It wasn’t until this week that I had a good chance to sit down and listen to Sheppard’s On My Way, one of the entries in Australia Decides (which is taking place THIS SATURDAY MORNING!)
I had seen the Twitter fandom be all excited about Sheppard, and then be all disappointed when it was released. And then I watched the video:
And, yes, Sheppard is…fine?
I feel a strange sense of detachment from what I know this song should be doing to me. I should get the sense of being in a stadium full of people bouncing up and down and screaming along with the chorus. It would be really powerful, wouldn’t it, to have 30,000 people all chanting, “I’M ON MY WAY”?
I could see this doing rather well in Tel Aviv. I can see Australian audiences voting it through. I can even see myself, two months hence, listening to this song on repeat because I’m stanning that chorus.
But I also feel like I can identify the elements which have been placed in here to make the song work – there’s the clap-along bit, there’s the sing-along bit, there’s the bit where the singer deliberately sounds like Freddie Mercury. It’s a little too manufactured to give me a genuine feeling – which I know is weird for Eurovision, where EVERYTHING IS MANUFACTURED.
But I also can’t help feeling that in a year when Australia can send a truly original song like Zero Gravity or 2000 and Whatever, a song that will make the audience stand up in wonder and expectation, it would be the wrong choice to send a stadium pop anthem.
Sheppard, I like your song, but the problem is I don’t love your song. Please keep churning out these stadium anthems for all the surfing competitions or whatever it is you do in Australia.