We aren’t travelling too far back in time for today’s National Final Throwback, but instead appreciating a song that, well, I’m just going to come out and say it, was completely robbed. To set the scene, we are looking at a song that was part of the Portuguese national final of 2018, a song that if it had won, would have been performed on the Eurovision stage on home soil. We are talking about the song Só Por Ela which was composed by Diogo Clemente and performed by Peu Madureira.
I will be the first to admit that the Portuguese national finals tend to be quite underwhelming, but occasionally you will find a diamond, with the prime example being Salvador Sobral’s Eurovision winning song, Amar Pelos Dois.
What we got in the 2018 selection was a series of songs that felt contrived in order to fit the mould of Salvador’s winning song in the hopes that it will bring success on home soil. Unfortunately I don’t think the true lesson of Salvador’s win really got through, which is that being authentic is perhaps one of the best ways to approach Eurovision.
Not to say that the eventual Portuguese representative wasn’t authentic, because having heard the backstory to their song O Jardim, I could recognise that it was a very personal experience, however it was too understated for Eurovision and was overshadowed by bigger performances. Saying that, I don’t know that any of the potential hopefuls from the national final could have done any better at Eurovision…
That’s inclusive of Peu Madureira, as there’s a big chance that Eurovision audiences may not have gone for this either, but to me, this was the diamond of 2018. The beautiful composition was brought to life with Peu’s incredible vocals which are just so moving.
The entire three minutes of this song is completely effortless for both Peu as a performer, but also as a listener. I could listen to this on repeat and not get bored of the simple but beautiful melody as well as his vocals which he has great control over.
Although this is somewhat in the same stream as Amar Pelos Dois (This track is more in the Fado category rather than the jazz category), I don’t at all see this as a ‘Salvador wannabe’ only because it is impossible to claim that this isn’t an authentic song, or an authentic performance. The emotion oozes out, and even though I don’t understand a single word, I’m totally moved by this performance.
Safe to say I would have much preferred to see this at Eurovision, but unfortunately you can’t have it all. This is an easy 10/10, I love this.
Artist: Peu Madureira
Song: Só Por Ela