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Netherlands: Trijntje Oosterhuis – Walk Along

Trijntje Oosterhuis has today presented her Eurovision 2015 song, Walk Along, on NPO Radio 2's  Gouden Uren. Walk Along is the third instalment in the Netherlands' Eurovision rebrand, which welcomes back their 2013 entrant, Anouk, to the writing team. In a departure from the alternative ballad genre of 2013 and 2014, Trijntje delivers a radio friendly 3-minutes with a more discernible hook, which might pitch the Netherlands against the pop-dominated Scandinavian nations, who all choose their entries in the new year. That is a major factor to recognise when considering this year's outright bets: will Netherlands stand out against the more…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package

Limping Along

Unless there's a major rework of the song, I have little confidence in Trijntje's chances at the Wiener Stadthalle.

User Rating: 3.2 ( 26 votes)

Trijntje Oosterhuis has today presented her Eurovision 2015 song, Walk Along, on NPO Radio 2’s  Gouden Uren.

Walk Along is the third instalment in the Netherlands’ Eurovision rebrand, which welcomes back their 2013 entrant, Anouk, to the writing team.

In a departure from the alternative ballad genre of 2013 and 2014, Trijntje delivers a radio friendly 3-minutes with a more discernible hook, which might pitch the Netherlands against the pop-dominated Scandinavian nations, who all choose their entries in the new year. That is a major factor to recognise when considering this year’s outright bets: will Netherlands stand out against the more mainstream entries expected from the bigger nations?

One bright spark highlighted Saluna Samay’s Should’ve Known Better to me as a comparable song, and while Walk Alone is marginally livelier, they arguably occupy similar territory.

Trijntje’s problem is that Walk Alone lacks sufficient build and variation in the arrangement to retain interest after the one-minute mark. Effectively, the Dutch entry peaks too soon. Moreover, the bridge ends at 2:15, so the song drifts along on a seemingly continuous loop for the remaining 45-seconds. Being dubbed boring or forgettable is a major red flag for Eurovision, and even though I like Trijntje’s song, in its current form it’s lacking a moment. I also think the complex vocal layers are asking for trouble, and if there’s one thing that puts viewers and juries off, it’s bad vocals.

Thankfully, the Dutch delegation have retained the services of Hans Pannecoucke, who designed The Common Linnets‘ staging in Copenhagen, so we should expect a strong visual package in Vienna.

Going forward, I would suggest extending the opening verse in order to delay the first chorus until after 40 seconds. I would also add some variation to the instrumentation, as that lethargic drum beat and guitar rift becomes increasingly tiring after the first chorus reprise. Lastly, the bridge needs more oomph in the transition to the climax and close.

Will Walk Alone guide Netherlands to victory in Vienna? I doubt it. Unless there’s a major rework of the song, I have little confidence in Trijntje’s chances at the Wiener Stadthalle.

What do you think of the Dutch entry?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Netherlands have qualified twice times in ten attempts. 20% qualification success.

Highest score (since 2004): 150 (2014 – Common Linnets – Calm After the Storm)
Lowest score (since 2004): 11 (2009 – De Toppers – Shine)
Average semi-final finishing position: 13th
Average semi-final score: 54 points

Netherlands has finished in the top-10 twice in three final appearances since 2004.

Highest score: 238 (2014 – Common Linnets – Calm After the Storm)
Lowest score: 11 (2004 – Re-Union – Without You)
Average final position: 11th
Average final score: 102 points

Average Points Received

Belgium – 5.2
Israel – 4.2
Malta – 3.4
Turkey – 2.4
Ireland – 3.2
Hungary – 3.1
Switzerland – 2.8

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I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

23 comments

  1. Masters of subtlety last year, now they come out all guns blazing. It’s good but I think, at least aurally, it peaks too soon. One to watch for sure, but it’s not ticking every box for me at the moment.

  2. On the plus side the hook goes through the whole song.The vocals are ,and will be on the money.Staging potential is decent and its likely money will be spent.
    Thats the end of the good news.The song just isnt good enough.The chorus goes on and on and on and …………..on.Worse its hard to miss.Viewers will be bored rigid by the end.The melody is pretty poor and the acoustic guitar bridge is terrible.It just leads you into inane chanting and repetitive lyrics.Half the song from that bridge is simply spent trying to get to the end,an end with no climax.The good thing about the second half is it will make whoever follows The Netherlands look fantastic.
    There is a long time until ESC and that means Anouk and the team can keep working at the song.They need to.As things stand this is a very poor entry.No chance of top 10 and might just scrape through the semi thanks to jury support.Its not a total disaster and it can be saved ,but in its present form?,IMO rubbish.Im sure this song will divide opinion though.

  3. Is there anything to suggest this song will be reworked? Holland doesn’t have any history of releasing new versions. Having said that, they have played their hand very early. We’ll see in due course I guess.

    I’m also sceptical about its ‘place’ in modern pop music outside of the contest. It seems like this song doesn’t match anything in Trijntje’s back catalogue and has been done specifically with Eurovision in mind. Almost the polar opposite of their approach the last two years, except with the talent retained. The song doesn’t really sound like something a woman in her 40s would typically sing, but neither is it current or fresh enough for a younger face.

    In short, it’s as if Take That’s ‘Never Forget’ snogged Carola’s ‘Invincible’ and then had an baby with Sam Bailey’s ‘Skyscraper’.

    • The song was not really designed for Eurovision. It was Anouk (NL 2013) who wrote the song a while ago. She had it on her computer, with the idea to release it somewhere in the future, I guess as an album track. When Trijntje visited her, she apparently got so excited about it, that she wanted to use it for Eurovision.

      I agree with the criticism here. The song starts off well, but then it lacks any further highlights, making it a long 3 minutes. As the vocals are likely to be very well, I would say that at least the juries will support the song enough, so that it can reach the final, to end somewhere in the bottom half then.

      • Oh really? Where did you read about this? 🙂

      • Yes thats true THE song was not written for eurovision! Anouk told that in THE tv programm RLT LATE NIGHT About 10 days ago.
        She also told when Trijntje didn’t pick that song for THE content she release it herself.

        • I can’t imagine Anouk singing this. I’m willing to bet it was heavily restructured and restyled specifically for Eurovision.

          Remember when someone says they’ve written a song, it doesn’t mean this song we’re hearing now was just sitting there waiting for Trijntje’s vocals, it means Anouk had lyrics and a melody, but the production and arrangement could have been completely different.

  4. I think this will give a great live performance…gospel singers on background…I think this will give a feel good performance live, I think they have their plan ready for this!

    • Mm, I sort of feel the same. I don’t think this is particularly relevant to the betting perspective, but I feel like the song is actually very Dutch. Funny, I woke up yesterday morning before hearing the song and thought to myself “I just hope it’s nothing like Sieneke.” and well whadaya know?

      To me it sounds like they’re happy with the results they’ve achieved in the last 2 years with alternative genres and now they just want to go big bombastic stereotypical nostalgic Eurovisionny hot mess on us.

      Are the Barbra Dex awards open yet? 😛

      • It’s indeed very Dutch and therefore suitable for the Dutch market. The song went straight to the number 1 in the iTunes chart 🙂

        Otherwise ‘they’ are indeed happy with the results of the past 2 years. But it has to be said that there was no real strategy or increase of the budget behind that. It was only because Anouk told the press she wanted to participate, that the national finals were cancelled and she got the freedom to do whatever she wanted (as the results of the years before already indicated, no one with any knowledge or interest for Eurovision is active for the Dutch broadcaster anyway). And as this approach with Anouk worked out well, this year the Common Linnets got the same freedom, and they then had connections with Hans Pannecoucke, who ended the long history of disastrous stagings of the Dutch songs since the beginning of this century.

        After 2 successful years, many famous Dutch artists were eager to go to Vienna next year, making things easier. Trijntje was the one who came up with a song that had already been written, solving all potential organisational issues immediately, so she was chosen to be the one to go in 2015.

  5. Gospel backing singers wont save this.The saturday night ESC audience isnt looking for a clapping hands evangelical experience.
    Yes it will be staged well and yes the first minute is decent enough, but boring people to death for 120 seconds after a terrible guitar bridge is televote suicide.
    Birds gave people a reason to vote for the Dutch at last.The Common Linnets were the class act last year.This will feel like come back Joan,your American Indian headdress is forgiven.
    With the talent of Trijntje Oosterhuis,Anouk and the team you have to say this is simply not good enough.

    • Apparently, they already have a staging in mind. Anouk will go with Trijntje to Vienna, to support her during the Eurovision adventure. This fact caused of course rumours that Anouk would be one of the background singers, but Trijntje immediately denied that, because this would “not be suitable for the act”.

      What the act is going to be, is still unclear, but if the song doesn’t change, it has to be something that attracts a lot of attention. That way viewers won’t notice the song is starting to become boring after 2 minutes. A bit like countries like Ukraine and Azerbaijan successfully did in the past years.

  6. I suspect she’s miming, but here’s a live (?) performance…

    • She isn’t. I can hear differences.

      • I thought the same as Gav on the live performance it sounds insanely simular to the studio version,not sure if its live?
        First impressions on the song its nice ,its polished,its well produced but its very middle of the road and bland as well, i put it in the same sort of bracket as soluna samay for denmark .its a fairly decent effort though, another easy qualifier for netherlands

  7. It was live! Only THE background singers were mimming! Trijntje sings her part live in that video!

  8. At 2.09 you hear Anouks voice:)

  9. The song reminds me a lot of “Thorne” by Nathalia Imbruglia. Anyone else think the same? I think it’s not necessarily a piece of music that really reflects today’s music trends. I consider this more a timeless, up-lifting pop song that could be sung in 1995, but also in 2015.

    Remember, many Eastern European entries do not exactly master the power of very artistic, sophisticated, original entries. They basically “kidnap” the viewers at home with a lesson on staging. A bit like Azerbaijan and Ukraine in 2013: Not really top-quality music, but the total package worked. This could happen with “Walk Along” too.

  10. i think this entry will give the dutch eurovision community a reality check, i think its a likely qualifier but it will do nothing in the final, like i said about belarus i think bottom 5 in the final but i think it has a better chance than i would give the Belorussians even though i think belarus is better.

  11. I was just reading through Gavster’s review on last year’s Dutch entry “Calm After The Storm

    The same criticism could be applied to “Walk Along” as well. Also this year’s song lacks a strong climax or chorus, and goes onto repeat perhaps too soon.

    It isn’t a strong song either. I completely agree with that. But Eurovision is not necessarily about the best, the most climatic, most unique and most artistically relevant song. Eurovision in the end is about the complete finished “audio-visual total package”. Thát needs to “grab Europe by their balls”, that needs to “touch” people. Analyzing the “book of rules” for song composing doesn’t help then. Well, it does help, but the song needs to be “good enough”, not necessarily “best”.

    “Walk Along” is certainly good enough. It taps into familiair pop entries, like those from Azerbaijan a few years ago. For instance Azerbaijan 2011 (quite a repetitive pop song with a lot of “Oh-oh-ohhh”s), Azerbaijan 2013 (skilfull Johnny Logan-esque ballad, with the necessary climax, though not as artistic as “Birds”). Also Ukraine 2013 comes to my mind now. So, plentiful examples of “good enough” songs, though certainly not the best of the entire bunch. Still, they stick to your mind. Perhaps becáuse of the repetitive nature of the songs?

    Anyway, that’s where staging comes in (read my article here). Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine continue to master the art of staging. Greek stage director Fokas Evangelinos knew how to edit the camera-shots last year for Russia (7th place). The same happened with Belgian stage director Hans Pannecoucke for The Netherlands. Already in a very early stage, the organizing broadcaster was contacted with, simply put, a huge wishlist. And that’s happening again this year for Netherlands.

    Will Netherlands win? Off course not. But a decent TOP 15 result in the final must be possible. Expect a tightly shot “live” videoclip in your living rooms on May 23rd. Perhaps not as riveting as 2014, but perhaps worthy enough for a nice 7th place.

  12. Hi, I’m new but I’ve been following this website for a year now. I just listened to all the 39 songs for the first time, in a random order without knowing which country had which song. According to my notes, this was my favourite. I really like it and I think it could do better than expected – or I am just biased. Russia, Azerbaijan and Serbia also stood out for me so it’s clear I like the usual fan favourite songs. But I was surprised I liked this one so much!
    Overall, I was very bored, what a dull line up this year!
    I actually disliked the entries from Italy, Estonia and Sweden which surprised me. I’ll need to listen to Sweden again, it must be good!

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