Israel have sent some cracking songs in the last few years, and for the most part, I’m a fan of their Eurovision style. Golden Boy still remains as one of the most memorable moments for me in regards to Israel in Eurovision, and even Made of Stars was a song I thoroughly enjoyed. This year, Israel went with the same selection process they’ve used to select both the aforementioned songs, and the outcome was Imri Ziv who will be singing the upbeat number I Feel Alive.
With high expectations, I have to say, it’s no Golden Boy. I really want to like this but it’s just not hitting the spot like Golden Boy. I find the song to be a bit clunky in terms of the transitions between verse to pre-chorus to chorus and so on. I also find the lyrics to be a bit clumsy, which I think is the main issue for me within this song. It was the first thing I noticed upon first listen, and it’s taking quite a few listens to get over the clumsiness of the lyrics. Otherwise, I like the mix of traditional sounds with the modern dance elements, and regardless of whether everyone loves this song, it’s no doubt going to be one of the song that goes off in the arena.
As you may know, Imri was one of the backing singers for both Nadav Guedj and Hovi Star (Israel 2015 and 2016) and now it’s his time to lead the vocals. We’ve seen this happen before, where backing singers return in following years to take the lead spot – with varying success. His vocals within the national selection process were incredible, however I’d say nerves got to him in the first live performance of this song, but it’s better to get those nerves out before the contest rather than in the contest.
As for the staging for this song, I hope it reflects the party vibes that the music video gives off. This is a song that needs backing dancers, it needs action and excitement. It’s one of the most upbeat songs of the year, and its performance needs to highlight that to make it really stand out from the rest of the acts in the semi-final.
Overall, it’s a tough gig for Imri to be a part of the second semi-final. He’s in last position, which I think is beneficial to him, although I’m still not sure if this is a definite qualifier. It could either surpass all my expectations or just be borderline qualifying – either above or below the number 10. The song is growing on me, but very slowly, so I’m going to give the song a 6/10. It’s just above average, but still not cracking my most loved and listened to songs of this year.