From early on in the national final season this year, it was fairly clear that OG3NE would be flying the flag for the Netherlands, and the confirmation of their participation seemed to be yet another top choice from the reinvigorated Eurovision nation. After years of not so great results, Anouk really turned things around in 2013, and since then (if we just ignore 2015), the Netherlands have really been a force – a nation that is potentially due for a Eurovision win in the very near future if this trend continues. Of course, it’s not entirely up to an artist, but the combination of artist, or in this case artists and the song they perform, and this year, it will be the song Lights and Shadows, which is a power ballad of sorts.
I have to preface this by saying these three sisters are musically insane. Their harmonies are incredible, and they essentially could have been handed the worst song in the world and they would have made it sound good. Honestly, their live harmonies sound so good that I often even question if they are singing live, they are note for note perfection. Lucky for them, their family team of songwriters prepared a song which does show off their incredible vocals. Yes, it is a power ballad, and I think this year people are putting all the ‘ballads’ in the bad basket, but the strength of this song can’t be ignored. I will also say, this song is a grower for me. Upon the first listen, I did enjoy the song, but it took a few listens to really appreciate how promising this song is, and what is even more promising is that these girls singing live just elevates this to a whole new level. On the Eurovision stage, accompanied by what I hope to be really striking, I think this song could stand out above the rest.
Speaking of staging, I can usually envisage something for the acts in Eurovision, but this one, I’m not entirely sure how they will approach it. The video clip for the song is quite dark, I suppose to tie in with the theme of ‘lights and shadows,’ so potentially seeing some soft and subtle lighting techniques on stage to something more intense throughout the song to really highlight the growth of the song into the more ‘power’ bit of the power ballad – i.e, the last minute.
There is huge potential in this song, and although I’m not overly convinced at this point that the Netherlands can confidently win the contest this year, I also wouldn’t be surprised if they gain another high placing or indeed win the contest. Their vocals are definitely up there with some of the best of the year, and regardless of their result, I’m sure they would be proud to be singing a song that is truly inspirational.
This song gets better with every listen, however in the context of the other songs that I enjoy, I’m going to give this song an 8.5/10.