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Saturday, 25 January 2014 02:10

MESC 2014: Reviewing the track 'Safe'

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(2 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 Safe, composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss with vocals provided by Miriam Christine.

Miriam Christine, a singer/songwriter whose talent was quickly unravelled, having been selected to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest with the track In a Woman’s Heart composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant. Reaching a respectable tenth place, Miriam continued to build on that experience and went onto give concerts in Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Turkey, Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom. She then entered the studio on countless occasions working on three (3) studio albums; Smile ‘n’ Shine, L-Emigrant and Little Zee, the latter of which garnered considerable promotion and airplay on both local and foreign airwaves. In the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Miriam is making her fifth appearance, having also taken part in 1995 with The Way You Are, in 1996 with In a Woman’s Heart, in 1998 with It’s up to You and in 2009 with Mama. The participation comes on the backbone of the upcoming hosting duties on the programme Poppins set to air on Television Malta.


Mark Scicluna and Emil Calleja Bayliss, a song-writing duo who are fast establishing themselves in the local music industry, especially when it comes to competitions. Prior to their debut participation in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, they made the finals of three major song festivals; L-Għanja tal-Poplu with the track Għal Dejjem sung by Marie Claire Attard Bason; Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Riflessi performed by Karen DeBattista and most recently the International Festival of Maltese Song with Mark Tonna and his entry Poeta Bla Kliem. The latter was first runner-up to Olivia Lewis’ Hawn Mill-Ġdid missing out on the top spot by three (3) points. Seperately, both have reached success in L-Għanja tal-Poplu and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with tracks such as Pupazz (Rita Pace) and Tal-Komma Twila (Grecia Bezzina), penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss as well as Virtwali (Estelle Imbroll) and Eternità (Janice Mangion) composed by Mark Scicluna.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 66%

John Scott: She has a great voice and the song builds very nicely. The chorus is instantly memorable.

Martin Isherwood: Lovely voice. Safe is a good title but the lyrics don't do it justice. Lots of distant descriptions, but not much personal feeling - 'this emotion can never be explained' strange mixed similes and metaphors - 'A flame that burns like fire' - genius!. ‘Safe like a child - mother's arms' 'this love has no restriction' all a bit confusing. If it's a romantic song the mother simile doesn't really fit and sounds a bit weird.

Sharon Vaughn: A lovely sentiment and she makes me believe her.

Stano Simor: Safe has an extremely strong chorus, one which could easily be remembered, and something which proves to be vital in such a competition. The music is well done, seems that there was a lot of effort but what really shines for me are the lyrics, clearly one of the best. Miriam has managed to master an excellent song.

Greig Watts: A lovely Piano intro again, and the verse draws you into want to listen to the song, for me it reaches the chorus at the right time and the chorus lifts you again. I still want a little more and am searching for this second hook in the chorus (maybe I am wanting the impossible as the songs are required to be short and I think the ballads suffer with this). It’s a good song and is performed well and builds in all the right places.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com


Last modified on Saturday, 25 January 2014 02:38