2018 Eurovision Reviews – Malta

Earlier in the Eurovision national selection season, Malta held their national final to decide who would represent the island nation at Eurovision this year, and quite unanimously the jury and the televoters decided that it would finally be Christabelle’s turn to take on Eurovision with her song Taboo. It’s not her first attempt at representing Eurovision, and she’s even attempted to represent Malta at Junior Eurovision, but perseverance pays off!

With quite a few national final attempts behind her, we think that this is the best entry she has had and her win came at the right time. The national final felt a bit struggle street this year, so I can see how this stood out as the winner, even though completely flying under the radar previous to the actual national final show.

Since the national final, we’ve seen a revamp of the song plus the official music video, and even though we did enjoy her national final performance, the revamped version of the song just takes things to a whole new level. Like many of the Maltese entries this year, they felt raw and unfinished, and all it would take would be a bit of a polish to feel complete, and this song now feels like the finished product.

There’s nothing I would really change about the song, and although it follows the conventional pop song structure, the production of the song is good, and the melody is earworm material. In the context of Eurovision, the first minute is incredibly important to catch the attention of the viewer, and I think this song is mysterious enough in the first verse to make you want to stay for more of the song.

The message behind the song also does help the case, as it holds a bit more substance than some of the comparable Eurovision songs this year which preach a non-existent message through their 3 minute opportunity. It’s not a pre-requisite to have a message behind the song, but it’s just an added bonus. Anything that opens the discussion for mental health awareness can only be a positive, and we’re sure Christabelle will be using Eurovision as a platform to bring more awareness and quite literally break the taboo.

As for her Eurovision performance, if it’s anything like the incredibly well produced music video, we’re in for a treat. There are so many potential avenues to go down with the staging of this song, but we hope to see something like the national final performance but elevated and edgier. A contrast between dark and light on stage could be another great way to highlight the song’s message, and we’d argue that props are a must for this song.

Realistically, if you like pop music, you’ll likely find this song inoffensive. It’s certainly not something ground-breaking or mind-blowing, but it’s an enjoyable song that I’d happily put on repeat when the mood strikes. At this stage, I think this song is still flying under the radar completely, but whether it will emerge as a strong contender or not come May remains to be seen.

Because this is in the second semi-final, I’d probably give it more of a chance compared if it was in the first, but I would say that this is one of those songs that depends on the night, depends on the running order and also the staging.

All aboard… the taboo train!

We’re all for breaking the taboos, and we’re all for this song. It’s an unexpected favourite of ours, after being indifferent about the national selection songs, but it’s grown immensely, especially after the revamp. We’d be happy to see this in the final!

Our rating: 8/10

If you support Malta at Eurovision, make sure to vote for Christabelle in our poll! Watch her official video below, and follow our Eurovision 2018 playlist on Spotify here: