Portugal – Cerca del Mar

pSo everybody’s favourite jazz hep cat Salvador Sobral has returned with a post-Eurovision, post-surgery, post-dissing Netta song.


And it’s a good summer song. It’s the type of song that should play in the background as you lounge about in a caftan and large hat and sip some sangria in a backyard you’re trying to pretend is the beaches of Spain. We can see why he’s a Eurovision winner.
But Salvador’s songs are also critic-proof. They’re not designed to fit the ‘banger’ paradigm we’ve created. They’re designed to be appreciated by an appreciative audience in a club dedicated solely to featuring the artist on stage. They don’t have to cut through a sea of drunk people bouncing up and down to be heard.
And that’s why I can’t fully get behind Salvador’s music – it’s meant to be appreciated in very strict conditions. And it’s lovely. But it simply doesn’t have to do as much as the fast food music he criticizes. In its rarefied atmosphere, it can simply be, without having to assert itself.
Perhaps that’s why I love fast food Eurovision music so much – it’s a great challenge to try to cut through the noise and din of everyday life and capture the attention of the world for three minutes. Most people chance it with pop hooks, and when it works, it’s a marvel. For Salvador, every song receives rapturous applause from its small but fervent audience. It seems somewhat mean to be yelling about people taking the greater chance with a more hostile audience.

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