For today’s throwback, we are rewinding the clock back to 2014, a time where Belgium was truly hit or miss at Eurovision. Since 2005 and up until 2014, the nation only managed to qualify to the final twice which statistically isn’t great, so in 2014 it was up to Axel Hirsoux to follow on from Roberto Bellarosa’s qualification the previous year.
Through a national selection, it was decided that Axel Hirsoux would represent the nation with the ballad ‘Mother.’ It wasn’t a close result in the national final either, Axel won the competition by a landslide.
Where do we begin with this song? Perhaps let’s start the review off with the positives. There’s no denying that Axel has a great voice. It’s by no means unique, but it is well suited to this ballad style of song. Through the chorus of the song, he loses some of the initial nerves and has the confidence to nail the bigger notes in the song and by the end of the song it’s clear that he is definitely capable of hitting all the right notes.
It’s just a shame that this song is dire. Had Axel been given a more contemporary ballad, I would have said that he would be in with a chance of qualification, but as it stood, this was a clear non-qualifier in a semi-final with some incredibly strong songs.
Beyond that, I believe that it wasn’t just the song that limited his chances of reaching the final, but some credit has to go to the stage performance. It’s one of those performances that is memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. Yes, ok, the song is called Mother and is about mothers, we get that, but did we really need to see the ‘mother figure’ dancing on stage? For me, featuring a dancer was an unfortunate distraction, and the performance could have simply done with a better light show.
Overall, this is a song that I personally wouldn’t choose to listen to out of leisure. The three minutes feels like a bit of a chore, and the votes at Eurovision reflected that as Belgium finished in 14th out of a field of 16.
It’s a 3/10 from me.
Artist: Axel Hirsoux
Final Ranking: 14th in the semi-final