Song Of The Day 5/8/2016: Douwe Bob – “Slow Down” (The Netherlands)

I'm Ovision – Eurovision! 2016 – Welcome, or should I say all those words Joel Grey used in Cabaret, to this blog's third consecutive year of coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest. This year's tunefest to the death takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, where the ghosts of ABBAs past continue to slip in and out of bank vaults and toothpaste factories like Dickensian specters with evolved hygiene.

I got good news and bad news. The good news is that I have listened to all 42 songs so, as they say, you don't have to.

The bad news: You're gonna have to start pulling your weight because this was the OED definition of tedium. You do the listening next year. I'm going to enjoy something more entertaining, like eczema.

This year's crop is singular in its lack of excitement. Or deviation. Or musicians who didn't get stuck at the intersection of Coldplay and Florence & the Machine, just decided to screw it all, put the gear in park and idle the engine, filling us all with noxious, thunderous gang-sing. Do you need the most basic janglings to uplift your battered spirits into crescendos of regenerative inspiration, or at least neutrality with a decent snack tray? Ding-dong, next stop Eurovision '16.

There's not even anything we can pilfer for its camp value this year. That’s how boring it is. Last year's uncomfortable violence is nowhere to be seen, and the luscious tackiness of both the last two years is completely gone. This year's songs aren't even very gay, a double-drag since this year's contest is finally being broadcast in the USA by the Logo Network. In years past we could depend on the melodramatic surge from semi-detached countries like Estonia and Moldova to provide some odd-fangled brie-and-thunder, at least in their videos. This year everyone's opting for urban miniatures and CATscans.

And, of course, most of the songs are terribly uninteresting. Never before have Eurovision contestants sounded so beholden to a template. But with none of them presenting a compelling accompaniment via costume or interpretive allemandes, this week's features were primarily selected because there was something I actually liked about the songs. And that doubled the selection process to a whopping twenty minutes. They never think about the pain us bloggers go through. But forget it. It's part of the business. That's why we unionized.

So this week is a matter of making lemonade far less interesting or nourishing as Beyoncé's (whose Lemonade is really effing good). Take heart: Since no song in Eurovision can go beyond three minutes, you're gonna get some time back this week. Go ahead and take that coffee with sugar.

The situation's so tepid this year that I'm forced to start off with the Eurovision 2016 song I like the most, from Dutchman Douwe Bob, who's got this mild Johnny Cash-via-Jake Gyllenhaal thing happening in his countenance. Can't explain it. The music in the verses of "Slow Down" distantly remind me of King Harvest's "Dancing in the Moonlight." The message is on point. Everybody in the video seems to be enjoying themselves in a pub. People shooting pool. Future lovers rooting themselves in their common reliability and skin care. We're all having a great time. Don't get used it. Eurovision Week has begun. 

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