Eurovision 2012: Turkey / Love Me Back / Can Bonomo
Turkey’s song Love Me Back sung by Can Bonomo (left) has commanded a good deal more of my attention and subsequent thought than the song I heard and reviewed before it.
Some simple observations about the song, first.
It has a cheeky if dark melody which embeds itself hauntingly in the head. This underpinned with a steady, reliable tub-thumping beat secures the listener’s attention shortly after the up-tempo section kicks in.
The promotional video clearly has a budget behind it and that’s nice to see. Look beyond the immediate assumption jumped to about this being a Turkish picture postcard exploiting history for the sake of a pop song and in actual fact you’ll see a piece of video production which has been carefully thought out. Lovingly, in fact. Colours, fabrics and simple direction. It all costs money. But it’s money well spent.
The video rams home one very important point. We see a lot of Can in shot. He bounces around to the beat in a fairly convincing way. He has a cute sometimes cheeky smile. There won’t need to be that much else on stage to distract from the focus of this particular effort.
Oh. And I’ve listened to it five times already before writing this. That’s something.
It’s oft-repeated hook (hinted at in the instrumental intro repeated four times before Can sings at the top of the song) – is an instant earworm. The verse itself is short and almost inconsequential. In this respect Turkey’s has similarities with Georgia‘s song which will appear before Turkey in the second semi-final, but in comparison I suspect Turkey’s song will win a place in the final easier than Georgia will, assuming the latter wins a place at all.
Personally, I like the weak finish the song has. It’s a tantalising hint that the song could just go on and on and on with that dark mysterious decorative melody dancing around on the top.
At the same time however, the lack of a strong finish – and therefore the implication of a journey having been embarked upon and subsequently completed – will mean that the PR effort behind Turkey’s act will need to be considerably resourced. Not to make up for the song or the act, but rather because songs without big impact (such as a song with a key change or big finish deliver) have to work harder to be talked about in the press. Hence why so many of the songs this year have had their own mini-hype around them to establish a country in the minds of European audience very early on.
There’ll need to be another narrative for journalists to get hooked in on so Can’s song can get the promotion it needs to build the telephone voting network across Europe. Once Turkey have secured its place in the final, I can see that the professional juries contribution (50% of the vote) will be positive. But that particular part of the process will be reliant on maintaining the same attention to projecting Can on stage as has been illustrated by the integrity of his promo video and not submitting to audience-facing pull of introducing a gimmick of a downgraded stage act. A tricky balance, to my mind.
With all of that in mind, this song is definitely one to watch. If only to see whether my thinking turns out to be right or complete bunkum.
Turkey have won the Eurovision once in 2003 with Everyway That I Can.
Until last year when Turkey failed to secure a place in the final with Live It Up, the country had scored well, often ending up in the final top ten. In 2010 Turkey ended up in second place with We Could Be The Same.