I struggled to write my review of Stefania’s “Last Dance” because I kept getting distracted by the official video. Let me see if I got this straight: she’s walking in the middle of an empty street, but still stops for the red pedestrian crossing signal. Suddenly the world starts to flood around her. She runs to higher ground, but seeing no hope, she tries to leap into the rising waters. Luckily, she is saved by Pegasus, who flies her to the top of Mount Olympus. There she sees a khaki-clad Atlas, who is not holding up the world but instead clogging Earth’s drainpipe. Her gentle touch dissolves Atlas into a beam of light, causing the drainpipe to unclog. Also, her outfit changes into a disco ball.
Then the pedestrian crossing signal turns green.
Stefania is collaborating again with her “SUPERG!RL” songwriters Dimitris Kontopoulos, Sharon Vaughn, and the songwriting team ARCADE. While I appreciate that they didn’t just rework last year’s entry for this year, I don’t think they are sending a stronger song to Rotterdam.
Musically, “Last Dance” reminds me a lot of “Holding Out for a Hero.” Not to say that it is directly aping Bonnie Tyler’s classic, just that the arrangement sounds like something from that era of ’80s pop. To make matters worse, the mix is so ornate and loud that it threatens to drown Stefania out.
Still, she does find a way to stand out. I’m particularly impressed with how well she interprets the song, because the lyrics don’t really seem to have any meaning to them. The words seem constructed to fit the rhythm of the music rather than to tell any story. Yet Stefania is able to give “Last Dance” plenty of conviction.
I am being kind of nit-picky, because I actually like the song. It just didn’t grab me from the get-go, and I’m trying to figure out why. Maybe I’m unfairly comparing it to Stefania’s 2020 entry. Maybe I’m at the stage of a compressed song release schedule where anything that doesn’t hook me immediately doesn’t stand out. No matter the reason, “Last Dance” just doesn’t work for me.
By the way, if you’ve not watched the official video for “Holding Out for a Hero” lately, do yourself a favor and savor this one.