“Austria Rocks the Song Contest”? Despite the title of their selection show, the entries they have narrowed the choice to seem a little middle-of-the-road. Two male solo singers, two female solos, and a group fronted by a female singer.
Of the five choices (you can listen to them here), the two males seem promising. Falco Luneau’s “Rise Above the Night” is a midtempo rock song, competent and with a rather catchy chorus:
21 year old Elija’s “Give Me a Sign” is a decent male pop song (again catchy and easily remembered) that would fit into a teenpop musical like CAMP ROCK:
Of the other three, Natalia Kelly’s “Shine” is quite a good song that sounds like an Idol-winner’s coronation song, reminiscent of Austria’s successful ESC entry from 2011, “The Secret is Love”, but without Nadine Beiler’s powerful vocals to push it over the top. Yela’s “Feels Like Home” is a very simple scaled-down cocktail pop refrain that would fade into the background at Eurovision. And the group, the Bandaloop, also has a rather juvenile HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL dancepop ditty in “Back to Fantasy”.
So it seems like a stretch to imagine Austria “Rocks the Song Contest” this year. But if voters choose one of the better entries and it gets a decent production and stage presentation, they could qualify in 2013.