I listened to every Eurovision 2024 entry, so you don’t have to

The Eurovision 2024 logo
A burst of bright colours symbolising the Northern Lights

It’s Eurovision time once more and Europe, it seems, is stuck on Sweden like a tattoo-oo-oo, as we return to Sweden for this year’s contest. It’s lucky number seven for the Swedes as hosts of Europe’s biggest annual music festival, and the third for the city of Malmö.

I’ve been blogging my first impressions of that year’s contest for a decade, based on one, back-to-back play through of the official Eurovision Song Contest album.

Well, here I am again. Round 10.

Not because I’m a self-appointed expert on the subject, or because I’m expecting plaudits from Eurovision influencer circles. No, I do this because it’s fun, and because I need hobbies other than drinking wine and eating cheese. I’m just telling you what I like and what I don’t.

The process

No pointless excursion through the chaos of European (and sometimes Australian) music would be complete without arbitrary rules to follow.

This year, my process has been to listen to each song once – and only once – in the order they appear on the album. After each song, I can put finger to keyboard and jot down my first impressions.

You’re good to go

Down below you’ll find every entry from this year’s contest in alphabetical order by country. Thanks to a bit of Wikipedia searching, all the entries are presented using their English translated song titles.

You can filter the entries by which of the three events – semi-final one, semi-final two or the grand final – they’ll be performing.

This year, the European Broadcasting Union has changed the rules of the contest too; the Big 5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) and last year’s winner (Sweden) will perform live during the semi-finals. Whilst you won’t be able to vote for them – they still automatically qualify for the final – I’ve included them in their respective semi-final events too.

So, in the words of Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Martin Österdahl, “you’re good to go”…

The entries

Toggle entries
Youtube cover photo for Albania's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Titan by Besa

Albania Titan by Besa

Go ‘head and give your best shot

Lyrics in English

This is a song that refuses to stick to one style or genre.

The first minute is mellow. Ticking clocks. Light piano chords. That kind of thing. It builds as you’d expect into a fuller chorus.

For the second verse we take a hard, left turn and drop into kick-drums and distorted synthesisers, before returning to the more chilled vibes for the chorus.

But Besa, bless her, is not done.

Why settle for two musical styles when you can have three! In the final 30 seconds we throw away what has come before and reveal a much more interesting set of instrumentation reminiscent of an 80s throwback. I can’t help but wonder if the song would have been more enjoyable if it was in that final style the whole way through.

Youtube cover photo for Armenia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Jako by Ladaniva

Armenia Jako by Ladaniva

I am a free girl, so I will dance and you will watch!

Lyrics in Armenian

The thing I love about Eurovision is that you get to experience other cultures through their music and performance. Were it not for Eurovision, I’d never have known that I truly love Scandipop. Or that the Polish were really into milk churning.

And this song allows me to experience something I’d never have voluntarily listened to that I presume is distinctively Armenian.

It’s a peppy, brassy and playful track.

And I’m sure this appeals to someone. It does not appeal to me.

Youtube cover photo for Australia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – One Mikali (One Blood) by Electric Fields

Australia One Mikali (One Blood) by Electric Fields

Escape with us to the planets
To the Fleetwood Macs and the Janets

Lyrics in English, Yankunytjatjara

I am pro-Australia, and pro-Australia in Eurovision. Australia remains the best winner we never had.

But after that soaring performance that was denied its rightful winner’s slot, I have been waiting for something to make me continue to believe in the “Australia is actually part of Europe” project.

I am sorry to report that this is not it. At least, it’s not the knock out song I have been waiting for.

Don’t misunderstand me. I like the song. It’s fun. It’s camp. It’s got a pulsating rhythm that makes you want to dance to it. It’s got a didgeridoo!

I am all aboard whatever bizarre rocket ship is taking me “to the planets” with “the Fleetwood Macs and the Janets”.

But this feels like a song made for Eurovision. That isn’t Australia at its best. Australia at its best is when it brings songs that sound like they are songs designed for the charts that just happen to be at Eurovision. That’s what Sound of Silence was. That’s not what this is.

Youtube cover photo for Austria's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – We Will Rave by Kaleen

Austria We Will Rave by Kaleen

No one knows a thing about my haunted soul

Lyrics in English

I have never been to a rave, but I imagine that a rave looks a lot like that scene in The Matrix where Thomas Anderson meets Trinity for the first time in a dodgy nightclub.

My obvious lack of credentials established; this does appear to be a faithful recreation of a 1990s and 2000s rave sound. Lots of overdriven synths, laser sound effects, and – most importantly – generic, nonsensical female vocals. An ultra-high tempo three minutes.

Youtube cover photo for Azerbaijan's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Take Me with You by Fahree feat. Ilkin Dovlativ

Azerbaijan Take Me with You by Fahree feat. Ilkin Dovlativ

Hold my heart in your hands

Lyrics in English, Azerbaijani

In this mid-tempo ballad with a beat, Fahree invites us to “hold [his] heart in your hands” and asks: “do you have what it takes?”

I propose to you, friends, that this is an excellent metaphor! Do we hold Fahree’s hopes of winning Eurovision in our hands? Does his song have what it takes to win?

No. No, it does not.

Youtube cover photo for Belgium's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Before the Party’s Over by Mustii

Belgium Before the Party’s Over by Mustii

One more drink and I’ll be fine

Lyrics in English

You know when you can hear your neighbour playing music, but you can’t hear it properly because it’s travelling through a wall or the floor? When it’s all a bit muffled? To my – admittedly pretty poor – ears, this song’s got a weird aural-aesthetic quality to it that is a bit like that.

It’s a ballad, but with seemingly-intentionally muffled instrumentation. The singers otherwise come through loud and clear, and the lead singer has a voice that might remind you of Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco fame.

Youtube cover photo for Croatia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Rim Tim Tagi Dim by Baby Lasagna

Croatia Rim Tim Tagi Dim by Baby Lasagna

Ay, I’m a big boy now
I’m going away and I sold my cow

Lyrics in English

The shadow of last year’s runner-up entry from Finland looms large over this lyrically nonsensical crash of a song.

It sounds like it’s ripped straight out of a boss level from the 16-bit era. Think Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA MegaDrive, when he’s fighting Dr. Robotnik.

Youtube cover photo for Cyprus's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Liar by Silia Kapsis

Cyprus Liar by Silia Kapsis

Waking up in the morning and I’m
I’m feeling like ooh-la-la

Lyrics in English

In 2018, Cyprus lit Lisbon on fuego with a fierce song from Eleni Foureira that almost clinched the top spot. They’ve tried that formula a couple times again since; including this year.

This is another punchy track with club-worthy, slut-dropping, chest-shuddering beats from the Cypriots.

Youtube cover photo for Czechia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Pedestal by Aiko

Czechia Pedestal by Aiko

Put myself on a pedestal
I will be loving me more

Lyrics in English

Rock meets pop in this song. It starts at a clip, and stays high-intensity throughout.

It reminds me of a mashup of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”.

Aiko describes the song as a “self-love, post-breakup anthem” – whatever the hell that means – and I suppose that explains the literal (and presumably acted) argument that she has with a nameless man towards the end of a track. It’s quite jarring in what is otherwise a fun pop-rock track.

Youtube cover photo for Denmark's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Sand by Saba

Denmark Sand by Saba

Guess we built a castle out of sand

Lyrics in English

The first 10 seconds of this song had me immediately hooked, and then it made me feel like I’d been bait-and-switched. There’s purpose in those first few seconds; and then it takes almost a full minute to get back to that level of energy and excitement.

When it gets going though, it’s great. The relentless synth-pop bass line feels like a throwback to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”, and Saba’s vocals cut through it beautifully.

Youtube cover photo for Estonia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – We (sure) know nothing about (these) drugs by 5miinust and Puuluup

Estonia We (sure) know nothing about (these) drugs by 5miinust and Puuluup

We’re not junkies, we haven’t done anything
The dresses we have on are dumpster-find

Lyrics in Estonian

Well, I guess we’ve found one of the joke entries for this year.

Presuming that this isn’t translated for the live stage performance, I’d encourage you to just read the lyrics in English.

Youtube cover photo for Finland's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – No Rules! by Windows95man

Finland No Rules! by Windows95man

Call me what you may, see if I care
See me slay!

Lyrics in English

Of all of the versions of Microsoft’s operating system to name yourself after, Windows 95 would not be the top of my list. I guess Windows XP was not available.

Much like Microsoft’s archaic operating systems though, this song is absolute garbage.

Drags to Recycle Bin.

Youtube cover photo for France's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Mon amour by Slimane

France Mon amour by Slimane

Sorry if I disturb you

Lyrics in French

This song is apparently a “love letter to European hearts” from artist Slimane.

It starts in the same way as every other self-indulgent French ballad that you’ve ever heard. It crescendos into a vocal that has a lot of strength and emotion. And yet after three minutes, I feel… nothing.

If this is meant to sway my heart, then I regret to inform; je ne l’aime pas.

Youtube cover photo for Georgia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Firefighter by Nutsa

Georgia Firefighter by Nutsa

I see it in the air, I see it in the air.
I’m rising from these ashes like a phoenix, yeah.

Lyrics in English

I’m so used to Georgia sending whacky entries like this, or abysmal entries like this one and that one, that I usually despair just looking at the name of their country in the running order.

But not this year gang, because Georgia’s entry is a firecracker! It’s a fresh, bassy-pop banger with a locally influenced twist.

The vocals are great. The beat is great. It’s great.

Youtube cover photo for Germany's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Always on the Run by Isaak

Germany Always on the Run by Isaak

I‘m always on the
Run na na eh, run na na eh

Lyrics in English

“I am nothing but the average”, Isaak roars out at the start of this song. But I think he’s singing himself a disservice; this is better than average! At least, better than the average German entry in recent years.

Whilst the Germans have had success at Eurovision more recently than we have here in the UK – last winning the Contest in 2010 with “Satellite” by Lena – they’ve had a torrid time since.

Will this Tom Grennan-like track restore their fortunes? I’ve no clue, but I know I quite like it.

Youtube cover photo for Greece's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Dice by Marina Satti

Greece Dice by Marina Satti

And everything is changing around me abruptly

Lyrics in Greek, English

I am going to sound like a very old man when I say this, but: this is barely even music. It’s just noise.

There’s so much discordance in the clashing sounds and styles in this track, that it could probably induce a headache if I listened to it long enough. Thankfully – as with all Eurovision tracks – I only have to listen to it for a maximum of three minutes.

Youtube cover photo for Iceland's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Scared of Heights by Hera Björk

Iceland Scared of Heights by Hera Björk

I feel it coming
Been here before and never got it right

Lyrics in English

This is a generically crowd-pleasing pop track with some eyebrow-raising raising lyrics. A bright piano cuts through the four-on-the-floor drum track.

Three minutes that’ll make you want to dance around your living room.

Youtube cover photo for Ireland's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Doomsday Blue by Bambie Thug

Ireland Doomsday Blue by Bambie Thug

You could slow dance me
Out of my sorrow
But your favourite colour
Compared to the others is doom

Lyrics in English

Ireland is dangerously close to losing its crown of “most Eurovision wins ever”. Last year’s win from Sweden means they now share that accolade – as well as being the only country to produce a two-time winner.

You’d hope, on that basis, that Ireland would bring its A-game. You’d think they’d want to show up ready to win.

And then they send an artist called Bambie Thug and a track called “Doomsday Blue” that is, to be blunt, an assault on the senses.

Chaotic and contorted from the very first moment, this is a unique entry – of that I have no doubt – but it is also deeply, deeply unpleasant.

Youtube cover photo for Israel's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Hurricane by Eden Golan

Israel Hurricane by Eden Golan

Everyday I’m losing my mind
Holding on in this mysterious ride

Lyrics in English, Hebrew

This song has apparently been shrouded in controversy. The title of the song and the lyrics have apparently been changed multiple times on instruction of the EBU, the national broadcaster and Israel’s president.

I won’t comment further on that; I am only interested in the music, and the music is… fine?

It’s a ballad. It’s a fine ballad. It’s not a bad or uninteresting song by any stretch, but it doesn’t pull on the heartstrings in the way the preceding controversy suggests it should.

Youtube cover photo for Italy's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Boredom by Angelina Mango

Italy Boredom by Angelina Mango

A crown of thorns will be the dress code for my party

Lyrics in Italian

For a song called “Boredom”, this is hardly boring. Maybe you should expect that from an artist with an exotic fruit in their name (are mangos even native to Italy?!).

This will hit you like a steam train. Relentless, droning beats underpin a tongue-twisting lyrical tango dancing about on top of this complex track.

It has no discernible hook or riff that’s meant to stick with you; almost as if the whole song is intended as one long verse. And I suspect that may be its undoing.

Måneskin aside, it’s a nice change from the somewhat typical Italian formulae of recent memory of middle-aged men shouting dreary ballads down a microphone.

Youtube cover photo for Latvia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Hollow by Dons

Latvia Hollow by Dons

Yeah I’d rather let them dig my grave shallow
Instead of selling out to something so hollow, hollow

Lyrics in English

It takes a while to warm up, but there’s a soulful and memorable riff waiting in the chorus to this somewhat morbid ballad from the Latvians.

It doesn’t have the stand out moments of previous winning ballads like 2019 winner, Arcade, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.

Youtube cover photo for Lithuania's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Wait by Silvester Belt

Lithuania Wait by Silvester Belt

We’re standing in silence while the radio’s playing

Lyrics in Lithuanian

Another track with a slow wind up, but this time leading to a fast-paced electronic track that reminds me a little of classic 90s tracks like Sandstorm.

Unfortunately it’s musical mist. Lightweight and little to grab on to.

Youtube cover photo for Luxembourg's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Fighter by Tali

Luxembourg Fighter by Tali

You’re not 20 anymore
You don’t have time
To act like a child

Lyrics in English

The moment we’ve been waiting for: Luxembourg’s return to the Eurovision Song Contest after more than 30 years. Their last entry being in 1993.

And they’ve brought us a song that could have been ripped out of an early 1990s Eurovision, but with a modern-francophone twist.

It’s got up-tempo plucky guitar, tongue-twisting lyrics that flick between English and French, and a funky beat.

But after three decades away, I have to ask: is this all Luxembourg’s got?

Youtube cover photo for Malta's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Loop by Sarah Bonnici

Malta Loop by Sarah Bonnici

Let me tease you boy, you love it when I m-m-m-move

Lyrics in English

Malta is once again bringing the party, with a track reminiscent of 2021 entry, Je Ma Casse.

It’s a club-floor filler with a strong female vocal, thumping drum and bass track, and it oozes with sass and sex.

Youtube cover photo for Moldova's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – In the Middle by Natalia Barbu

Moldova In the Middle by Natalia Barbu

I know your heart is filled with love

Lyrics in English

This song has a peculiar audio mix. Peculiar enough that the vocals seem to be lost in the middle of the otherwise over-powering instrumentation.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The vocals don’t appear to be particularly notable and the song itself – a mid-tempo ballad – isn’t especially notable.

Youtube cover photo for Netherlands's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Eurodaddy by Joost Klein

Netherlands Eurodaddy by Joost Klein

I don’t need es-car-gots
Don’t need fish ‘n chips
Don’t need paella, no
I don’t even really know what that is

Lyrics in Dutch

Well. This guy knows exactly what he’s doing with a song called “Eurodaddy”, doesn’t he? Filth.

I’m not sure this joke really lands in its native tongue, but the lyrics, translated from Dutch to English, are a fun read for this one.

Youtube cover photo for Norway's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Wolf Pelt by Gåte

Norway Wolf Pelt by Gåte

I was a very fine and beautiful maiden
With an evil stepmother.

Lyrics in Norwegian

Bear in mind that I don’t watch the Eurovision album; I listen to it. And if you do the same, you won’t get why this song is called “Wolf Pelt” until the chorus. Then it’s really obvious.

This is a rock song with howling. It’s not a very good rock song with howling, but maybe watching it, not just listening to it, is the key?

Youtube cover photo for Poland's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – The Tower by LUNA

Poland The Tower by LUNA

I’m the one who built the tower
I’m the one who holds the power

Lyrics in English

LUNA reminds me a bit of MUNA; an American indie pop band. That’s no bad thing. I like MUNA.

This is a pleasant enough jaunt through three minutes of pleasing melodies and four-on-the-floor rhythms. It lacks the heady heights of, say, Pink Light, but it’s fine enough.

Youtube cover photo for Portugal's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Shout by Iolanda

Portugal Shout by Iolanda

It burns, it burns, it burns

Lyrics in Portuguese

For a song called “Shout”, I dunno, I was just expecting a little more… Oomph?

There’s only one, half-arsed, fleeting moment of robustness in this entire dreary ballad. Boring. Next.

Youtube cover photo for San Marino's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – 11:11 by Megara

San Marino 11:11 by Megara

Do you want to be a big bad wolf?

Lyrics in Spanish

I believe the technical term to apply to this song is “Wall of Sound”. There is a lot going on in this frenetic, heavy rock track.

It’ll be a bold wake-up call if – as is likely – it’s surrounded by some lacklustre ballads.

Youtube cover photo for Serbia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Ramonda by Teya Dora

Serbia Ramonda by Teya Dora

Prayers also don’t help.

Lyrics in Serbian

At risk of turning into a meme; not another one.

As ballads go this year, I don’t think this is the worst one, but it’s not far off. This one is almost like a funeral dirge at the start, and it drags on for so long it could be used as a cure for insomnia.

Youtube cover photo for Slovenia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Veronika by Raiven

Slovenia Veronika by Raiven

Who do you chase when you leave me?

Lyrics in Slovene

This “dark alternative pop song” is certainly dark, certainly alternative and definitely has pop!

It has a slow wind up, but once it hits its stride there’s a fighting vocal and pulsating soundtrack to accompany it.

Youtube cover photo for Spain's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Vixen by Nebulossa

Spain Vixen by Nebulossa

If I head out solo, I’m a bit of a vixen

Lyrics in Spanish

Let’s go back to the 80s, kids! This is cheesy as hell, reminiscent of the ill-fated Danish entry from 2021, Øve os på hinanden and I love it.

Whilst the instrumentation has all the sparkle and shoulder-pads of an 80s classic, I’m disappointed by the vocal, which is comparatively underwhelming.

Youtube cover photo for Sweden's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Unforgettable by Marcus & Martinus

Sweden Unforgettable by Marcus & Martinus

She’s gonna chew you up
And leave you empty, hollow
Then she’ll spit you out

Lyrics in English

It’s another highly-polished and poptastic entry from the Swedes. But what more did you expect from a country that is the undeniable powerhouse of Eurovision?

It pales in comparison to some of Sweden’s greatest former entries, but you don’t have to be outstanding to win, you just have to be better than the competition.

It’s certainly unique, with tinges of Daft Punk and Swedish House Mafia underpinning it, and stands out amongst a crowd of mediocrity this year.

Youtube cover photo for Switzerland's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – The Code by Nemo

Switzerland The Code by Nemo

You better buckle up
I’ll pour another cup
This is my boheme

Lyrics in English

What to make of this. It’s got flashes of theatre productions like Phantom of the Opera and Hamilton. It’s got dance beats. It’s got falsetto abound.

So its pop, meets hip-hop, meets musicals, meets opera. Do you follow?

I’m not really sure what to make of it.

Youtube cover photo for Ukraine's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Teresa & Maria by Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil

Ukraine Teresa & Maria by Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil

I’m not holy, I’m alive

Lyrics in Ukrainian, English

The choral backing vocals might give you a small clue that the “Teresa & Maria” referred to in this song’s title are apparently a reference to Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary.

It’s an interesting song, with some floaty vocals, foot-tapping beats, and lots of layers.

Youtube cover photo for United Kingdom's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest – Dizzy by Olly Alexander

United Kingdom Dizzy by Olly Alexander

Beautiful gardens
Eternal flowers
You know the way so take me there

Lyrics in English

Every year I cheat at this blind-taste test of Eurovision: I always listen to the UK entry as soon as I hear it’s been announced. This year was no different.

This year’s entry is from the front man of pretty-big-deal group Years and Years. Now performing in the singular, Olly Alexander brings us Dizzy.

Clearly inspired by It’s a Sin by the Pet Shop Boysa song Olly has already covered – it borrows the same synth chord progression right from the jump.

Out of context, it is a good song with a strong ear-worm in the chorus. In context of the other songs in this year’s Contest; dare I say it?

I think he’s a contender.

Summing up

I’ll level with you. This year is not a great year for Eurovision. There isn’t any one song – none – that I can point to this year and say “bloody love that one”, or even “that is obviously a winner”.

I think in a sea of mediocrity, it’s anyone’s game to win.