love the Rybak story, don't like Rybak

May 17th, 2009

It has come to pass.

I would say it's hard to believe that it's gone this far, but truly it isn't. Eurovision has always been garbage so I'm not particularly shocked at this outcome. The problem with Eurovision isn't the music, it's the voting. Every time there are some good acts in it, but the votes fall pretty much as the wind blows, it's by no means meritocratic. (That is, even looking past the blatant political voting and back room deals between neighboring countries.) So if you watch it you'll only be pissed that the best songs never get recognized.

But then they picked Rybak. Two-three months ago I'd never heard of him. I was visiting in Norway and I was told the biggest celebrity in the country right now is a guy with Belarusian origins who plays the violin. Sweet! What's not to like about that?

It's a feel good story, almost makes me feel like it could have been me. I'd like nothing better than someone like this get recognized. Norway is a great place, but like all immigration stories go, there are some people who look down on some people from certain geographic origins; it's pure prejudice. And he plays violin to boot, an eccentric interest to say the least. Which I did too once! And this is the guy the Norwegian public loves to death.

All was rosy. And then I heard his music.

Awful stuff. The melody must be derived from some sort of folk music, evidenced by the lame dancing. I hate folk music. Then there is the violin, which he doesn't really do much with, except play the theme. And even if you liked it up to that point, then he starts singing. Borderline off key. It literally doesn't even make the standard of an average Eurovision entry.

Needless to say, pop music is not about music, it's about image. And he certainly has that going for him. Maybe if he gets a good producer behind him he can crank out something actually worth playing on the radio. Having come this far, he can't be completely devoid of talent, can he? Just talent misdirected, that's my guess.

The Rybak story is a great story, but it sorely needs an injection of credibility. Maybe one day he could be celebrated on musical merit?

:: random entries in this category ::

1 Responses to "love the Rybak story, don't like Rybak"

  1. Paul Matusiak says:

    I do not agree. The song is pretty, even spectacular with the dancing and the way he moves and transmits his energy. He might not play a lot on his violin, but what he does, he does it well, and yes the singing is nothing special, but he doesn't sing off key. And remember he composed it and wrote the lyrics by himself. Overall what impresses me the most is the accuracy of his whole performance, and the way he keeps the song going, so that it goes on and on without getting boring. I'm not a folk music fan either but this wasn't a bad melody, and you can feel it's in his blood, which makes it more convincing. The chorus though was crap, they sang way off pitch. I too hope he produces some better material musically in the future, preferably just on his violin.