Just under a year ago, I wrapped up our look at the Eurovision 2020 entries with a gushing review of Gjon’s Tears’ song “Répondez-moi.” Now I find myself a bit underwhelmed while listening to his 2021 effort “Tout l’Univers.”
It’s not that I don’t think “Tout l’Univers” is beautiful. It’s touchingly melancholic and hauntingly orchestrated. Gjon’s Tears sings it beautifully, and he’s given himself lots of room to show off his range. If I were a betting Lemur, I’d put money down that he will make this soar to the rafters come competition time.
But for some reason, it doesn’t really grab me the way “Répondez-moi” did. There is a tension, an underlying aching to “Répondez-moi” has that “Tout l’Univers” doesn’t quite capture. The latter song has more of an impact me when watching the gut-wrenching video than it does just listening to it on its own. If Gjon’s Tears executes “Tout l’Univers” flawlessly, he will deserve to take home the trophy. I don’t doubt for a moment that he will deliver a stunning performance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he won Eurovision in this most competitive of years
What it comes down to is this: I think that some Song Contest winners are about the strength of the song itself and some are about the package in total. “Arcade” is an example of the former, while “1944” is an example of the latter. They are both perfectly legit and worthy winners. I just listen to “Arcade” a lot more than “1944.”