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Review by Vince Leigh
The arrival of Leea Nanos on our pop music radar is a result of timing and opportunity but perhaps most importantly rests solely on the quality of a song.
Set Me Free made the cut, suddenly becoming a real contender at the recent Eurovision – Australia Decides TV special. No doubt there were hundreds of entries, and not only from artists with profile and major label support but from newbies hoping to kickstart their music careers.
And this is certainly what might be happening to Leea. And it’s not difficult to understand why. This track is quite strong and Eurovision-friendly without being overly sentimental or sappily negligible. There are some fine pop melodies swirling above the semi-gloss of the production.
Leea’s performance is self-assured and commanding and yet has an element of restraint about it which is endearing and persuasive. When examining each melodic section of the song we find a cohesive set of parts, with the chorus’ anthemic-like hook an obvious stand out.
With regard to the lyric we are not being offered anything too oblique and ambiguous and that’s perhaps as it should be. Just as the melodic parts coalesce nicely, the lyric does the same with the melody. The production is quite slick, with the verse rhythms interestingly handled by enabling space and sparse percussive patterns to provide a fitting foundation around which the verse melody can be expressed. This is further enhanced by the resolute and moderated vitality in Leea’s voice.
Overall everything seems to be working in tandem here; the song, the production, and Leea’s vocal performance. One can easily imagine this track wowing audiences at Eurovision, just as the Australian judges had, but one could also imagine the song taking out the grand prize at that coveted competition.