Home / Song Reviews / Archive / Eurovision 2016 / Malta: Ira Losco – Walk On Water

Malta: Ira Losco – Walk On Water

I always love replacement songs because it means I can write another review, said no one ever! At least Ira has improved on the disjointed mess that was Chameleon and brought a touch of soulful handbag house to Eurovision. The Melodifestivalen aficionados among you will no doubt hear the Molly Pettersson-Hammar overtones, that's because this year's andra chansen dropout has a writing credit. I have it on very good authority that Walk On Water was not entered into Melodifestivalen, so Ira isn't getting sloppy seconds. The intro is wonderfully atmospheric and really sets up the feel-good chorus with that classic-house piano. The second drum and bass verse does lose…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package


Walk on Water isn't a generic Eurovision dance track and this is the sort of song you'd expect to hear in the charts today.

User Rating: 4.05 ( 61 votes)

I always love replacement songs because it means I can write another review, said no one ever!

At least Ira has improved on the disjointed mess that was Chameleon and brought a touch of soulful handbag house to Eurovision.

The Melodifestivalen aficionados among you will no doubt hear the Molly Pettersson-Hammar overtones, that’s because this year’s andra chansen dropout has a writing credit. I have it on very good authority that Walk On Water was not entered into Melodifestivalen, so Ira isn’t getting sloppy seconds.

The intro is wonderfully atmospheric and really sets up the feel-good chorus with that classic-house piano. The second drum and bass verse does lose a bit of momentum, but the second chorus into the gospel bridge and onwards to the end is a fully charged minute-and-a-half of uplifting house that should act as a happy pill in the sea of Sia-inspired ballads. Ira quite literally walks all over them.

Walk on Water isn’t a generic Eurovision dance track, this is the sort of song you’d expect to hear in the charts today. It’s is a comfortable qualifier and to my ears, a solid top-10. If the strong staging hints are true, we have may have an each-way contender!

Can Ira walk into the top-10 in Stockholm?

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  1. Can’t see it being a contender but being Malta and all it should get through to the final and get into the top 10

  2. Fee fi fo fum, I smell the scent of a fanwank!

    Does nothing for me, it’s like MPH trying to write her own version of Naughty Boy’s “Running”.

  3. Lol at the amount of movement of Malta today.
    It takes a huge personality to pull this off live. Not sure if Ira has that.

  4. The expectations were so high, too high. It’s a good song, specially for Malta, but not to compete in the highest levels.

  5. For all the hype it’s a let-down was expecting better. Saying that it’s still one of the better songs quality wise this year. Not a winner for me at this time but top 5 is reachable. Had you heard the song Gav as I have never seen a review go up so fast.

  6. Contender? I think Wiwibloggs single-handedly influenced the betting odds with their over-enthusiastic subjective ‘attitude’.

    Sorry, this doesn’t do it for me. Melody-wise I can’t hum it….or recall it after first listen. Competently produced (in Swedish studio’s?). But memorable it is not. Obviously Ira Losco will perform this entry majestically. She’s an incredible singer.

    Qualification? Yes. Contender for the prize? Absolutely not.

  7. This is not a winner. Top 5? Highly unlikely unless they get the staging spot on and a few others mess up. I can see top ten and it will be in the final for sure. The Maltese should be happy with the left side of the scoreboard.

  8. Yes the expectations were too high. This isn’t quite what I expected it to be, and it sounds better because it’s coming from Malta and not from Melodifestivalen. The chorus sounds a lot like Molly Petersson Hammar with the backing vocals literally drowning Ira out, (typical Sweden.) I haven’t completely made my mind up on this yet because it doesn’t bash you over the head as a clear Eurovision winner because it’s so chart-geared. It doesn’t feel like a Eurovision song at all.

    I think the lofty expectations not being met is the reason the odds have gone back out to low 30’s. In terms of a song with continent-wide hit potential and an exciting uplift, this is making a more convincing case than Russia, Croatia, Sweden, Australia and Latvia for me. It’s just figuring out whether this can actually win or whether it’s just a good MPH song.

  9. So Malta give us the best produced promo video so far.Money went into that.Obvious they fully intend to reach for the top places and shows their intent.Im quite surprised how powerful this is and dont think iv seen anything like this at ESC before.
    I love the intro,it grabs you and your not quite sure what to expect.That slight split in the melody linking the first verse and chorus is an earworm touch.The last minute feels like im full of illegal chemicals and can just imagine the pyros and lighting.The structure and lift is perfect for it.
    Id sold most of my Malta stake,but iv taken advantage of the drift to buy some back.I expect this to shorten again during rehearsals.
    Fanwank or not this has a top drawer production,and fantastic staging potential.The song might be nothing really,but has the elements to take televoters and juries past that in the 3 minutes on stage.Draw 17 onwards and i wouldnt want this red.

  10. Disappointed it’s nice, but definitely no winning song and a WOW feeling, I think this song can not stand out in the contest, it get lost to the other songs.

  11. Well, definintely not what was expecting. Overrated before as the odds were dropping and 4 stars in the article are too many. Its gonna qualify for the big final and that’s all!

  12. So update based on comments posted…

    I think the market may have overrated to what is the best upbeat song this year and what is expected to be an excellent staging concept. I’m sure the Maltese PR machine will brief in due course.

    This is a real earworm of a track and I’ve been humming it for days. I can see this getting slot 17 or 18 in semi 1 and cruising into the final and earning a solid top-10 placing. It’s the staging I’m waiting for because what has been described elevates this song even more.

  13. this is a totally forgettable overproduced song. Most comments i rad elsewhere agree to this. Only here i can see some positive notes.. but i think it will struggle to qualify and IF it does it will end very low

  14. Sorry, I just don’t get this one at all and will be surprised if it makes a top ten, very surprised.

  15. Not sure if there is a new legal concept we need to devise, but an ESC-related lawsuit against WIWIBLOGGS for “song-hype” could possibly enter in the legal jargon in the weeks and months ahead…

  16. I’m quite surprised a few people are saying this won’t even qualify. Are we listening to the same song? I appreciate it’s not what we expected, but I’m interested to hear some reasoning for this failing so hard.

    After a couple of listens, I actually think MPH might have had this chorus knocking around for a certain amount of time. Ira probably contributed the verses lyrically and they tied it together with new production. It does feel a bit like a song made up of distinct parts, but that’s not a bad thing, it happens in the charts all the time.

  17. This song has huge potential, and is, for me at least, a nice modern song that ins’t too similar to the other entries so far. If they can get a big choir for backing vocals, it can really impact. I agree it’s a bit of a fanwank, but top-10 isn’t out of the question.

  18. I can now vouch for Gav in the review when he says this song was not rejected from Melodifestivalen, nor did Molly and her team write this song for Ira specifically. It was a demo, probably intended for Molly, then pitched to Ira’s management via MPH’s publishing company. My source is, well… Ira herself. I just asked her. She’s lovely. 🙂

    • Molly decided it wasn’t good enough to use herself for MF so it WAS an MF reject. Not surprisingly, as it’s a ghastly mess.

  19. I’m after taking a week away from the songs to pretty much cleanse out the system. Just now I popped on the headphones to listen to “Walk on Water” and It’s fantastic.

    One of those songs that gets into your head and refuses to leave. For me anyway, a strong marker of quality in an ESC song is a layered composition. And here, you’ve got the orchestral sounds and synths of the intro, dance build of the verses, and than the Gospel-meets-Pop chorus, bridge and crescendo. I can’t ask for anything more in this really; the production is nigh-on perfect, and Ira’s vocal, although lacking a touch in variation, still creates plenty of impact.

    Juries the last few years have swung in favour of the, contemporary, chart-worthy material, over the stale fan-adored Europop stuff. With that in mind, I’d expect them to serve Malta well this year. The televote is still very much an unexplored trench, prediction wise. We won’t know much until we get to rehearsals and even then running order and live vocals could swing things either way. Nonetheless, I love this and I’d happily listen to “Walk on Water” long after the contest has wrapped up.

    • The production is fantastic isnt it.What i noticed is how easy this is to sing,yet almost cons the juries that it isnt.There are lots of effects,but these are musical and built into the melody,like you say a fully layered composition.They have been very careful to give Ira an easier job for the delivery while seeming like she is performing an amazing vocal.
      No doubt all planned so she can be involved in a big staging.

  20. After a few listens, this strikes me as a genuine contender. It feels modern, chart friendly and I agree with Durhamborn about the production. It will partly depend on how well they stage it. My biggest reservation is around Ira’s live vocal which for Chameleon was not very good. Still I’m contemplating a speculative each way bet.

  21. I’m puzzled about this one. Some people here are saying that Malta is crap and/or instantly forgettable, not memorable enough, or Daniel Gould at Sofabet said it’s like a hundred ideas in search of a song while Rob at EntOdds said it’s hard to find a discernible hook while listening to it. Other people are saying this song refuses to leave the head and it’s fantastic and a genuine contender.

    The reason I’m confused is because I have felt both these extremes. I’m pretty certain it will finish in the top 5 or top 7 at the very least UNLESS the staging and vocal just falls apart, but I’m puzzled quite bluntly about “will it win, yes or no?” and that’s it.

    The very first time I listened to it, I do wholeheartedly admit I did find it hard to catch the structure and flow of it and remember how it goes. The transition from verse to chorus was jarring and felt like it came from a different song, although not quite as badly as Norway’s Icebreaker. During that first listen I did feel this sort of heart-sinking sensation that it wasn’t going to win, but I wasn’t sure if that’s because I genuinely felt that or because I was feeling a bit underwhelmed based on Wiwibloggs hyping it up the day before. Either way, I think that gut reaction is critically important to hang onto. I knew it wasn’t screaming winner at me but that it was very very good. I had a similar feeling about Children of the Universe (which the BBC totally cocked up, never mind the song,) and I don’t want to repeat my mistakes.

    Anyway, from the second listen onwards I have been able to get into it fairly easily and I do think it makes the most convincing case as a winner, following my own conventional paths of thinking. What’s more, it only took my mother one listen of the verse and chorus to tell me it was great and it could be the winner. It’s quite clearly the most chart-worthy commercial song with the traditionally necessary impact and emotional uplift that Sweden and Russia starkly lack. Croatia has this uplift as well but as a song, I don’t feel it’s quite as solid as Malta’s from a commercial (as in relevant to public taste) perspective.

    I’m not concerned about Ira’s vocal, she’s perfectly adequate and a seasoned, experienced performer. I’m concerned more about what they possibly will be bringing to the stage. All we know for sure is that Skorpion, the dancer in the video, will join Ira on stage. A singer, one dancer and I imagine 4 backing vocalists doesn’t put a good image in my mind which makes me think they surely must be resorting to graphics or props.

    I just don’t really know how to feel about Malta right now, and I’m fascinated that some people feel that the song is difficult and forgettable while others think it’s instant and brilliant and memorable. I’ve moved from one state the other and am now hovering in limbo between the two, so I can see where both sides are coming from and I don’t know which way to swing.

    • You’ve made some very good points, Ben. Walk on Water gave me the strongest first impression of any song this year. Although in my head afterwards, I struggled to retrace whether that reaction came from not expecting anything good from Ira beforehand, or whether it was because I was actually listening to a possible winner. And now I’m still caught between those two perspectives, similar to yourself.

  22. This song is going nowhere – the bookies have got this so wrong. There are many songs so much better in the “good but not the winner category”. Not a top 4 for sure.

  23. Having got over my overly high expectations for this song and now back in the real world. I think this is a contender after all. I have backed it in most markets including semi winner @11’s which I think is value seeing as Croatia are now out of the picture. Looking forward to seeing the live performance of this in Riga.

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