Liverpool 2023: My Top 37 – All Songs Reviewed

16 April 2023

It’s been a struggle to find an ultra favourite song for the Eurovision Song Contest of 2023. In fact, I could quite easily say I have none. While there’s plenty that I like, is there one that truly excites me, or grabs me at my core? No. It’s a year where the early entries released didn’t excite too many people, and then a handful of later entries absorbed nearly all the attention and prevented much retrospection. Those most popular being from Sweden and Finland, with Norway and, perhaps, Spain at the next level. Eurovision 2023 is also down in numbers. With Russia and Belarus still banned due the war in Ukraine, and Bulgaria, Montenegro and North Macedonia withdrawing, it’s just 37 countries that will compete in Liverpool. It just doesn’t seem to be an exciting Eurovision this year.

Eurovision Song Contest - Liverpool 2023: My Top 37 - All Songs Reviewed

In ranking my top 37, I stick mostly to the song itself and try watch only the official music videos. Obviously that can be compromised somewhat when I watch several national finals each year, and countries that release national final performances as music videos. Iceland, Lithuania, Romania, San Marino and Sweden were such countries that used their national final as their official video, and while it often doesn’t matter, it’s safe to say it really does matter for Sweden. Then you must think, without this performance, would they make a stunning official video. Ultimately, it’s about trying to be as fair as possible.

The playlist of my Top 37 here

Let’s remember, a song ranked 30th is not many times worse than one ranked 10th. That’s why I award each song a star ranking, and categorise them accordingly, to provide a more accurate guide.

One Star (Poor)

37 Spain – Blanca Paloma – Eaea

The good news is that Blanca can sing, so that’s some salvation for this dreadful song. It’s mostly random noise. Of course, there’s many fans out there that love it, so who am I to say. I’m one person. Go check it anyway.

36 Croatia – Let 3 – Mama SC!

It sounds like a cheaper version Macarena, and that was already cheap! Without subtitles or knowledge of the song, it all makes zero sense and only offers mild amusement.

35 Belgium – Gustaph – Because Of You

Too derivative and cliche.

34 Romania – Theodor Andrei – D.G.T. (Off And On)

There were three lame entries revealed around this time, the other two being Croatia and Malta. Average song, weird vocals, and a lame presentation at the national final. Romania have a knack of innovative and fun presentations at Eurovision, so we’ll see.

Two Stars (OK)

33 Malta – The Busker – Dance (Our Own Party)

Too simplistic and derivative, and adding a saxophone guy isn’t enough to elevate it. That there’s an official preview video makes it more tolerable than watching a lame national final performance as is required for Romania, and so places Malta just above them.

32 San Marino – Piqued Jacks – Like An Animal

There’s sort of something here. It’s the dreary, repetitive chorus that holds it back. It tries to create a moment through the bridge and finishes ok.

31 Cyprus – Andrew Lambrou – Break A Broken Heart

He’ll be “Australia’s own” Andrew Lambrou if he places well in Liverpool, or the Greek-Cypriot who lives in Australia if he flops in the semi final. It’s more likely the latter with this fairly uninspiring ballad, unless he can land some big vocal moments.

30 Ukraine – Tvorchi – Heart Of Steel

One of the first, if not the first, songs released, and it’s had an update since. Generally that’s not a good sign. I prefer this to the “winning” song for Ukraine last year, Kalush Orchestra’s Stefania. Quite a boisterous R&B kind of thing, if that’s your thing, which typically it isn’t for me. The energy and arrangement make the difference. Hopefully Europe have purged their sympathy vote inclinations and the winning song in 2023 will be based on music.

29 Georgia – Iru – Echo

Tries to be too much, and there’s some nice vocals and drama there. Ultimately, it’s a bit messy.

28 Denmark – Reiley – Breaking My Heart

It’s cute and catchy. It just goes too long. You’ve heard it all after the first minute.

27 Serbia – Luke Black – Samo Mi Se Spava

There’s so much going on here, with all the different styles, that it doesn’t quite mesh. Vocals aren’t great either.

Three Stars (Good)

26 Greece – Victor Vernicos – What They Say

Following Canada (2019 Katerine Duska), Netherlands (Stefania 2020 and 2021), Norway (Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord 2022), and let’s not forget they won with a Swede, Helena Paparizou, in 2005, Greece has looked to Denmark and selected Victor Vernicos Jørgensen for 2023. This melancholy, radio-friendly entry therefore should be no surprise, as it sounds like half the songs that fill Dansk Melodi Grand Prix most years. At 16, Victor is also the youngest artist this year, and through his pleasant voice, manages to deliver a rousing finale to separate it from the bunch.

25 Mimicat – Ai Coracao

From the youngest artist, we go to one of the oldest, with Mimicat, at 38 years old. She actually tried to qualify for Eurovision in 2001, so she’s been around for ages. Portugal typically bring something distinctly Portuguese, and that’s no exception this year with Ai Coracao. I guess you would call it a flamenco style of song, along with the associated dancing, and it’s interesting and novel enough to grab some attention.

24 Germany – Lord Of The Lost – Blood & Glitter

Germany have tried to change it up this year and we get this metal-pop entry. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. It’s catchy and different enough. The question is it really that different? Perhaps from other Eurovision entries and for Germany, not so much in this genre. There’s far better examples out there, and the lead singer seems to suffer from lack of vocal diversity. It’s either flat singing or coarse screaming, without much in between.

23 Latvia – Sudden Lights – Aijā

This one works much better when you see the band in action. That’s probably like most bands. These concocted music videos can be a distraction. Still, you can hear and feel a good song in here, as long as you persevere The more listens the better it becomes.

22 Iceland – Dilja – Power

A bouncy and uplifting performance at the Icelandic national final, Power lacks a bit of variety to stand out. Her pronouns, according to the official Eurovision website, are She/Her, and she wrote the song with Palmi Ragnar Asgeirsson. That name might mean nothing until you learn he (presuming the pronoun there) was behind the similarly repetitive Unbroken by Maria Olafs in 2005.

21 Australia – Voyager – Promise

Much like Dreamer that finished second at Australia Decides last year, Promise is another simplistic song that will rely on a powerful stage performance to sell itself. Host broadcaster, SBS, dumped the national final this year and internally selected Voyager instead. No official reason was given to dump Australia Decides, suffice to say, probably the expense didn’t justify it. Possibly, with the voting debacle last year, SBS might have thought they owed it to Voyager. Anyway, Promise is much better than Dreamer and much of its attraction is in its epic climax.

20 Switzerland – Remo Forrer – Watergun

Another solo male for the Swiss, and it’s a quality entry too. Super voice and dramatic song. Probably a touch on the generic side to excel.

19 Moldova – Pasha Parfeni – Soarele si Luna

It’s not the first rodeo for Pasha after representing Moldova in 2012, and then he helped write O Mie in 2013 for Aliona Moon and appeared on stage playing a piano. For 2023 he’s gone for an ethnic/tribal style of song that translates to “the sun and the moon”, and it’s quite reminiscent of Shum by Ukraine’s Go_A in 2021.

18 Netherlands – Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper – Burning Daylight

It’s a slow burn this one, both with the song’s progression and to appreciate it. As one of the early releases, most people have forgotten it, and might be pleasantly surprise come the performance in Liverpool. It’s something to nod along too, and then it explodes.

17 Italy – Marco Mengoni – Due Vite

Back to the Eurovision stage after finishing 7th in 2013, I much prefer Due Vite over L’essenziale. Like most songs in Italian, there’s a natural melodic and entrancing quality to them, and this is no exception, especially with Marco’s delivery. It probably doesn’t hit the heights I like, specifically Fai Rumore by Diodato in 2020.

Four Stars (Excellent)

16 Austria – Teya & Salena – Who The Hell Is Edgar?

An allegory about poor rewards and recognition for female songwriters in the music industry, using noted American poet Edgar Allan Poe as a metaphor, who struggled to exist on solely his writing alone. Of course, none of that will register with the audience, so for it excel, the reliance is on the song’s catchy and quirky nature, getting “Poe, Poe, Poe” stuck in your head, and the charisma of Teya & Salena.

15 Czechia – Vesna – My Sister’s Crown

Finally it’s Czechia, not Czech Republic, in Eurovision. It only took them 6 years to start using it, while I’ve been using it since 2017. The name was approved in mid 2016, and after a few entities began to use it by the end of the year, momentum suddenly stopped. It was only during 2022 that the Czechs themselves began accelerating its use, first with its football association, and then the tourism industry in January 2023. Eurovision got on board at this time… and that’s the most exciting part of this year’s Czech entry! That’s not to dismiss My Sister’s Crown, as it’s quite an addictive and punchy song with some excellent folk elements. I recall reading the group includes members from Bulgaria, Slovakia and Russia, although, this information is mysteriously non-existent on official sources. It’s an anti-war song and, curiously on the official Eurovision site, Ukrainian (along with Czech, English and Bulgarian) form the lyrics.

14 Slovenia – Joker Out – Carpe Diem

This presents so much better via the showcase performance video, not the official video. In the official video the band are fooling around in a hotel doing whatever. The showcase performance, which is simply the band playing the song among a crowd, showcases the raw energy of both the band and the song, and reveals its true quality. Easily the second best entry from a band this year, and not far from being the best.

13 Armenia – Brunette – Future Lover

A haunting and dramatic song that struggles to reveal itself without listening several times. A strong live performance will likely reveal much more to it too.

12 Ireland – Wild Youth – We Are One

The best entry from a band this year, We Are One was one of the early songs released and it remains so addictive. A pulsating, anthemic pop sound, with soaring vocals and solid harmonies. Perhaps a little on the generic side to excel, unless the group can really deliver live.

11 Israel – Noa Kirel – Unicorn

This reminds me of SloMo, Chanel’s classic for Spain last year. Unicorn is a dance song with a similar structure, and includes a section late to facilitate a long dance routine. Vocals are great and it’s slickly produced. It will be interesting to see live.


10 Poland – Blanka – Solo

The good news is that Blanka can’t sing, so for anyone blanked out by her physical beauty won’t need to worry about being snapped out of their blissful state of mind by any sudden surge of soaring vocals. That blissful state is also enhanced by a really infectious, reggae style of pop, reminiscent of the early Ace Of Base era (before the blonde drifted out of the band) that the rest of us can appreciate.

09 France – La Zarra – Evidemment

This one didn’t really resonate until I heard it in the background, then it was like “wow”. There’s an intoxicating rhythm and beat to it, and I always love hearing French. Probably that you’re expecting it to explode somewhere, and it doesn’t, that holds it back.

08 United Kingdom – Mae Muller – I Wrote A Song

To borrow from Katy Perry, Mae wrote a song and I liked it. That was the moment it was revealed, and that “like” has grown into a “like, really like, like”. With its intoxicating beat, the “da da-da da-da day” chorus section, and hearing Mae’s classic English accent through the bridge, there’s so much appeal to it. The theme itself is so cool too: don’t get angry, write a song instead.

07 Lithuania – Monika Linkyte – Stay

This is one that’s really grown on me over the weeks, and it’s still growing on me. It’s a beautiful, well written song, with lovely vocals and that “Čiūto Tūto” chorus is so addictive. Adding to the allure is Monika herself, who has that adorably cute, ditsy, coy look, much like Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls. So innocent, yet likely so deadly! If I could change one thing about the song itself, it would end with a subtle “finally my heart is beating”, not another “Čiūto Tūto”. This will be Monika’s second appearance at Eurovision, having appeared in 2015 with Vaidas Baumila, where they finished 18th with This Time. Stay is a song “grounded in local folklore, with the lyrics “Čiūto Tūto” often used in Lithuanian folk dances as magical incantations” – official website.

06 Albania – Albina & Familja Kelmendi – Duje

After their almost X-rated entry last year (Ronela Hajati – Sekret), Albania have literally gone family-friendly with the talented Albina and her equally talented family. That’s her mother Albana and father Bujar, along with brother Albin and sisters Vesa and Sidorela. From the music video you knew it was Alina’s parents, little did I know her siblings were there as well. Duje is about love in the family and the challenges you need to overcome. It’s a very powerful and dramatic song, with beautiful harmonies, and a haunting finale. That it ends so abruptly is a small detriment.


05 Norway – Alessandra – Queen Of Kings

It seems ages ago that Queen Of Kings was the first song in the first semi final of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix, and all these weeks later it’s still loitering in our minds and will actually kick off Eurovision too. At first it felt a bit bland and generic, and then I’ve really grown into it. That chorus is so infectious, the vocals throughout are top quality, and Alessandra herself is so charismatic. It’s a compelling mix.

Five Stars (Outstanding)

04 Estonia – Alika – Bridges

A difficult one to place as I watched and reviewed Eesti Laul so have seen Bridges the most of any song in this year’s Eurovision. So I revert to initial feelings, and the fact that it’s still enjoyable. From my Eesti Laul preview, “Alika’s voice and vocal prowess is stunning. She hits every note, remains flawless and pitch-perfect throughout, and then you have it all interwoven into this majestic, beautiful and dramatic song. Brilliant.”

03 Finland – Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha

Another entry that I know well, and need to revert to those thoughts before UMK, and say this is the most interesting and creative song this year. That “cha cha cha” is so hypnotic and memorable. It’s a mix of dance, rap, and rock, and it builds and builds. While it didn’t quite blow up the stage at UMK 2023, Käärijä delivered such a powerful presentation that Cha Cha Cha won super easily. He’s such a likeable guy too, with his look and broken English, and I really hope he’ll add something extra in Liverpool and perhaps blow up the stage there. If there is slight flaw in the song, it drifts a little aimlessly towards the end.

02 Sweden – Loreen – Tattoo

Yes, like with Estonia and Finland, another entry that was in a national final I previewed, watched and reviewed. For me, Tattoo is far superior to Loreen’s Eurovision winner in 2012, Euphoria. A much more powerful and dramatic song, and with that stage presentation we saw at the Melodifestivalen final, the song pulsates as it and the stage effects build into a gigantic eruption. If I were to pick at something, the song sort of rambles a bit by the end, lacks a quality bridge section, and Loreen’s vocals didn’t quite have the power to fully deliver the crescendo at Melfest. Again, that’s just trying to find fault in a high quality package. It’s a stunning entry.

01 Azerbaijan – TuralTuranX – Tell Me More

The first full Azeri entry since 2008. No derivative Swedish pop like many other years. Instead we get this pleasant, and wonderful surprise. A bit quirky, fun and sentimental, and with a Beatles feel about it. Tural and Turan Baghmanov are twin brothers, and with their friends Nihad Aliyev and Tunar Taghiyev, wrote Tell Me More themselves, and clearly took inspiration from Liverpool hosting Eurovision this year. It possesses that classic British rock sound of the 1960s, albeit with some modern touches, notably some rap. Yes, they’ve made rap sound retro as it’s interwoven into an melancholy style of song, and then the boys, with their perfectly suited vocals, finish off the journey with a dramatic, heartfelt conclusion. So original, so innovative, so brilliant. Not to forget so perfect for Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool.


Just four songs earned 5 stars this year compared to seven last year, while the lowest ever is two in 2017. More indicative is four or more stars, and we have 16 in 2023. That’s actually better than last year’s 11, which was a weak year heading in as well. 2017 had 19 songs with at least 4 stars, highlighting it as an even year. In summary: 16 songs have at least 4 stars in 2023 (4 with 7 stars), 11 in 2022 (7 with 5 stars), 21 in 2021 (8 with 5 stars), 14 in 2020 (5), 15 in 2019 (6), 19 in 2018 (8), 19 in 2017 (2), 13 in 2016 (6) and 15 in 2015 (6). So 2023 is not so bad in comparison to other years.

National Final Injustices – How Would They Rank?

For the songs that couldn’t win their national final and I much preferred than the winner:

Belgium – Cherine – Ca m’ennuie pas

At least eighth, perhaps fifth. Much higher than Gustaph at 35.

Finland – Portion Boys – Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan

Definitely second, and likely first!

Denmark – Eyjaa – I Was Gonna Marry Him

Likely a 4-star song, so at least 16th and 12 places better than Reiley.

Liverpool 2023: National Final Injustices

Sweden: Loreen Wins Melodifestivalen 2023 With Tattoo – Review

Finland: Käärijä with Cha Cha Cha wins UMK 2023 – Review

Estonia: Alika Wins Eesti Laul 2023 with Bridges – Review


3 responses to “Liverpool 2023: My Top 37 – All Songs Reviewed

  1. Pingback: Liverpool 2023: Full Preview, Betting Odds & Predictions | Mr Eurovision Australia·

  2. Pingback: Liverpool 2023: Semi Final 1 Review | Mr Eurovision Australia·

  3. Pingback: Liverpool 2023: Semi Final 2 Review & Grand Final Preview | Mr Eurovision Australia·

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