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Tuesday, 09 December 2014 17:18

Malta: Corazon Embraces Identity with Concert

Corazon, a female singer/songwriter who has been part of the line-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, in 2012 with “Mystifying Eyes”, in 2013 with “My Stranger Love”, in 2014 with “Ten” and in 2015 with “Secretly” has recently announced that she will be putting on a concert in support of her debut album, Hawn Jien.

Set for the 10th January at the Każin Malta, with the inclusion of several guests including; Walter Micallef, Dominic Galea, Trevor Żahra and Mario Micallef, the female singer/songwriter will be rekindling positive memories which saw her triumph on no less than three occasions in L-Għanja tal-Poplu, by performing tracks including “Hawn Jien” (2007), “Tal-Aħħar” (2009) and “Mill-Għajnejn ta’ Tifla”.

In order to obtain tickets for the concert, against a fee of €15, visit the Ticketline website, or pay a quick visit to the Embassy Cinema Box Office on Level 3 or the City Concierge of the Plaza on Level 1. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music industry.

Source: Corazon (Official Facebook Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46viaW3LAYo

Published in Local Music News
Thursday, 28 November 2013 09:25

Malta: Corazon Selected as JESC '13 Commentator

Corazon, a two time finalist at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 and 2013, with the songs Mystifying Eyes and My Stranger Love, composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan has been selected by the Public Broadcasting Services as the commentator for this years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest which is taking place in Kiev, Ukraine. Apart from being a singer/songwriter, Corazon is also a television host of the programme TVPM which airs on Television Malta, every afternoon, daily.

Malta is returning to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest following an absence of two years, with Gaia Cauchi and The Start, a song co-written alongside Elton Zarb, Matt Mercieca and Gillian Attard. The delegation features all the songwriters, Anna Dalli as Head of Delegation, Daniel D’Anastasi as Head of Press and Maxine Pace who was internally selected by the Public Broadcasting Services as the spokesperson. In an innovative setup, the spokespersons will read out the points on stage. The event is set to be broadcast on TVM 2, kicking off with 19:00 CET. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com and tune in for our guest commentary featuring Sophie DeBattista, Trevor Fenech, and Daniel Testa.

Source: Corazon’s Official Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdKP2gg4bXU

In recent years, during the course of the summer months, the focus of the editorial board at escflashmalta.com switches completely to the local music scene and this year won't be any different. A decision was taken up a couple of days back to host weekly interviews with a number of artists who make up the local music scene and kicking off the feature will be none other than Corazon. It is worth noting that the female performer is a three time winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a two time finalist in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and host of the daily television programme TVPM alongside Peter Carbonaro.

 

In recent years, your profile has risen following two successive appearances at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the ballads Mystifying Eyes and My Stranger Love, both composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. Apart from being talented, there is always an amount of luck attached to getting through to the final phases of such a competition. Will you be putting your name forward in the eventuality of such a selection process in 2014 or will you be taking a break and focusing on other specific projects?

I agree that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is a very important platform for artists in Malta, because of the popularity it enjoys and also because of the professional way it is put up. At the moment I am evaluating the best way to present myself next year.  

A host of artists from the local music scene including yourself have successfully represented Malta in international competitions finishing within the top three and this is definitely positive for an industry which lacks the necessary means to compete with the ones abroad. One of your last triumphs abroad was surely in Tenerife, Spain where you had performed the song Come Fly With Me composed by Renato Briffa and penned by Alfred E Baldacchino. How does such an experience shape your professional attitude and what is your take on the talent that makes up the local music scene?

Performing abroad has allowed me to break out of my microcosm and realise how much talent and commitment there is out there. I really admire artists who are committed to becoming better, and more complete singers/musicians/songwriters from the inside. This requires a lot of self-motivation, stamina and hard-headedness as it’s very easy to get discouraged and demotivated.  The music market in Malta unfortunately encourages a laissez-faire attitude and many artists are caught in the trap of ‘playing what people want’ which closes them in a suffocating and delusional cycle. I’d like to think that I can manage to make people ‘like what I play’ which is an inverse measure. I really admire Maltese artists who have managed to break the cycle and succeed in it. I realise that this can be a slower path towards feeling appreciated artistically, but it is definitely more challenging and rewarding. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdKP2gg4bXU

Looking for You, your first single away from the world of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was aimed at reaching the masses who listen to the radio and indeed, it was air played by 89.7 Bay which is considered to be a hallmark in the career of any local artist. What is even more intriguing is that you were the one who wrote the song with the production and the mixing done by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. Tell us, what inspired you to write this song in particular and would you consider working on something similar for the festival bridging the gap between the festival and radio?

Speaking of breaking boundaries. I think that Boris and Dean have managed to do this with Gianluca’s song this year and we all know that the formula worked! ‘Looking for You’ definitely worked as a radio single and with hindsight I think it would have also worked for Eurovision. It’s catchy and meaningful at the same time and Boris and Dean helped me find the correct balance between those two elements. I’ll take your question as a suggestion and think about it, it’s definitely an option to consider!

Maltese, a beautiful language which I personally have had the pleasure of studying, under the tutelage of some of the more formidable lecturers in the country. Your affinity with the language has been noted on more than one occasion, with years of participations in L-Ghanja tal-Poplu including earlier this year with the track it-Tweġiba which translates into ‘The Answer’. You have won the event, not once or twice but thrice, the last victory coming in 2011 with the track Mill-Ghajnejn ta’ Tifla which translates into From the Eyes of a Daughter. What is your opinion about the Maltese language and why do you return to L-Ghanja tal-Poplu time and time again?

The ease with which I express myself in Maltese explains why it is my preferred language to write songs in. Of course it is also the language with which I expressed my most important feelings throughout my life. As a baby I’d call out to my parents in Maltese, and I’ve said my first ‘Inħobbok’ in Maltese. Incidentally my mother used to be a Maltese teacher so she exposed me to so much Maltese literature at home and painstakingly corrected every minute spelling mistake in my writing and that’s where I get an annoying, meticulous streak in speaking and writing Maltese properly. The ‘Ghanja tal-Poplu’ was the first time I exposed my songwriting in public and found an immense sense of encouragement and enthusiasm in those who heard my lyrics and my songs. This is why the festival means a lot to me and I keep taking part because I am attached to it and the atmosphere that surrounds the festival.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPQBNsvnuPM

Staying on the topic of language, your cultural and ethical background has very much been reflected in the tracks you have presented in Maltese across the years and therefore people have grown to expect you to perform subjects which evoke a certain type of aura. At this present moment, you are working on an album of brand new and original songs in Maltese; one which you performed on the television show, TVPM entitled Id-Dar tan-Nanna. The track was met with positive acclaim on social networking outlets but what is to be expected of the whole album and when will it be released to the local music market?

That’s right – you are so correct in judging what the public is expecting out of me. I am sure the end result will not be disappointing in that regard. The album is studded with new tracks dealing with different aspects of Maltese life and society. The lyrics are interesting, intricate and moving but at the same time easy to understand, because they speak of a reality we all know and have been exposed to. I hope that the album will set new standards in Maltese music and that it can pass on the message that Maltese music has not stopped at ‘The Tramps’ and ‘New Cuorey’. Although I have a great admiration for our musical legacy, I believe that it must be adjourned and new artists need to keep writing valid and lasting Maltese music.

The album may surprise quite a few ears as regards the way the tracks are arranged. The piano is an important feature, but it is definitely not the only feature. At the studio with engineer Manolito Galea, we have experimented with many different kinds of piano sounds, in order to create a distinct character for every track but the piano is only the base of more complete arrangements, so beautifully put together by Dominic Galea, a master in adapting music to words in Maltese. I have not set a target date for myself as I’ve already invested so much in it that I’d like to keep refining things until I am convinced that it is the best it can be, even visually. The advantage I have in this regard is that the tracks are undated and don’t come with an expiry date. However, I am imagining that we can close things off in a couple of months and, without promise, will probably be launching the album around October. 

Corazon, a vocalist who started participating in notable singing competitions at the tender age of eighteen to a known figure in the entertainment industry having had the opportunity to host L-Ghanja tal-Poplu last year as well a personality on the daily television show TVPM which you also host alongside Peter Carbonaro who is the Music Manager for the Artist who would be representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest. How do you manage to level between the two roles and would you give up singing completely if a major hosting opportunity comes along?

The risk here would be that of falling into a comfort zone and never excelling at any one of the two disciplines or alternatively that of allowing one career to overshadow the other completely. This dual personality of mine is still setting in everyone’s minds including mine and I am very conscious of the traps I can allow myself to fall into.  I cannot say it was easy this year to juggle two very demanding careers. How have I managed? I practically work around the clock and depend a lot on the enormous amount of support from those around me. If a great opportunity in hosting comes along, I would be more than ready to sideline my singing career for a while and this also applies vice versa. But definitely not ready to give up singing completely, or at least music in a broader sense as the latter means more to me than simply being a singer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6nVN8aJnss

For the very first time since 2005, Malta not only managed to qualify from the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest but also managed to reach a top ten position thanks to Gianluca and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. The issue at hand is that the choice of the act was mainly based through a local and international panel of judges which made their decision relatively clear, defying the public of Kevin Borg and his song Needing You which he co-wrote with Thomas Thörnholm, Dan Attlerud, Michael Clauss and Simon Gribbe. Looking at things from an outside perspective, what is your opinion?

If you are asking me whether we’d have done better with Kevin Borg, I really don’t know and no one will ever know. What if the public had to vote again now, with hindsight of the final result? 

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com

Thank you so much for supporting local music and I promise you’ll be the first to know as soon as my new album is ready. I’m looking forward to sharing this exciting project with you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSik5WNduv8

Published in Interviews
Saturday, 02 February 2013 17:30

Malta Eurovision 2013: The Final - LIVE

For the past twenty-five years, Malta has selected entries which have achieved various results, including close first runner-ups in 2002 and 2005 respectively, but nevertheless, in a minority when it comes to the non-winners' circle alongside nations such as Iceland, Cyprus, Albania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Portugal, Moldova and Belarus amongst others. This time round, our nation will be sending the twenty-sixth representative from a field of sixteen (16) entries which were shortlisted from an earlier list of twenty-four (24) as performed during the semi-final last night. The chosen act will hopefully follow in the footsteps of Kurt Calleja who qualified for the final with his track This Is The Night last year. The Malta Eurovision Song Contest has become something of a tradition in the past couple of years and despite the technical issues yesterday, one will be hoping for a much smoother transmission this evening!

This years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is being broadcast through TVM, TVM 2 with special commentary by Norman Vella and Rodney Gauci, Radju Malta with commentary by Frederick Zammit and also through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. The hosts for the evening will be Elaine Saliba and Gordon Bonello whose roles will surely be larger this evening considering that they will be interviewing each of the sixteen (16) acts that made it through to the final. Rodney Gauci will also be doing a number of backstage interviews during the show in order to give the audience, a behind the scenes element. A number of special guests will be taking to the stage this evening including; Gorġ u Pawlu with the song Hot & Famous, the Swiss representatives; Heilsarmee who will be singing their entry You and Me, Kurt Calleja who is set to do a medley of original and cover songs and last but not least, the cast of D.R.E.A.M.S who will be opening the show with a medley of original songs in Maltese.

All right, the show is ON! The cast of DREAMS have taken to the stage... but those watching the commented version have been taken to the side to listen Norman and Rodney, blabbing. If “Majestuz, kbir” are the sort of comments we’ll be having, then I rather doubt many will be watching it on TVM2. OK, Norman, you’ve already cracked this joke. No need to keep telling us about Anton making you comment in exchange of a 2 free tickets. Will this commented version really be a side-watch of these two blabbing away? We’re missing out on the whole show. Please! 


It seems to have hit them, finally. We’re now watching the DREAMS cast giving what I can call a splendid performance. It’s cool to have this sort of Medley in a fun manner. Thumbs up to DREAMS - great opening! 

I can’t, for the life of me, follow this commented version. I wouldn’t mind skipping half the show if these two were really good at it. But they are wooden. The comments are, well, non-existent and they really look tacky with people just popping by to say something. Off to TVM, as it’s the show I’m interested in, anyway.  

Gordon and Elaine seem set to give a better show tonight. No, I have to take that one back... it’s too rehearsed. Elaine replies to the jokes before they are even completely spoken. It’s also looking a tad too wooden. And what do you do when you’re stuck? Well, you ask Carlo Borg Bonaci to save you, of course. Actually, this gets me thinking. Why couldn’t he have been the host? He’s great personality, really. Just a couple of lines and the ice has now been totally broken.  

Running Order

01. Superstar - Scar (Konrad Pule)

Scar gave a good show; the whole performance is convincing, with very strong stage presence. The leading singer is enjoyable and there’s utmost harmony in the group. In Calvin Klein laid-back looks, this cool pop-rock act is a twist you simply need to have in such a final. There’s nothing too fancy - and that’s surely a plus. Having said that, upon listening to the song more than once, you realise there’s very little to it. The structure and the idea work well, but you get the feeling there is something missing. I like it, yet it would have to undergo some serious arrangements in order to be deemed strong. As it is, it’s too much of a hey-it’s-good-but-nothing-major.  

02. Starting from the End - Dorothy Bezzina (Magnus Kaxe / Gerard James Borg)

One cannot overlook the great chorus of this song, it accompany’s Dorothy beautifully: it simply puts the song on an altogether higher level. Today’s performance, if possible, seems even stronger! You simply have got to love how Dorothy seems to play with the vocals with such ease; something to be truly appreciated in such contests. You can really feel the energy coming your way with the melody. Yet, though it was to be expected that the song would go through to the final, I think it will be hard for Dorothy to be Malta’s envoy: this is surely not the singer’s fault, but merely the song’s. It seems to me it lacks that little something which makes you say “that’s it!”  

03. My Stranger Love - Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

 

You can tell Corazon is doing her best to deliver. She has a good command of the voice; she knows how to work with it. It literally sounds like something coming out Disney! And yet, could anyone tell me what the song is really saying? I cannot quite put my finger on it: yes, there are many flowery words and all, but you can’t impress with that, can you? Also, the dress just didn’t work here. In fact, it looks so much better while she sits at the piano (rather Alicia Keys kind of thing if you ask me). Unfortunately, though I don’t mind it all that much, the history of the Eurovision works against this act: hardly do you see such songs doing well. All in all, I quite doubt she’ll be a high-flyer tonight. 

04. Ultraviolet - Jessika (Thomas G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerars James Borg)

Jessica simply loves the Eurovision - this is the first thing you notice once she takes to the stage (that and her hair look, very edgy, actually!) The singer oozes energy from all her pores. I like the singer more than I like her song, which doesn’t really tickle my fancy. Unfortunately, I don’t think this particular song does her justice; it comes across as if she’s straining her voice, though at some instances it strangely becomes really appealing and convincing. Possibly that’s the swedish element by G:Son...which could ultimately do well in Sweden this year. The song needs to be re-touched and enhanced in many aspects. As it is, I believe the song won’t place among the top ones. I must concede, though, that today’s performance was so exceedingly better than yesterday’s! 

05. Us Against the World - Gianni (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

 

Gianni’s vocal range is limited, so you can easily notice he struggles with certain notes. However, this doesn’t really make you dislike the song. Actually, the very chilled feel that comes off that stage when Gianni and his band are at it is somehow pleasing. I think it evokes a something-Indie-like feel, which is rather nice on the ear. The only thing is that when you listen to the song per se you would imagine someone younger singing it. Though it’s generally good, I think it wouldn’t perform well in Sweden.  

06. Betrayed - Davinia (Elton Zarb / Muxu)

 

If you wouldn’t be looking at the TV, then you would just have to do it once Davinia starts singing. She has a peculiarly sultry voice, which really breaks the routine. I think that in reality, more than to the song itself, people listen to the daunting voice. I'm in a bit of a predicament, I think that on the whole I’m rather happy with the diversity this song has to offer. It’s very cool and in, and you can’t dispute that. The song will have to be enhanced and given a stronger feel to it. It really wouldn’t displease me if this act flies to the top.  

07. Needing You - Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

 

Kevin is a strong singer. His winning the Swedish Pop Idol sort of proves that. It is exactly because you’d have high expectations that you would be looking forward to a really strong song. This is a hooking ballad, but I would say it has a bit of an old feel to it. The whole show was a good one; the voice, the lyrics, the melody. I can’t quite understand the purpose of having that model/dancer coming out at the last bit of the show, though... that’s surely an unnecessary element. I tried making myself like the song more, especially because I believe tonight's was much stronger and it stands a very good chance of making it to Sweden (at least if all that clapping and people standing is anything to go by), but I just cannot fall in love with it. Oh well.  

08. Fall Like Rome - Richard Edwards (Magnus Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

I really believe Richard has a beautiful voice; and his immaculate diction just renders his singing even more hooking. The looks are good - laid-back, yet stylish. That’s exactly what this sort of song asks for. I have my reservations when it comes to the song per se. I was expecting Richard to present us with something better and altogether stronger. The lyrics are too loaded, and I feel sort of confused in trying to grasp what it’s saying. The melody is very good and his falsetto skills are rather good (though yesterday they seemed more evident). Today's performance was dirtier than yesterday, also. But Richard is one of those who could have the so-called ‘package’ - but that will demand some thorough work on the arrangements.  

09. Perfect Day - Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

Janice has a pleasing voice, but I can’t really get through to the song. I don’t like what she’s done with the attire and all... it almost looks dull. I think that such a young singer could play more with it. As for the song, it just doesn’t do it for me. I’m bored all through. Most of the others are head and shoulders above this one. I think it would get lost in the crowd were to be Malta’s envoy. It’s something you listen to just one - if at all. 

10. Love-O-Holic - Deborah C (Johan Bejerholm / Gerard James Borg)

This is the typical cliché you would be happy to have missed, then it pops up on TV and it knocks you down. There’s really nothing much I have to say about this one. I’m just surprised to find it in the final. I think that the semis were already too much of a present. When the song starts you think it’s so bad that it just has to get better. Alas, it really doesn’t. I concede that Deborah looks very natural on stage, but that’s not enough. Having said that, I believe this song is one of those you can either love or hate. I belong to the latter group. 

11. When It's Time - Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / Claudia Faniello)

 

Claudia is one of the few singers who gets better as an artist with each passing year. I don’t like the outfit much; I can’t seem to place it. I like the song and the music. Her rock-like voice blends in very well. The chorus is also a catchy factor in this one. All in all, it’s a song you want to listen to, and today’s performance was more powerful! However, I believe it needed some more work in reality. She should do well, yet it’s not this year’s winning song. It lacks that final convincing element. 

12. Tomorrow - Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek & Dean Muscat)

Gianluca’s personality is as infectious as is his song: I honestly believe it has all the prerequisites. And I'm even more convinced after today's performance! The song has good lyrics and melody, and the vocal range of the singer perfectly accompanies the whole act. In reality, there is nothing really ground-breaking with the song, but with everything seemingly falling into place, you just get to like it and, well, you have to sing along. Some have said it’s not very Eurovision-friendly, but I wholly disagree with that. I think it could stand out in the crowd were it to make it. Come on, Gianluca, win! (And take Dorothy with you, for the backing! Yes!) 

13. Never Walk Away - Chris Grech (Grech / P Borg / M Borg / D Cassar Torreggiani)

I understand the hype surrounding this song/singer. He has great vocal skills in reality. The husky voice gives a nice feel to the song. The laid-back look is also welcome. If I have to come clean, however, I would say that the song lacks a proper climax. I listened to it all because what he does with the voice is really good. I think that with a good arrangement, this pop-rock one could easily become a radio hit. It definitely stands a good chance tonight, and it’s indeed one of my faves.  

14. Wonderful Today - Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

I like Richard. I like Petra. But I don’t like them together here. I think Petra’s solo should’ve made it instead of this one. It was definitely stronger. The voices don’t seem to blend well together. Petra seemed overpowering to me. I am not too keen on the chorus, either. I was never too fond of duets, as it takes a special something for it to work as expected. Sadly, I didn’t see that tonight. 

15. In Control - Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

Amber has great stage presence; she seems really comfortable up there. Unfortunately, I don’t think the attire has helped her much; nor did that of the backing vocalists’. It seems to me there was too much going on. She is usually the sort of singer you wouldn’t forget.  Well, after tonight, we’ll remember her for sounding a tad too sharp (not really in control) - better than yesterday, granted, but still not 100%. In any case, I don’t think this particular song breaks much ground. It has a good flow to it, yes, but that won’t work enough wonders.  

16. Too Little Too Late - Domenique (Marc Paelinck / Matthias Strasser)

I feel there’s hardly anything appealing about this act. The singer looks much older than she is. I can’t understand why they would make her go for such heavy makeup, jewellery and hair-do - she’s a pretty girl, and that’s evident. Overdoing was counterproductive.  The song just doesn’t convince me: it’s too much of a sombre ballad and she seems to find it difficult to change register. At times she was completely off. Again, there were much better songs that could’ve been here instead of this one. 
 

The Show (Part 2)

So the 16 acts are now over. Everything ran smoothly tonight, so the singers seem very pleased. In fact, after a recap to refreshen the audience’s memory, we are now being taken on a tour among the participants. And of course, we have a comfy, laid-back chit-chat with all of them. 
 

Time’s up! Tele-voting has now been closed. We’re taken back for some more small chat with the 16 contestants who, with each passing minute, look more and more anxious. In reality, this is the moment I dread the most. You get bombarded with loads of adverts, which ultimately just tire you out and make you contemplate whether you should just change channel or not. 

Seems like Petra and Richard’s wasn’t the only duet for the night. Gorg and Pawlu have now joined Elaine on stage and they seem to be prepared to perform their long-awaited Hot and Famous. All right, it’s just a rip-off of Gangnam Style and Slamdog Millionnaire. Mediocre, really. Some music playing, a lot of people dancing in the background and Rodney and Gordon disguised as Gorg and Pawlu. I may be very difficult to please, but whoever thought this would be fun was incredibly mistaken..so it’s really bad when Elaine asks for a “capcipa kbira”!  

OK, taking the stage now are the act representing Switzerland in this year’s Eurovision. I believe that if we make the right choice, we could actually do better than them.  Following is Kurt Calleja ...and he seems to have decided to go for a big performance. Well, albeit not impeccable (OK, you're right, it's a showcase of how-to-be-off), it has at least helped shake off the dullness that was about the engulf this second part of the night. 

Funnily enough, though we are still awaiting the results, it is being rumoured on another website that Amber is the winner. The website has since removed the page and it stated it was a technical error. Well, we'll soon discover that - the judges are now announcing their votes! 

Gianluca Bezzina is now leading the show, for the judges seem to have chosen him over Kevin Borg (who won the public vote). And it is with Carlo Borg Bonaci that we've had the confirmation - 


I cannot be any happier in announcing that GIANLUCA BEZZINA is the winner! Tomorrow will be representing Malta in Sweden! The audience doesn't seem all that happy, as the clapping has gone missing after Kevin Borg was confirmed first runner-up. 


Finally, 
One cannot not give credit to PBS when this is due. Tonight’s show ran smoothly - the sound, too, worked well. It’s good to see they have worked hard to make sure there wouldn’t be any snags today (unlike yesterday’s!) But that is where the praise starts and ends.  

 

What about the ‘jokes’? Don’t you think they were just as tacky? I saw no wit and no fun there. Of course, they couldn’t possibly harp on about politics: their bee in the bonnet must have been given some fresh air. (To which we all said “yaaayyy”, right?) Then we had: “liii tenk god ma libsitiex Carina” - Seriously, Gordon? Did you actually think that was a sharp one? No, throwing a jibe at Carina here and there just didn’t save the day. Nor did those crappy poems. Who comes up with these ‘brilliant’ ideas? 

 

I also think Elaine Saliba, despite being an adorable girl, just isn’t cut for this kind of thing. I still believe that Valerie Vella should host this show. She is polite, elegant and knows how to be pungent, without ever crossing the line. 

 

However, tonight we had an extra. We had the commented version on TVM2. I had to go back and forth to check what great work they were doing on the other side... and well, each time I was let down. You simply have to ask it: why, exactly, would they have a commented version without having decent commentators? Norman Vella may have been blessed with many things, but pungent remarks aren’t among that list.  

The Maltese Islands are found in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea just below Italy and have become somewhat well regarded through the beautiful voices that it has honed throughout the years. Several people denote that the inspiration must have come from the love towards the Italian language but nevertheless, genres have become varied with pop being the most predominant along with rock and dance. One of the main showcases in the country is surely the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which is organised under the scrutiny of the Public Broadcasting Services and acts as a preselection method in which an act is selected through jury and public votes to represent the country in a foreign nation amongst key nations in the European continent. The opportunity to meet major producers and songwriters along with performers comes into existence and with the growing popularity of the event, this will surely not prove futile. Malta has a history of twenty-five years with our last participation seeing us manage to reach the final following a stunning performance of This Is The Night by Kurt Calleja and his team. This years' competition is said to be quite close and escflashmalta.com has called upon five critics to help divulge the competition with an award set to be given the week following the competition on the programme Sas-Sitta. The ninth performer is Corazon and she will be performing the song My Stranger Love composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. 

Corazon is neither a newcomer nor a veteran to the local music scene noting that she had a habit of entering competitions which were rather oriented with the national language of the country for the very reason that her compositions were set to achieve a goal and that is to send a message to the audience with regards to a number of social issues. In fact, the Għanja tal-Poplu Festival is known to be a second home to the performer having triumphed in three of the past five editions including in 2007 with Hawn Jien, in 2009 with another song entitled Tal-Aħħar and last but not least in 2010 with the track Mill-Għajnejn ta' Tifla alongside a group of friends. In 2012, she was also a part of the proceedings but only as a host alongside Alfred Zammit, giving rise to a secondary career which she is gladly carrying out at the moment holding a presenting role on the programme TVPM which airs daily on Television Malta, the main broadcasting channel of the Public Broadcasting Services. During the 2009 edition of the Malta Eurosong, Corazon had made the television stages with the song Another Side of Me written by Philip Vella but it did not make it through to the final competition stage unfortunately. She indeed returned last year with the beautiful Mystifying Eyes composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. Following this came two singles, one entitled Looking For You and the other being just weeks old bearing the name Save Your Smile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdKP2gg4bXU

Corazon is seemingly ecstatic to have managed to make it through to the semi-final stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the second time especially just a couple of months after managing to make the cut the first time round. The concept of the track that she is presenting entitled My Stranger Love is quite similar to the track presented last year but there has been a little bit of an emergence of a rock sound, only if just slightly. As a matter of fact, the charming opening notes are almost identical to Mystifying Eyes but it does indeed play out different. The track in itself had to be somewhat similar because it might indeed be coined as a formula for success and bringing the songwriters from the previous year on board is surely an added positive with Paul Giordimaina returning as composer and Fleur Balzan as lyricist. They bring about experience of the kind that many wish to have in the competition especially considering that the composer also was the Eurovision Song Contest as both an artist and a songwriter in 1991 and 2011 respectively with the tracks Could It Be and One Life. Experimentation will be the key to success for Corazon and she might need to go a bit out of her comfort zone in order to achieve greatness in the local music industry. She needs to delve deeper to make sure that her crystal cut vocals are presented well to the audience as seen in some of her recently released material including those previously mentioned.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 42%

Sharon Vaughn: I don't understand what this song is trying to say. The text is very contradictory… a lot of pretty words that don't fit the title or the rest of the song. A nice pure voice, too bad on the song selection.

Martin Isherwood: Trips clumsily into the chorus. As with many of the songs the lyrics seem very personal with the meaning only relevant to the writer / singer. Nice voice but quite thin. Uses standard musical tricks and turns but nothing that makes the song stand out. Interesting 80s style solo! Rock pop ballad but not really suitable for the competition.

Stano Simor: Love song. Type of music that can help or hurt the performer. One needs to listen to the lyrics before going into the general track. Very nice, sensual vocal lines. Corazon is a singer who has good voice technique most probably through studying classical music. Color of voice is not so distinctive. Particularly in the first part of the song where it would be necessary to adopt a listener. The music production would also help fill the whole atmosphere of the song which is basically excellent.

Roberto Meloni: Such a great and gentle voice, very beautiful and charming. If only her song would be as good as she is…pity…But Corazon is an amazing performer.

Lina Eriksson: These kind of songs seldom work that well in the Eurovision Song Contest. I start to feel like I’m repeating myself in my reviews now but this is yet another song that doesn't feel like 2013, neither song nor production-wise.  Sorry!

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKUA8IAa-Wo

Published in Editorials