KEVIN SAVINO-RIKER: Lovers, Fighters, Survivors
ROSS DURAND: That Sweet Smile
I'm not really going to review the songs this time. Both of them pretty well dominated the challenge, and I think trying to review them individually would be too difficult. In fact, I can't say anything bad about either of them. It's really quite a relief that I don't have to vote this round, because that takes off a lot of pressure. Ross's song was more upbeat, and thus a little more fun. But Kevin's was so personal, with such a strong human connection. And yes, in my opinion, Kevin's got more points for having (for lack of a better expression) a wider variety of styles. But I also recognize that by complimenting him, I'll get scolded for my comments on Bram Tant's "Kebab Shop", which I said wasn't a song. Much of Kevin's song is prose, and is not sung. But I don't care. At this point, in this condition, I consider that semantics. I feel the same way about Ross' song being 3 seconds short of the 3 minute minimum, and even his "ethnic sections" being ten seconds or so too shy. If you simply listen slower, the time gets filled in, so I hardly think it should make a difference.
Both of these songs impressed me, for different reasons but in similar ways. And I'm confident in saying that's not a cheat; I'm not the kind of guy to take the easy way out. If I absolutely had to pick a favorite, put a gun to my head, and I'll say Kevin. But, from where I'm sitting, I'm glad the decision's not mine.