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After a let-down last year with "Occidentali's Karma", Italy return in 2018 with Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente ("You haven't done anything to me"), an anti-war pop-rap hybrid.
I do want to touch first on the theme of the song and the music video - featuring images of destroyed cities, refugees, missiles being fired and even footage of people's last moments. A powerful message and of course something we should all care about.
My criticism of this approach in Eurovision is on a few levels, the first is purely on the musical level, as someone who doesn't speak Italian, had I not watched the video I'd not have had a clue it was about war and suffering, it'd just be a guy singing a fairly angry sounding song and I suspect that this will probably be the case on the Eurovision stage, worthy a cause as it is, the message will likely be lost.
My next criticism is that we should be careful not to politicise Eurovision, Jamala's 1944 was an internal cry about the history of her country, it was a story of something that actually happened as a historical fact - whereas 'Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente' is more of a general political statement and I feel this is a dangerous route to go down if each country starts spouting it's politics. My final critique is simply about how appropriate the entire song is, the Eurovision Song Contest was bourne of a post-WW2 need to reunite Europe in friendship and fun. I can turn on the news at any time to be reminded that I'm a member of a species capable of heartlessly causing suffering and death, do I need it in Eurovision too? And if you didn't care about all this before, is this Eurovision song really the thing that will wake you up? People are likely to vote for this because they agree with the politics, rather than the merit of the song itself.
As for the track, the pace increases and the song builds but because it's largely rap, there isn't any real melody to latch to and being sung in Italian, it's impossible to sing along with the chorus. I really feel this song will struggle in the televote - though it'll likely get points from the juries for it's message.
Italy is currently 10th favourite to win the contest, again, this feels overhyped and unmerited. As a member of the Big 5, they're another country that don't need to worry about semi-final qualification. My prediction though is that anyone betting on Italy to be Top 10 will be in for a tense evening.