Watch: Engelbert Humperdinck picks up his microphone and the Union Jack.

The United Kingdom was the last country to unveil their entry for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and it is a warm, graceful ballad with a great sense of nostalgia and melancholy.

United Kingdom 2012: Love Will Set You Free performed by Engelbert Humperdinck

It reminds me of old Western movies from the 1950s, due in no small part to the Spanish guitar.

Personally, I think that Love Will Set You Free, performed by timeless crooner Engelbert Humperdinck, is a lot better than I had hoped for and the British public ought to be proud of their entry. Yes, there are quite a few ballads this year but none that sound quite like this. Drawn to open the Grand Final, ‘The Hump’ will no doubt deliver a noteworthy performance. And a little bit of Eurovision-geekery, the last time the United Kingdom was drawn to perform first, it was in 1976 with Brotherhood Of Man performing Save Your Kisses For Me, and we all know how that turned out.


New Music: ‘World In Our Hands’ by Taio Cruz

British pop maestro Taio Cruz has had his latest album TY.O out in Europe since December but has only just now yielded a true gem in the form of World In Our Hands. Check it out below:

It’s Taio Cruz doing what he does best and that’s glossy, anthemic pop with soaring synths. With its insanely catchy hook and sleek production, we are more than prepared to forgive World In Our Hands for not being wholly original. In fact, I thought that the song was rather reminiscent of One Direction’s One Thing. I suppose that’s no surprise as they both share the same songwriters. That aside, this is a great slice of pop that deserves to see international release.


United Kingdom: The Legend & The Cool.

Imagine this: A Grammy-nominated veteran crooner with a career spanning 45 years, paired with the most commercially successful songwriting team of the year behind the likes of Adele, Jason Mraz and Lana Del Rey. No where in my wildest imaginings did I ever think that could happen but it was just that when the BBC, after exacting every ounce of suspense and hype, unveiled the British representative for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. The announcement was met with slackened jaws, bemusement and a good deal of excitement. No one was expecting this and I mean no one.

But think about it. Engelbert Humperdinck is an incredibly talented artist selling more than a 150 million records worldwide with a golden voice that resonates through the decades. Then have him perform a song written by Grammy award-winner Martin Terefe (Mary J Blige, Jason Mraz, James Morrison) and Ivor Novello-winner Sacha Skarbek (Adele, Lana Del Rey, James Blunt). There is no doubt that this will be a special, credible entry that will raise much interest and acclaim as it did eyebrows. I believe that it is the stark contrast between the timeless crooner and the contemporary cool of the songwriters that will create an interesting song for the United Kingdom this year.

There is no denying that Engelbert Humperdinck has still got it and when I think that the Eurovision stage is going to be graced with this level of artistry: 

Deep down, I believe that this is going to be several shades of brilliant.

The song is currently being recorded in London, Los Angeles and Nashville (swag!) and there’s no word on when it will be released but no doubt it is eagerly anticipated.


New Music: ‘Stole My Heart’ by One Direction.

One Direction released their debut album ‘Up All Night’ several weeks ago and despite two really great singles showcasing their style and range, I feel that their best recording the album’s closing track, Stole My Heart. Check it out below:

Perhaps it was kept as such in a proverbial case of ‘best for last’. Stole My Heart is a European-sounding club track that brings together the lads’ voices in an insanely catchy chorus, very much in the vein of Rhianna’s We Found Love as well as Taio Cruz. I suspect that it will be released as the very last single as it’s clearly the best song on the album. Can we please have this for Eurovision?!


What music does to Same Difference.

The quality of entries on Switzerland’s digital Eurovision platform has shot up and through the roof over the past few hours. The deadline has now passed and people can vote for their favourite songs in a bid to get them through to the televised national final ‘Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow’.

And one of the entries recently submitted is by none other than British pop sensation Same Difference! Their entry entitled Music is a euphoric pop stomper that will make your head spin. It’s so catchy with lyrics that every Eurovision fan can relate to. I’ve always thought that Same Difference would be a perfect fit for the Eurovision Song Contest with their bright-eyed, unabashed love of pop and Music is exactly the sort of song I envisioned them competing with, only its so much better! Check out the song here.

I haven’t heard all the songs competing (nowhere close but now I’m looking forward to it) but Music is one of my favourites now, along with Demande Moi (You Can Ask Me) by Marie-Élaine Thibert & Étienne Drapeau. Funny how these two songs are both duos and the complete opposite of each other. I suspected, after Ell/Nikki’s win, that duos might be popular, but not to this extent!


Preview Will Young’s newest album ‘Echoes’.

British crooner Will Young will be releasing his highly anticipated album ‘Echoes’ tomorrow (*scream*). But just in case you’re like me and can’t wait, you can listen to ten songs from the album on the artist’s Facebook page. Check them out here.

The album has been produced by Richard X, who has worked with the likes of Rachel Stevens and Goldfrapp, and has given Will’s sound an elegant electropop update that we are heartily enjoying. The lead single off the album, Jealousy, is due out today.


One Direction explains ‘What Makes You Beautiful’.

The United Kingdom’s latest boyband have released their debut single What Makes You Beautiful and even shot a music video for it. It sees the lads hanging out at the beach, going camping and flirting with a flock of girls. Check it out below:

Composed by Swedish songwriters Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha and Rami Yacoub, What Makes You Beautiful is a jaunty piece of catchy pop and is all set to become a smash hit when it gets released on September 11. According to SonyBMG, the single has received the highest ever pre-orders in the company’s history. So they have a potential #1 on their hands…