Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Lena Meyer-Landrut – Satellite

There’s naow isscaype…


Frank Kogan: Quirk girl goes pop, dances like a giraffe balancing atop a dreidel, avers that she’s painted her toenails, is 100% charming. [Checks score.] Er, is 80% charming. Would have been 100% if she’d made a sculpture out of her toenail clippings. (Toenail sculpture is a subject too infrequently addressed in pop music.)

Edward Okulicz: Romania was robbed! But they probably enjoyed it.

Kat Stevens: It seemed slightly unfair to fans of spectacle that Eurovision was not won by Greece’s firework drumming or France’s joyous booty-wiggling or even Spain’s terrifying circus nightmare, but by a mere slip of a girl in a plain black dress, hopping from one foot to the other like she needed a wee. On the night Lena’s voice was a nasal miaow and her stage presence was wretchedly nervous, but luckily for her most of the audience voting for “Satellite” had already heard it. It’s catchy enough that she could have won while singing through a loo roll tube with a paper bag over her head.

Alex Macpherson: Ahahahaha the Quirky Girl infestation has somehow reached Eurovision?! That is hilarious, though they’re still two of my least favourite things in the musical universe.

Martin Skidmore: I thought she was totally adorable on Eurovision, a kind of German Lily Allen, and this retains its appeal in single form. Her accent is still odd, but in an entirely cute way, and the song is bouncy and catchy. I like this a lot, but I have no idea whether her success will translate into a big pop career.

Pete Baran: It underwhelmed me when it won at Eurovision, but I can see how it has totally slayed the somewhat weak dragon that is the mittel-European charts. It’s a chirpy enough arrangement, but the secret is the mangled vowels. It’s a German who has been taught English by Dick Van Dyke, with elocution lessons thrown in by Kate Nash. We didn’t really ask for a German Kate Nash, but if we can replace the English one with her, I’d be more than happy.

Alfred Soto: Look, it’s sweet that she painted her toenails just for me — it’s her affected miss-priss accent I can’t stand.

Iain Mew: It might not be immediately apparent due to the friendly, peppy arrangment, but this is clearly a desperate and irrational song. “I can’t go a minute without your love” is bad enough overstatement in a song directed to a reciprocating lover, but there’s little indication here that the person the song is directed at is even aware of her. There’s very little of that person in the song in general, in fact. Lena accusingly lists all of her wasted efforts, but I doubt whether they’ve even seen that blue underwear. By the end she’s just resorting to repeating “love”, possibly struggling to even convince herself. Given all of that, Lena’s bizarre inflections are actually the song’s biggest asset, her fragile grip on sung English reflecting her equally tenuous hold on reality.

Chuck Eddy: Her quirk-ridden show-tune-cabaret phrasing takes undue pride in the words’ nonexistent cleverness. But from its schaffely shuffle on up, the hooks here do have a way of getting under one’s skin.

Matt Cibula: I am pretty sure this was every single female pop song in the 1980s, so I don’t entirely trust my like of it. But it’s peppery and zesty and I need flavor in my life, so there.

John Seroff: I think the important question here is “are you being forced to listen to this?” i.e. is it inescapably all over the radio and tv and ads and whatnot? Or is it a jaunty, excitable sometime visitor that only pops up on the shuffle every other Sunday? Because in small doses ‘Satellite’ is a fun trifle; it’s only when you roll it around in your head that the edges crack and the shell peels to reveal something creaky, leaky and lab-built. Start with that ‘7’ as a guideline for your first three listens, then dock a point for every three unwanted replays ’til you boil down to a ‘4’. After that, you’re on your own; I’m not going down that rabbit hole.

Alex Ostroff: Lena! Oh, Lena! “Satellite” is catchy in the most obnoxious way possible, and will eventually wear itself thin, but at the moment there are few things as delightful as a German college student putting on her idea of a Mockney accent, by way of Lily and Amy et al. The delightfully affected manner with which she wraps her tongue around the words only add to the charm of the song’s odd lyrics about new underwear and blue toenails. “Satellite” manages to be catchy enough for the radio and campy enough for Eurovision — a difficult trick to pull off, and the reason she’s a worthy winner of the entire spectacle.

Additional Scores

Jonathan Bogart: [5]

2 Responses to “Lena Meyer-Landrut – Satellite”

  1. I was so happy to discover this was full up on reviews, because I just didn’t care enough to wrestle with it. Glad I got out of the way, too.

  2. Thanks for not embarrassing me by putting my review up, Will — I pay so little attention that I thought she was British!