This year marks the fourth participation for Ireland at Junior Eurovision, and despite being the most successful nation at Eurovision, their luck hasn’t extended to Junior Eurovision. Their best result to date has been 10th place in 2016, but this year the nation have changed things up by selecting their first male performer at Junior Eurovision. Will Taylor Hynes bring the boost of energy that Ireland needs with his song IOU?
It took a while for this song to be selected, or at least released, and the first impression we had of this track was through the national selection. It definitely had mixed reviews, and on first listen I was not too impressed with what Ireland was offering us for this year’s edition of the contest.
Time has passed now, and we’ve also had a revamp of the song plus a new music video, and although this hasn’t miraculously jumped up in my rankings with the revamp, I will say that it is growing on me. This entry is incredibly naff, and I would probably use the word ‘outdated’ to describe this as well, but somehow Ireland have used this to their advantage at least in the music video. The retro vibes in the music video play off the retro beats in the song and it all comes together quite well.
The song itself isn’t mind blowing, but the huge drawcard is the incredibly catchy chorus. If it didn’t have a chorus as catchy as this, I can confidently say that it wouldn’t have grown on me, and I think it will be the chorus that grabs a lot of people in the live performance. The verses can be a bit hit and miss, and there’s a few notes even in the studio version which could have been omitted, with the prime example being the vocal run before the second verse, but all is redeemed during the chorus.
It’s all well and good to enjoy the studio version and the music video, but the real test is the live performance. I have seen stage teasers which did show that they will be keeping this retro vibe, and I think that is definitely the way to go with this performance. I think if they can really capture the fun in this entry, the audiences will at least enjoy the performance even if they don’t feel strong enough to vote for it. I think in comparison to some of the other vocalists, Taylor isn’t the strongest, but with an entry like this, energy and fun can override vocals.
Will it win? I don’t think we’ll be seeing Ireland win their first Junior Eurovision, but I think this will finish somewhere in the middle, perhaps on par with where they have finished before at Junior Eurovision. There’s usually a ‘fun’ song at the contest which unexpectedly does well at the contest and this could be that entry for 2018, but I just don’t see it gaining enough votes to place it much higher than what we’ve seen before from Ireland.
Since it has grown on me, I think I’ll give this track a 7/10.