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Thread: ROMANIA 2017 - Ilinca feat. Alex Florea - Yodel It!

  1. Administrator escYOUnited's Avatar
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    #1

    ROMANIA 2017 - Ilinca feat. Alex Florea - Yodel It!




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  2. Veteran
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    #831

    Re: ROMANIA 2017 - Ilinca feat. Alex Florea - Yodel It!

    My review of "Yodel It!":

    -Romania (with Moldova) is the expert of colourful acts in Eurovision (in a good way), as they usually tend to send raw entries with crazy visuals no one else would be able to send 1) because it's actually difficult to pull off a fun act in a tasteful way, 2) because fun/over-the-top entries never go far whether they're in NFs or in the contest. Personally, my favourite Romanian entry so far remains "Playing With Fire" (2010) - their 3rd place was totally deserved imo - and I also liked "It's My Life" (2013) to a lesser extent. Come to think of it, while I do respect Romania in the contest, I realised I haven't been a huge fan of their efforts this decade: "The Balkan Girls" (2009) and "Change" (2011) were rather weak songs; "Zaleilah" (2012) and "Miracle" (2014) were entertaining enough, but not really special; and "De La Capat" - despite its moving message - didn't really win me over musically. As for "Moment Of Silence", though I wish Romanians performed in 2016, the song wasn't my cup of tea either. With that being said, I was still curious to see what they would send in Kiev and I wasn't disappointed! "Yodel It!" was the official oddity of 2017, with its improbable mix of pop, rap and... yodel. I'm not gonna lie, when I read comments about it on the forum, I feared it would be a mere attention-whorish piece of rubbish meant to entertain the masses thirsty for fun acts (which become rarer every year). But no! The song actually works and has some qualities. It began with big parade-like drums, piano notes and an introduction by Alex Florea, the "rapper" who was actually not a real one, but a pop-rock singer. Then came Illinca and her yodelled part which later on turned out to be the chorus. I get it: yodel is an acquired taste, Illinca's simply doing her own adapted version of it and I myself am not sure I'd be willing to hear pure yodel music, but it worked like a charm within the framework of this composition. Those guys managed to build on an uncommon musical genre to give a major spark of originality to their song without sounding mismatched or off-topic given the lyrics. Honestly, I think the chorus is just genius: it's catchy as heck, the hook gets in your head instantly, it's very memorable and fun because it's so out there. The verses were a little bit on the American pop-rock-ish side to me, Alex's rapping was very gentle and blended well with the rest imo, I don't know why I got a slight reggae vibe from it though (I would have LOVED a reggae part!). I'm glad they also included a little bit of stylised melody for Illinca to include some yodel-sounding vibes there too. As much as one can spit on the trashiness/weirdness of the song, I don't think that it's deserved because most of the magic of it lies on both singers and their vocals (which isn't what trashy songs are usually about): apart from the strong melody, the arrangements were truly meant to accompany them without taking the lead, as all we had was pop-rock-ish drums, a bass line during the verses, distant electric guitar during the chorus and some clapping during the bridge. As for the bridge, this is were the relatively "relaxed" pace of the song was shaken up by means of energetic strings, heavier drums and almost shouty melodic lines. Finally, for the final chorus, Illinca gifted us with tighter, more chiselled "flourishing" vocalises which were - let's be honest - amazingly done. I'm definitely not the main target of fun songs like these (as I seldom like them), but oddly enough this one does it for me, maybe because there is musical merit in the composition (it's not just style and no substance), it's very original and I totally got what the composers' idea was, which made it easier to enjoy it. I may still prefer "Playing With Fire", but "Yodel It!" is probably one of the best (and boldest) Romanian entries ever. Pros: the daring mix of yodel, pop and rap; the genius chorus; super catchy; genuinely fun. Cons: I'm not too fond of Illinca's high note during the bridge, that's all.

    The highlight of the song is definitely the chorus because it is masterfully composed and arranged: the hook potential of the yodel lines, Alex's lines that respond to Illinca's, the catchy melody, and the discreet yet appropriate arrangements formed a destructive combo imo. It screamed "ear-worm".

    -Vocally, while Alex's voice tended to be on the messy side, it wasn't big of a deal since he wasn't really the corner stone of the song (even if his participation was essential to create a contrast with Illinca). On the contrary, Illinca was just close to flawlessness, she might not have been pitch perfect during her high note, but the yodel she slayed it as if she snapped her fingers. I mean: again, each to their own, but that last chorus... It takes talent to do that, seriously. Overall, I think this cute "couple" did justice to the song: they were 100% into it, they had an infectious freshness which people could connect with, and vocally they were able to replicate the song live.

    -Visually, as expected, Romania brought a colourful show on stage, which stood out from the rest. Alex started the performance alone with two cannons structuring the stage and a busy background screen displaying an army of cute colourful figurines playing drums among light blue clouds. Illinca soon joined him and did her own dance moves, it was cute. The background was naive and drawing-like, but not cheap-looking: I liked the incomplete landscape with shapes suggesting trees. There was less emphasis on visuals during the chorus due to the camera work, still viewers could notice a stylised beach (with a sunset) and the title of the song in colourful moving letters. They weren't afraid of using bright colours, which I liked personally. The second verse featured dancing music notes on a staff and dancing sheeps on the floor then loads of butterflies filled the background during the second chorus. The bridge saw a short visual break with a mere blue whirlwind (?) until Alex's cannon shot all over the place in front of fake cannons with multicoloured smoke. Eventually, they added bright light points on the background screen for the last chorus, which efficiently gave dynamism to the end of the performance imo. Visually, I don't think most of the elements used made sense but it's that kind of balanced craziness the song needed: it was entertaining and accessible, yet not cheap-looking or try-hard. Camera-wise, they also did a great job and clearly put the emphasis on both singers, which to me is another proof that the strength of this act lied in the live vocal performance rather than in visuals or entertaining factors other than musical ones. Illinca wore a short red dress with slits and white stilettos while Alex was dressed in black with a sleeveless top, fitting trousers and nice shoes. Everything worked for me, Romania knows how to put on a good show.

    -Results-wise, there was absolutely no way Romania couldn't reach the final. As expected, people rooted for it while juries didn't, probably because it wasn't serious and dull enough for them. Again, I believe a balanced jury wouldn't have marked that song down as much because if we have to take vocals into account, it should have guaranteed Romania a decent amount of points. Like I said in another thread, juries basically tend to snub what goes beyond the standard pop music format and vocally, only x-factor performances seem to be their cup of tea (The Netherlands, Australia, Denmark...) but the truth is if they really cared about vocal prowesses, then Illinca's yodelling and Jacques' operatic voice wouldn't have been left to rot in the grand final. On the contrary, viewers helped Romania a great deal by ranking them 5th, which was both expected and deserved imo, I'm glad that song reached 7th place. This year, the top 10 of the viewers was made up of songs that stood out musically anyway, and they rejected most of the meh songs, which gives me faith for next year. In my personal ranking, "Yodel It!" is around my 14th/15th place because I have other favourites, still it's the second best Romanian entry this decade by far for me. In the fun upbeat department, I would have switched places with Moldova (that I found professional and fun too, but a bit too conventional in comparison). It was interesting to note that both nations did well with viewers, as I thought one would always steal the other's limelight. Well done guys, thank you for sending such an out there song! And it comes from someone who usually doesn't crave fun acts. I still hope that you'll come up with a serious songs right up my alley just once , other than that keep being you even if juries aren't on your side. Not many nations can boast about having a trademark like you do in Eurovision See you next year!

  3. Prosecco Drinker
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    #832

    Re: ROMANIA 2017 - Ilinca feat. Alex Florea - Yodel It!

    I think Illica should get a University degree in Yodelling which is a thing now

    esc87fan: *grabs Nicholas123 and washes his mouth out for stealing chocolate*

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