As the most successful nation in Eurovision history, it certainly doesn’t show if you look back at the recent history of Ireland at Eurovision. The nation has failed to qualify since 2013, and even their 2013 result nothing to boast about, finishing last in the final. With Sweden catching up to their 7 win record, Ireland really need to pull something out of the bag to regain their Eurovision reputation, and this year they’ve left that challenge to young artist Ryan O’Shaughnessy with his song titled Together. Is this what Ireland needs to bring them back to the final?
Upon first listen, I was really captured within the first minute of the song. There’s no doubt that this is a really charming song, and I’m totally charmed by it. There’s something really sentimental about this song to me, and I think for certain people they will find it really easy to connect to the entry as it’s easy to connect to personal experiences. I definitely fit into this category, but on the flip side, I can see why this song isn’t getting all positive reviews.
After the first minute, the song definitely flat lines. It’s much the same after that first chorus, and features no real different or unique moments that help this song stand out. We get the bigger notes in the chorus, but having some slight vocal differences in either the second verse or the future choruses would have made this song a bit more three-dimensional, which I feel is a shame considering I think the bones of a really spectacular song are here.
That’s my objective take on the song, but subjectively, I really love this. I could listen to this song back to back all day long, and I think that’s partly due to how easy it is to connect with the lyrics and the meaning behind the song. It’s a universal theme, love and heartbreak, and sure, it’s not ground-breaking, but there would be no viewer who hasn’t experienced these feelings.
Being in semi-final 1, Ryan has a tough challenge, however as the only song of this style in his half of the semi, this might stand out against the bigger pop numbers or ethno ballads. This is probably a bit idealistic coming from someone who wants this to be in the final, but more realistically I just feel that this is going to be left behind. We need to recognise that Ryan can sing this song very confidently live, and with the right staging this might be the surprise of the night, or at least I hope.
All Aboard… the heartbreak train!
Last year we got a very understated Irish ballad, and this year we’ve managed to get the exact same thing. Saying that, Ireland was a big grower on me at Eurovision last year, and although somewhat expected, I was disappointed not to see them reach the final. I suspect this year we might see the same fate, although I really would like to see this in the final. Yeah, I might be a bit heartbroken, but that’s how Eurovision goes. You win some, you lose some.
Our rating: 9/10
If you support Ireland at Eurovision, make sure to vote for Ryan in our poll! Watch his official video below, and follow our Eurovision 2018 playlist on Spotify.