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Tuesday, 31 January 2012 08:27

The Critics Choice: 'In Your Eyes'

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An artist brings about his talent in any period of time whether he is being phased with success or disappointments because that is the type of industry that is currently representing individuals with great vocal capabilities. The problem is that talent founds itself in influx and therefore ones' position can be stolen relatively easily with the possibility of being forgotten and only remembered within historical records. The ever growing prowess of the local music industry has reflected this idea but then again, the artists who decided to return have done so in a manner which could not only be deemed as being reasonable but in one which has been well appreciated by the people and therefore ends up in being successful. The moral in this is that one should never stop fighting for what is believed and that could be a mantra for anything in life. The next artist to be given an opinion and his track is none other than Lawrence Gray.

One of the most breathtaking voices in the local music industry is that of Lawrence Gray whose debut came back in the 1998 Malta Song for Europe by virtue of competing with the song 'Newborn Heart' composed by Joe Brown and penned by Joe Julian Farrugia. Despite showing class in his performance, it was omitted from the top three and languished in a mid-table position. Nevertheless, he returned the following year with the entry 'The Right Time', which has become somewhat of a classic over the years, ultimately finishing in second place at the end of the evening. The music for this entry was written by Paul Abela with the lyrics by Philip Vella. He was a heavy favourite for the following year but he was not present and therefore, the next song he presented was in 2001 when he submitted 'Count on Me' composed by Paul Abela and penned by Philip Vella as well as 'A Song In My Life' written by the one and only Ray Agius. He would finish in third place with the former entry in this respective year and hence, he returned in 2002 with yet another two tracks; the first one being 'What Happened to Our Love' composed by Ray Agius and penned by Alfred C Sant finishing in fourth place and; the second one being 'Moment Of Truth' composed by Paul Abela and penned by Alfred C Sant, managing eight place. Momentum had been missed for quite some time and Lawrence would ultimately return in 2003, with the best song he ever submitted.

The entry which bore the name 'Why Not' was hugely tipped for victory with composer Ray Agius. He was pipped to the position by newcomer Lynn Chircop who would ultimately finish in 23rd place at the Eurovision Song Contest scoring just four points. He had won the tele-voting but had lost the judges. Lawrence knew that he could only try once more and in 2004, he came back with a vengeance with the song 'You're On My Mind' composed by Philip Vella and penned by Joe Chircop. Ultimately though, he took a step back here on after and would only return to this competition in 2010 with the song 'Stories' written by Ray Agius and Godwin Sant finishing in seventh place. Throughout the same period of time though, Lawrence had won a number of competitions in Malta including the now defunct 'Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija 2002' with the song 'Eklissi' composed by Philip Vella and penned by Godwin Sant. That year was one of his best, as he also won the 'Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza' with the song 'l-Għażla F'Idejna' written by Ray Agius. In recent months, Lawrence has updated his look and his genre once more coming up with the single 'Thank You for Loving Me' which he composed and penned himself.

Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2012 - An In-Depth Analysis

Following an absence of just one year, Lawrence is back with a beautiful song bearing the name 'In Your Eyes' composed by Philip Vella and penned by his daughter Cher Vella. The genre is not the most typical for Lawrence and he shows that not only is he still a brilliant vocalist, but that he has matured even in his song choice. The track somewhat features a rock ballad in the style of 'The Hardest Thing' performed by the late Tose Proeski who represented the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. Many have commented that this is the best song that Lawrence has submitted since 'Why Not' and can  therefore reach a satisfactory result. This is yet to be seen but what Lawrence normally does is impress on the stage when performing live and this will be for the very first time this Friday during the semi-final.

This is one of the few tracks that Philip Vella has managed to get through to the semi-final stages of this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest having seen the one that he wrote for Claudia Faniello alongside longtime collaborator Gerard James Borg. Success for him without the aforementioned partner has not come unfortunately because each time he has won, that has been the duo but then again, Philip has worked with a number of people over the years even finishing in the top three position on another six times including in 1998 on the track 'Listen to Our Voices' with Claudette Pace and the Sixth Above, in 1999 with Lawrence Gray and the song 'The Right Time', in 2001 with 'Count on Me' and 'Spellbound' performed by Lawrence Gray and Ira Losco, in 2002 with 'One Step Away' by Ira Losco and last but not least 'Deja Vu' in 2005 performed by Olivia Lewis. His main partners on these songs were Paul Abela and Ray Agius.

The Opinion of the Critics

Rating: 48%

Steve Allen: Hmm, this is quite a strange track, not to my liking.

Carlos Coelho: It’s a very strong song, with a good singer. The lyrics are strong and it’s very well arranged. I could see this on Eurovision.

Sharon Vaughn: I believe that his image could be better but my oh my, what an impressive voice.

Martin Isherwood: Bass sounds out of tune with the synths and voice.  and some unusual changes that don't quite work Cliché rhymes. Should be called it's amazing what love can do. Strong voice when not clashing with the backing track. Some great ideas, but some difficult chords to pull off.

Charlie Rapino: I am quite sorry but I just do not like this at all. It is somewhat old fashioned.

Source of Audio Visual Material: PBS, Fotoclassic

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 09:46