Turkey’s Eurovision 2012 Entry

Today Turkey revealed its song choice, once again made by internal selection. Here’s Can Bonomo with “Love Me Back.”

Over the past decade Turkish entries have usually been either rock or pop; “Love Me Back” falls squarely into the ethno-pop Eurovision tradition.  The selection is perky and upbeat, though it strikes me as much less commercial than maNga or Hadise.  The orchestration is punctuated by bouzouki and I also hear some klezmer influences in there, which makes sense given Bonomo’s Sephardic Jewish roots.

The first time I heard “Love Me Back” was audio only.  It’s not something I usually like to do because it doesn’t replicate the experience that the majority of Eurovision viewers will get.   The audio track, if I’m honest, struck me as rather ho-hum.  A pleasant though somewhat stagnant way to spend 3 minutes of my life. I was mildly entertained, but after 2 minutes I  felt like I had heard enough.

The song is strengthened with its performer on camera. Clearly an example of promising young talent (he won Breakthrough Artist in Turkey’s 2011 Altın Kelebek–Golden Butterfly–awards), Can Bonomo is a likable artist with a quirky performance style. He looks like he’s having a lot of fun onstage. These qualities have often translated to Eurovision success, if not always Eurovision wins. I am disappointed that he lip-synched the song reveal and will point out that his English pronunciations are not where they should be when you consider the track was pre-recorded.  We’ll keep our eyes peeled for live vocal performances.

As an aside, what is going on with all the nautical themes this year?

Turkey’s Eurovision 2011 Entry

Look, we are unabashed Turkey fans. “Shake It Up Sekerim” and “We Could Be the Same” were both contenders for our Legitimately Good Eurovision Songs list. So even when they have songs that aren’t quite as good as we want them to be, like “Süper Star” and “Düm Tek Tek,” we’re still pretty happy with their effort.

So I want to like Yüksek Sadakat’s “Live It Up,” I really do. But it pains me to say that it does absolutely nothing for me at all:

It’s just so generic, from the opening riff to the lyrics to the chorus. I like the “Give yourself a break, c’mon and live it up” bridge out of the chorus and those little Turkish music flourishes. We’re cruel because we set the bar very high, but this is really just a second-rate Bon Jovi song.

Turkey

SHAKE IT! SHAKE IT!

Oh, awesome, I’m here in time to catch Turkey’s performance!
Why is he dressed like a ringmaster? Oh, I’ve got a good feeling about this one, totally dancable. A good time. Besides, he ended with fire.

Turkey

“Helsinki, are you readyyyyyy!”

Why yes, Kenan does have belly-dancers backing him up. Well, they’re dressed like belly-dancers, anyway, and their faces are covered with those Swarovski stick-on crystals I just mentioned. He’s wearing this silly red jacket that makes him look like a circus ringleader. The electronic backdrop displays “SHAKE IT!” during the chorus.

I hate to say this, but I’m kinda disappointed. I really like this song, but Kenan’s performance and the staging is all so mediocre. A real lost opportunity. Sadness.

23. Turkey – Sibel Tüzün: “Süperstar”

I liked this number when I first heard it during the semis. I have a thing for disco beats, I guess. And for blonde Turkish women with lots of tattoos, maybe. This would be better if she doesn’t hit random high notes during the chorus.

Sibel and the back-up dancers form a star on the stage at one point, which is cute. As cute as the star lights and the star belt buckles on the dancers.

This is my third favorite straight-up Eurovision song after Bosnia & Herzegovina and Germany, although it’s fifth if you include Lithunia and Finland, which the voters probably won’t.