As you know, our friends in Belarus will be selecting their song for Kyiv this coming Friday. we’ll be blogging it, and there will be portals all over the interweb for you to watch it.
In preparation, we at EI are reviewing the 13 lucky finalists. You can view them HERE. Here’s what we think. Do you agree with us?
July – Children of the world
John: A nice little mid-tempo ballad that bounces a long nicely, and it has a hook. However, that’s all it does. It might not quite have enough oomph to tantalise the tele-voter. But it needs to keep the arm-waving.
Andrew : A mid tempo number which is not particularly memorable. The vocals on the demo are quite strained and not that great. It is trying to be a modern pop song but failing on that score. A plain no thanks 4/10
Lexy Weaver – Be stronger
John: This is a very downbeat ballad. I’ve heard this sort of thing before but not in a Eurovision context. There is no hook, unfortunately, and the only thing going for it is the saxophone.
Andrew : A very gentle ballad which picks up after the first verse. Quite haunting in its style and the vocals sound ok too. We get a bit of sax interlude as well and overall its ok nothing more. 6/10
Vladislav Kurasov – Follow the play
John: Little Vlad also opts for the downbeat ballad, but it’s got more going for it than ‘Be stronger’. In fact, it’s not that bad. A tad angst-ridden teenager meets Phantom of the Opera. With a bit of work that could have potential. If he gets to Kyiv, could he be this year’s Donny Montell?
Andrew : A cute guy and a nice voice. Vlad returns with a decent ballad which has a good build up to it. Quite modern too and would not disgrace itself if it got to Eurovision. There is even a bit of pan pipes going on too. 8/10
NAVI – Гісторыя майго жыцця (Historijya majho zyccia – Story of my life)
John: A duo and something not in English, meaning it has immediately piqued my interest. Again there’s a familiarity about it, perhaps due to the folksy overtones that have been popular for the last few years. If there is a criticism, it’s that there’s a lot of ‘hey hey’, sort of in the Ruslana stylee. But it’s not a bad little number all the same.
Andrew : Now this is more like it. Very uptempo and folksy. Very easy to remember and catchy too sung in Belarussian. Navi have tried a few times before and could well be onto a winner with this song. It just gets better the more you listen to it. 9/10
Isaac Nightingale – On the red line
John: I should first say I realise that English isn’t the first language for some of these performers, but Isaac will need to work on his diction if he wins. The song is a little catchy and could do something with some work.
Andrew : A good sounding midtempo song which sounds fine at the beginning, But I think it loses some of its charm when it hits the chorus which although is very melodic isn’t hitting the right buttons for me. A bit of a mixed bag of a song for me really. 6/10
Kattie – Wild wind
John: What’s this? A nice ballad well sung by a pretty girl, that’s what. I was thinking this would be fodder for a Nordic national final, and then I noticed who’s written it. It definitely has potential and is the best ballad so far.
Andrew : Now another great song here. A beautiful ballad by Kattie with lovely vocals. This has a nice build to it and a good contemporary feel to it. I can certainly see this reaching the Final at Eurovision.. 9/10
Nuteki – Take my heart
John: Uptempo at last, and not a bad little number either. In fact, it is very good. The diction stands up well, the song grabs you, and there is a darn good hook to boot. I think this national final has a potential winner.
Andrew : A modern sounding song which is very easy on the ear and catchy with a good beat in the chorus. Yes I like this one a lot and it would be a good choice for Eurovision. 9/10
NAPOLI – Let’s come together
John: It’s got an annoyingly catchy hook and there are summery overtones about this. Having said that, I think it tries too hard. It’s too Alyona Lanskaya perhaps. It might do something on Friday, but I can’t really see it doing anything in Kyiv.
Andrew : Another artist who has tried a few times. This time they have a song that is put together by a team that includes writers from the UK/Slovenia and Sweden. It is a very upbeat song almost formulaic and anthemic as far as Eurovision songs go. Not a bad song for sure but I think it may just fall short on the night. 8/10
Nikita Hodas – Voices in my head
John: Now here’s a thing to catch my interest – Nikita talks through part of his song. That’s really novel and I don’t think that’s happened for at least 20 years. There’s a simple quality about this. It’s him with guitar accompaniment. It could appeal to young western audiences, but I think among the other songs it might sadly get lost.
Andrew : A gentle male guitar oriented ballad, very gentle and simple really. It then has a talking part which isn’t even rap. I don’t think it really works for a Eurovision song. Not for me sorry. 5/10
Angelica Pushnova – We should be together
John: Angelica immediately catches the eye. She’s not showy, but attractive in a not-having-to-try sort of way. There’s a nice bounce to the song too. The melody is simple, which is good, and repetitive, which is good. It’s definitely going to be a contender.
Andrew : A song with a heavy dance beat which will go down well with the standard Euro fans which will make it a bit of a fan favourite. It doesn’t go full pelt into the dance beat but is more of a mid tempo feel. But the beat is heavy and infectious and memorable. The vocals sound great too and this could well have enough fans out there to see it get to Kiev. Plus it has the all important key change. 9/10
Anastasiya Sheverenko – We’ll be together
John: Ana is a a striking looking woman, with a voice that has a slightly warbly quality. The song itself is OK – not good, but not horrendous either. That’s it really. I don’t think it will win. It could even be the accidental last on Friday.
Andrew : Another ballad but this one doesn’t have a good instantly memorable hook to grab your attention. This is just here to make up the numbers and will be going nowhere after the Final. 5/10
Lermont x Julic – Heartbeat
John: The male duo is a rare breed, and this one demonstrates why. I just can’t get into this song at all, despite my best efforts to like it. Yes, it has a tune to it, and a familiar arrangement. But it just doesn’t make me want to listen to it several times over. Sorry guys.
Andrew : Two guys up next one on a keyboard. This takes ages to get going but even when it does its dull as dishwater. It really has no positive features and I am surprised it got selected for the Final. 3/10
PROvokatsiya – #mylove
John: Last is another male duo (you wait ages for one…). The two guys seems to be trying to compete with each other, rather than sing in harmony. There is a tune in there somewhere, and with a bit of coaching they could bring it out.
Andrew : A male duo who finish us off with a ballad which is quite melodic with decent enough harmonies. But its not memorable enough and has no hook that would grab you the instant you listen. It would do badly at Eurovision. 6/10
John: There’s an interesting crop of songs, but I think the winner could come from NAVI, Kattie, or Angelica Pushnova.
Andrew : Yes an interesting crop indeed. For only 13 songs there are a few great songs but at the other end of the scale also a few that are quite dire really. My winner has to come from Angelica Pushnova, Nuteki, Kattie or Navi.
But what do you think? Tell us.
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland, BTRC, Youtube