France once again one of the favourites with Alma’s ‘Requiem’
After years of not playing any significant role in the results of the Eurovision Song Contest, France is now one of the favourites in the competition for the second year in a row. The country finished in sixth place last year with Amir’s ‘J’ai Cherché’ and this year one of the composers of that track, Nazim Khaled, wrote the song ‘Requiem’ for French pop artist Alma. When the song first premiered, Alma was immediately considered a contender and she still holds a place in the Bookmakers’ top 10. Does France stand a chance of winning the contest this year?
‘Requiem’ is certainly one of the best compositions in the competition this year if you ask me. The song packs a good amount of beautiful melodies and catchy hooks, while cleverly mixing some traditional French elements with a contemporary production, in a similar way to the immensely popular Belgian recording artist Stromae does. ‘Requiem’ has the potential to be one of those crossover hits that sounds French enough to accurately represent its country while at the same time having enough international appeal to make an impression in the international charts.
Of course language was once again a point of discussion in the French selection. Just like last year, the decision of Alma and her team to include an English chorus, was criticized, but as she explained it herself, she wanted her message to reach a bigger audience. Eurovision fans complained the English lyrics do not flow as well as the words in the previous fully French version and while they do have a point, the average viewer in May won’t even hear that. They will hear ‘Requiem’ for the first time then and I have to admit the English part actually does make it a lot catchier when your French skills never surpassed high school levels. If the French delegation manages to put on a better televised performance than Amir did last year, I could see the charmingly beautiful Alma with the angelic vocals sail straight into the top 5.
UPDATE – Review on final performance and result (12th):
Alma had to take the stage after this string of favourites that all ended up in top 5, but she did so gracefully. She is a stunning woman with a beautiful voice and her ‘Requiem’ was definitely one of my favourite compositions in this year’s contest. The visuals for her performance, taken from the music video, worked perfectly and although the stage at times looked a bit empty, it was hard to take your eyes of Alma. I hoped the juries would award her some more points, but she can be proud of ending up in top 10 with the televoters. I will sure be playing ‘Requiem’ until long after the contest!
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