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Monday, 13 January 2014 05:15

MESC 2014: Reviewing the track ‘City Lady’

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(3 votes)

In 2014, the Public Broadcasting Services, responsible for Malta’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest decided to conduct a national final with just twenty (20) entries, rather than the typical twenty-four (24) which many had become accustomed to in recent years. Promotion is always vital, and escflashmalta.com has sent each entry to a professional panel of individuals in the music industry, who have in turn passed on their comments. This year, we have asked the likes of John Scott from the United States, Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States but based in Sweden, Stano Simor from the Czech Republic and Greig Watts from the United Kingdom to do the honours. Today’s review is centred on City Lady, composed by Paul Abela and Ryan Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia with vocals provided by Ryan Paul Abela.

Ryan Paul, a relative newcomer to the stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, having previously been an observer to the countless occasions his father and mother had been involved, noting that they have even been to the international competition, on more than one occasion. Ryan is more a musician rather than a performer but with his radical change in appearance across the years, could definitely earn repute in the industry. He is more accustomed to performing in musical theatre, having been instrumental in several productions, including none other than; The Sound of Music, Les Miserables, Legally Blonde, Evita and Godspell, to name a few. When it comes to competitions, experiences have been limited, noting a double appearance in the Malta Junior Eurosong competition as well as a one-off participation in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza.


Paul Abela and Joe Julian Farrugia, an experienced duo in the field of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, with their most notable success achieved thanks to a group known as Trilogy which featured Eleanor Spiteri, Roger Tirazona and Cliff Zammit Stevens with Daniel Debono replacing the latter after different opportunities came to fruition. Their entries; This Heart of Mine, Starlight and The Song in Your Heart will be forever remembered by the public not for their third, second and sixth place finishes but for their message and warmth. As a songwriting duo, their most notable success came at the 2005 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and the 2013 International Festival of Maltese Song with the songs Ix-Xemx Mill-Ġdid sung by Eleanor Cassar and Hawn Mill-Ġdid performed by Olivia Lewis, respectively. As a composer, Paul Abela has already experienced the Eurovision Song Contest in 1991, 1996 and 2001 whilst he also conducted the orchestra in 1992 with a song his wife composed.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 49%

John Scott: The hook is quite catchy. The verses are not quite as strong and some of the lyrics could be better. However, the song very effectively captures the retro sound of the 70’s and 80’s. Retro sounding records have been very popular lately, but most of them incorporate some newer sounding elements as well. This one lacks those newer elements that would probably make it competitive in today’s market. 

Martin Isherwood: Decent enough voice. Not a clue why it's called City Lady. Lyrics use lots of bog standard clichés. Nice melodic chorus. Tavares without the fancy suits and cool dance routines. Not sure about 70's disco in jeans. Might have done well in the 1974 contest but I doubt it for this one.

Sharon Vaughn: This has about every cliché musically and lyrically, song wise, that one could squeeze into three minutes. Not a drop of soul in a soul motif.

Stano Simor: Kool and the Gang from Malta! This kind of song is not typical for the Eurovision Song Contest and frankly, I do not think that it is time for this genre to take off again. City Lady is an energetic song and has a good groove. Ryan certainly captivates the female audience. Whether this will be enough to Denmark, we will see.

Greig Watts: Has a good sing-a-long melody although I thought the sound of production was quite outdated to start with. When the chorus comes back in again its pleasant to hear and I can remember it from the first time so has good potential to be memorable but I’m left wondering if the song would have been better presented with a different style of production, maybe?

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com


Last modified on Monday, 13 January 2014 05:19