Rebecca – The Show

“There are a lot of very good parts in here, and one really bad part.”

Tim: You’ll recall that Norway sent Alexander Rybak to Eurovision this year with a godawful track; you may or may not recall the bloody brilliant song that upsettingly came second. Here’s Rebecca’s follow up to that.

Tom: There are a lot of very good parts in here, and one really bad part.

Tim: It’s not as fantastic as Who We Are, but that’s because Who We Are was a Big Emotional Ballad and there’s a time and a place for that; this song belongs here and now, though, and it’s pretty good as that. It’s interesting, though – as so often the case, the best bits are the loud bits, once the song has warmed up, except, well. The second chorus picks things up, the middle eight carries them on, all sounding good.

We’ve a traditional brief dip, but then everything’s back in for the closing minute or so. And when I say everything, it pretty much is everything – multiple vocal layers, instruments, all turned up loud and vying for attention and kind of sounding a bit messy.

Tom: Really? You’re right about nearly all of that: the strings are brilliant, the steady build is great, but how does on earth can you support that weird mating-seal-noise synth that blares through everything?

Tim: Hmm, okay, I hear what you’re saying – but firstly that’s a bit of an exaggeration, because it’s there in total for about a minute and a bit, and secondly for a large part of that it’s somewhat overshadowed by everything else, in the same way that everything else is: messily. It’s an organised mess, sure – but I’m reminded of the horrific Battle Round in The Voice, where ostensibly two contestants perform a duet together but it basically descends into a shouting match within about a minute. It’s rhythmic enough, so nothing really sounds out of place – but it’s still a bit of a mess.

Saturday Reject: Rebecca – Who We Are

“MULTIPLE WIND MACHINES INCOMING.”

Tim: The big day is here, so let’s finish our run of Rejects with a big number – Norway’s runner up, coming just behind the nonsense that was Alexander Rybak. WIND MACHINE INCOMING.

Tom: Coincidentally, I had beans for lunch.

Tim: MULTIPLE WIND MACHINES INCOMING.

Tom: It’s Norwegian Adele! Ă…dele, maybe she’s called.

Tim: And while obviously it’s not a bet that could ever be called, I’d put a lot of money on there being an alternate, and better, timeline where That’s How You Write A Song was sung by some random Ola Nordmann, and then got correctly knocked out in the first round before this was crowned Norway’s representation, because OH MY DAYS is it a cracker.

Tom: It’s a bloody good Big Emotional Song, isn’t it? Given the right competition, so it stands out, that could win Eurovision. And yet it’s not going to get the chance.

Tim: The thing is, it plays by every single Eurovision ballad rule there is, except not quite. The first minute or so is obvious: a raw display of sensitivity and weakness in a quiet verse, a rising sense of emotional growth and empowerment into the chorus, and a whole load of massive instrumental moments that the crowd can go wild for.

Tom: Or turn their phone lights on themselves so they can mug for the camera. I see you, random Norwegian narcissist in the front row. Anyway, yes, massive instrumental moments.

Tim: Repeat for a second time, though a just tad louder, EXCEPT we don’t then drop into a middle eight. That’s it. That second chorus was SO BIG, SO POWERFUL that the audience is left with the plain and simple knowledge that Rebecca is an incredible woman who can have the world, and doesn’t have to play by the rulebook to get it.

Tom: And it works. Alas, Rybak got in the way.

Tim: It doesn’t matter that the message in the lyrics is remarkably confused, what matters is that REBECCA IS QUEEN. (But out of respect for you, Tom, I won’t type what I really really want to.)

Tom: Thanks, Tim.