Welcome to the Eurovision Lemur Seal of Approval, a guide to the cream of the Eurovision crop, the top songs out of the top songs, the best music on tap at Eurovision.
According to me.
You see, taste is a subjective thing and while a lot of songs listed here may also be fan favorites, no Eurovision song can cater to every single Eurovision fan. Except for “Waterloo,” which is perfect in every way.
So when I give a song the Eurovision Lemurs Seal of Approval, i’m providing you with some insight into why I respond to songs the way I do. My favorites may not be your favorites, but I hope I can explain what it is about each of these songs that moves me.
“Soldi” by Mahmood
Mahmood tells his story in “Soldi” by building the verse and the bridge up, but instead of releasing all that tension, he just drops the beat for the chorus. This isn’t a song about resolving emotions, and you can tell that even if you don’t speak Italian. “Soldi” earned Italy a richly deserved second place at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
“Shady Lady” by Ani Lorak
Over a decade after it came second at the Eurovision Song Contest, “Shady Lady” still has the power to thrill. Its lush, strings-heavy orchestration propels it forward, and Ani Lorak fully embodies the song’s story. I’ve been saying for years that “Shady Lady” is the best song to never have won Eurovision.
“If Love Was a Crime” by Poli Genova
Bulgaria returned to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 after a couple of years off with a new game plan: send great songs. “If Love Was a Crime” is a song that is immediately awesome. Its finger snap-laden beat and rich, pulsating bass line builds to an anthemic chorus that has everyone singing along in Bulgarian.
“Occidentali’s Karma” by Francesco Gabbani
I latched onto “Occidentali’s Karma” right after its first performance at Sanremo 2017. Sure, the dancer in the gorilla suit caught my attention, but the song’s tuneful effervescence and playful satire hooked me. “Occidentali’s Karma” pokes fun at both the need for humans to feel like we have a higher purpose and our tendency to appropriate other cultures to feel like we have achieved that purpose. Despite the seemingly cynical subject matter, “Occidentali’s Karma” radiates joy. It’s a delightful song.
“Visionary Dream” by Sopho Khalvashi
Georgia made an audacious debut to the Eurovision Song Contest with an entry that seemingly served as a mission statement for their participation. “Visionary Dream” starts off with neo-traditional instrumentation, then adds lush classical orchestrations when Sopho Khalvashi starts to sing. Then the chorus hits and the song veers into electronic pop. It’s Georgia’s Eurovision history in one neat little package.