Ireland’s Eurovision 2016 Entry

Hey kids, the ’90s are back! Here is Nicky Byrne and “Sunlight.”

In selecting Nicky Byrne, Ireland has abandoned its recent tradition of picking its Eurovision entry on The Late Late Show. This probably spares us the sight of Linda Martin punching out Louis Walsh during an argument over whether some treacly ballad is Eurovision-worthy. Unfortunate for us, but probably better for Ireland.

Anyway, you may remember Nicky Byrne from Westlife. (Unless you’re in the United States, in which case you don’t remember Westlife.) He has since made a name for himself not only as a musician, but as a presenter and a host; he has presented Ireland’s Eurovision results for the last three years.

The last time Nicky celebrated Ireland’s glory through song was in 2002, when he performed their World Cup Anthem “Here Come the Good Times.” It featured Dustin the Turkey. It’s worse than it sounds.

But enough biographical information. What do we think of “Sunlight?” Well.

Can we talk about that damn treble rhythm line? The dn dn dn dn that goes the entire goddamn length of the song. What genius came up with that and said, “Ah yes, just the sound I’m looking for! It’s got that modern edge to it that the kids are going to love!” (Answer: Wayne Hector) Where is a Swedish producer when you need one?

The major-chorded tune –dare we say sunny?– is like something from Disney Channel. (Which explains why our 7-year-old loves it and would marry it if he could. Verbatim quote.) It’s catchy and engaging enough for a minute, but doesn’t offer enough variation to make three minutes fly by fast. And it’s way too immature for a guy pushing 40.

And the lyrics. Ugh. Are they a call for mindfulness or carpe diem? Can’t tell, don’t care. Either way I don’t want some aging boy band alumnus selling me self-help cookie cutter wisdom. Where does he get this stuff, off t-shirts? “Everything’s better standing out in the sun.” Honey, not without 30 SPF and a water bottle.

As for Nicky himself, he’s toned, the teeth are whitened, and he’s sporting that week-long stubble that he hears is all the rage these days. He has a flattop haircut that you tend to see on footballers (once a footballer, always a footballer). His brows are manscaped and he probably shaves his chest. His style is a carefully crafted package, and I suppose appeals to those of a certain age and tendency toward conventional attractiveness. Like David Beckham. It’s all so, ugh, obvious. And dull.

The producers of the video are Studz Entertainment. Guys, it’s still cool to substitute a “z” for an “s”!

Those of us who are familiar with such cultural events as Christopher Walken’s Peter Pan Live! and every Oscar telecast ever are well-acquainted with the idea of hate-watching. So, to sum things up, it’s not bad at all.