Opinion

Never let it be said that we don't encourage contra opinions. Reader John Abrams clearly didn't like my review on Croatia so he wrote us this ...

"After reading the article on this site regarding the Croatian entry for 2017, I must object quite strongly.

Far from being a 'crime against music', it's rather a masterpiece for the Eurovision stage. It crazily weaves slices of cheese with a cunning mix and match of opera, lalaland pop and Stylistics soul.

In a year of dire grim beige mediocre ballads there are a few points of light. Croatia's Jacques Houdek being one of them.

I first heard it after attending a free Haydn symphony concert at the Royal Northern College of Music. It has a spacious 'lounge area' to sit and ponder the music and, of course, use one's phone.

Up flashed the reveal lyric video for Croatia, and I was eagerly getting onto the WiFi. As soon as I started listening, my mouth was agape with the sheer brazenness of it all. My head getting round the bold and masterful structure. I was so amazed, I stuck it on repeat six times and had to hear it once again while standing in the lobby until I had to turn off the WiFi to return home. I simply didn't want to let it go.

Fittingly enough (as I was in the concert hall) it starts with some classical violin before some cheesy voice-over about miracles which flows into a seventies soul tune reminiscent of the Stylistics. This is over-layered with a couple of Bocelli like operatic refrains before the main anthem kicks in over-layed by more opera over-lays and then the 'my friend' finish of the first section.

The next section has a short Paganini-like violin section that segues into lalaland musical pop more opera that is resolved by a second rendition of the anthem yet more operatic overlaying and the final coda as a prolonged `my friend` section topped off by a tiny violin fragment at the end,

Brave, cunning, knowing, special. Croatia knows what its doing. Straight through to the final!"

In response, we say it may well qualify - and it will light up Saturday with its epic silliness, but that doesn't make it good.