their creativity alongside each other for the very first time. It is worth noting that Peter Paul is known to the local music scene as a musician and songwriter of the group, Tribali. The world music group have amassed great popularity both on a local and an international level, having had the opportunity to tour Australia on more than one (1) occasion. Debbie Stivala is also the vocalist, albeit making use of a stage name, something that is being done on a frequent basis by artists in Malta who also happen to be songwriters. This is her second songwriting credit, but nevertheless, performing your very own lyrics is just astonishing especially due to the fact that no one else can give them the same depth.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 71%

John Scott: Very original and unique. I think it’s pretty catchy. Not sure how it would translate in a live performance. Definitely a unique choice.

Martin Isherwood: Nice smoky voice. A bit cabaret - as in 30s Berlin. Pin the middle - sounds like a knitting pattern instruction. Not a clue what the song is about. Nice major minor inflections. Sort of druggy influence off it feel. Almost more-ish. Very strange introduction with eastern flavours then slips into a Herman's Hermits, Calamity Jane. Country, 1960's pop thing. With fiddle! Altogether a bit cracker.

Sharon Vaughn: Intriguing! She reminds me a bit of Edith Piaf and is exotic and sultry while singing about butterflies... not an easy thing to do. Special.

Stano Simor: Very unusual structure of a song for this kind of competition where the main instrument is the banjo. Yes, even country feeling may be just what the jury and the audience support! Lyrics sit well for this style of music though. Still, I believe that De Bee should have opted for a typical ballad rather than this country sound.

Greig Watts: Interesting introduction again, leaves you wondering whats coming and does feel different to what I have heard so far. Has a little bit of a 60’s pyschedelic feel to it. Again a nice singalong and memorable melody, not the obvious Eurovision one but sometimes the different ones work better and stand out.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com



Last modified on Friday, 24 January 2014 20:34