Malta – The Busker – Dance (Our Own Party)

Eurovision rules state that a song must not exceed three minutes in length.

Which is why Malta’s Dance (Our Own Party) is so confusing for me:

The song is less than three minutes long, and yet The Busker…

…needed to break it up into a three-act structure. Yes, three acts for fewer than three minutes of music.

And yet, while I find this conceit deeply, deeply irritating, I also admit that I liked it as a hint for how much longer the song was going to be. Because while Dance (Your Own Party) is less than three minutes long, it somehow warps the space-time continuum to feel like it’s going on for hours.

Part of that is due to the repetitive nature of the song. You’ve got one very good verse, and one slightly less good verse, and then the chorus. Oh, that chorus. For a song that lasts less than three minutes, the phrase, “Do you want to dance?” gets repeated 14 times. I got so wrapped up in the repetition of this song that I pasted the Genius lyrics into a google doc, got rid of the stage directions, and looked at the word count. 248 words in the entire song, and the word DANCE accounts for 35 of them – about 14% of the song’s total lyrical content.

This might seem mean and pedantic, but I’m frustrated because an initially promising song just runs out of steam. It’s like The Busker saw a bunch of elements that they liked in other songs – an epic sax guy, Dadi Freyr’s 8-bit aesthetic, TikTok dance moves – and kind of crammed all of them into a song without thinking much about what actually needed to go in the song. And no, this isn’t me hating fun – this is me hating what could have been fun but starts to grate after the umpteenth sweater reference. Dance (My Own Party) is the type of song you get by following Alexander Rybak’s songwriting advice (1. Believe in It 2. Roll With It)

I’m especially disappointed because I am someone who hates parties (and yet is also going to Euroclub for two nights). I want more introvert representation at Eurovision! And Dance (My Own Party) isn’t even the best song about the introvert experience that was entered into competition this year. That honor would have to go to Rodan’s Introvert Party Club, which contains the fantastic line: “My favourite parties are where no one invites me.”

On the positive side for Malta, most people will be experiencing this song for the first time in a semifinal, when it might come off as charming and quirky. But it’s sandwiched between the powerhouse that is Queen of Kings and the surrealism that is Samo Mi Se Spava. And Dance (My Own Party) is neither as energetic as the first or as weird as the latter. I also worry that the sax solo is going to be off-putting by the third time it’s heard in a recap for voters.

TL:DR – I get why people like this. I’m just not one of them. I feel like it’s an interesting kernel of an idea searching for a better execution.

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