Israel’s “I Feel Alive” Needs More of a Pulse

Israel may be playing it a smidge too safe at this year's Eurovision Song Contest with Imri Ziv's generically clubby "I Feel Alive"

IMRI will represent Israel at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Ronen Akerman) IMRI will represent Israel at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Ronen Akerman)

Israel’s performance in the Eurovision Song Contest has been on the uptick the past few years. After a patch where their entries were consistently just outside of the cutoff to the finals in their respective semis, they hit on the right selection formula with 2015’s “Golden Boy” and 2016’s “Made of Stars”, with each entry making the finals. Interestingly enough, providing backing vocals for both of those entries was this year’s artist, Imri Ziv. Now that he’s the face of the nation instead of a supporting role, does he have what it takes to keep up Israel’s run of good fortune?

This feels a little more of a piece with “Golden Boy” than it does “Made of Stars”, since it feels a little more club-ready than Hovi Star’s song from last year.  Both of those tracks felt like they were closely connected to the performer, while this feels a little generic. “I Feel Alive” feels designed by committee to appeal to as many audiences as is possible for one club track – I think you could drop any vocalist on this and it’d have the same feel.

The video does a good job of selling this song (and Israel), but mostly reminds the audience the this isn’t Imri’s first time on the Eurovision stage.  I’d love to see some live footage of this being performed to see how it’s going to transcend being a standard club track and stand out in the full field.  By being uptempo it already has a leg up, but it needs more than that if Israel wants to make it 3-for-3 with qualifying.

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