After an incredibly long time without qualifying to the Eurovision final, The Netherlands finally kicked into gear back in 2013 with Anouk, and since then, have found themselves in the final all but one year. Not only were they in the final, but they’ve had two top 10 finishes, and two 11th place finishes, which is a stark contrast to the years of non-qualification. Their best placing in recent years has come from The Common Linnets, who performed an understated country song back in 2014. This year, we’ll be seeing Waylon represent The Netherlands, and as you’ll know, he was a part of The Common Linnets for their successful Eurovision performance, so will the audience be ready to lock and load with Waylon as a soloist?
Looking back on Waylon’s discography, it came as no surprise that we were getting a country song from The Netherlands this year. We’ve seen it from The Common Linnets, and from Douwe Bob, but the big difference is that Outlaw In Em’ is definitely a stronger mixture of rock and country, which may appeal to the rock lovers, but it definitely has the potential to alienate listeners who don’t like country music. Both The Common Linnets and Douwe Bob had songs that were a little bit country, but not enough to alienate listeners, so this, as far as I remember, is one of the first true country rock songs we’ve seen at Eurovision, or at least the first for a while.
With that said, I’m not a huge country music fan, but I really love this song, and have loved it since its release. I love the guitar intro, as it sets the scene for what we’re about to listen to for the next 3 minutes, and as soon as Waylon’s voice sets in, we know we’re in for a country song. Out of the full three minutes, my favourite parts would have to be the way he finishes off certain lines in the song, for example, the final line of the first and second verses, as well as the final lines of the choruses. Without this, the song perhaps could have run the risk of losing a bit of dimension, so hearing Waylon’s country twang is only a positive thing.
Also, I think one of the most appealing things about this song as a whole is how genuine the song is, as it doesn’t feel specifically formulated especially for the contest. Some Eurovision entries do have that specific formulation which makes them sound like ‘Eurovision songs’ rather than just a good song. This feels organic, and this is true to the style of the artist. It’s taken a while to reach this point in Eurovision, well at least in more recent history, where we are getting artists with more diverse styles of music, and they are actually delivering within the style that they are best at, and this for me is the difference between Eurovision success and failure. Of course the song has to be good and there are a few other factors in it, but it’s encouraging to see artists display their talents in their genre
All aboard… the whiskey train!
I don’t have too many negatives with this song, perhaps the only comment to be that in the live performance uploaded to the official Eurovision channel, I find that perhaps Waylon is almost too relaxed about the performance, and with such a strong song, I think it needs the rebellious energy to match. Other than that, I think he’ll be cruising through to the final.
Our rating: 9/10
If you support The Netherlands at Eurovision, make sure to vote for Waylon in our poll! Watch his official video below, and follow our Eurovision 2018 playlist on Spotify.