All of this year’s songs have been selected, which means it’s time to start the countdown (cue Final Countdown) for the 2015 edition of our beloved Contest! I’ll be tackling the semis & the final in alphabetical order – on the menu today: Albania, Armenia & Belarus from semi 1!
The Song: As per usual, I kinda like the Albanian song. Don’t know why the went for a new one, instead of keeping Diell (the winning song from their national final). I’m not overly convinced , as this mid tempo ballad lacks a bit of spice to fully sweep me off my feet. Perhaps it’s the rather clumsy declaration of love that is “I am alive, cause you are my life” – cue yawn. At least this time there’s no electric guitar solo to be found anywhere, bonus points for that.
The Voice: Girlfriend wants to showcase her singing capabilities, presumably. It all gets a tad screechy towards the end, and that’s only in the studio version. Oj vey, what’s this gonna sound like live? It all takes away from the gentle feel of the song itself, I feel.
The Performance: The past two years have given us rather understated performances from Albania, I’m betting/hoping they’ll keep that hat on for this one, as too much messing about might turn this into chaos before you can say Kejsi Tola.
In one line: Alive, but possibly in need of reanimation
PERSONAL TOTAL: 62%
PREDICTION: I don’t see this surviving semi 1, to be honest. IF it does, it’ll go nowhere in the final.
The Song: So, apparently Armenian TV has issued a statement that this is to be seen a song, not in any way a political statement (just in case anyone might have misinterpreted the lengthy group revelations and song teasers as a polite middle finger to neighboring country Azerbaijan, with whom Armenia has not exactly been friends). The video and the name of the group have been poorly chosen then, but hey: let’s judge this for what they’re selling it (new title included). As far as ballads go, this one I can live with. There’s enough rock elements to be found to keep me interested, even though it sometimes gives me the feeling that it’s a bit of a C-version of any random Andrew Lloyd Webber musical song.
The Voice: The real problem for me is that they’ve tried to put too much in one song on a vocal level. I feel a maximum of three singers would have given the song a bit of air, now these six Genealogists are just trying to out-sing each other and it comes across rather chaotic. Love the addition of the opera voice, but in this setting it’s one step too far for me. They don’t seem to have learned from the mistakes Six4One made back in 2006.
The Performance: I’m expecting something along the line of Iceland 2012 (Never Forget, in case you forgot): lots of black, wind and drama. Like the video basically, yes.
In one line: Fine, I won’t deny. But I won’t approve either.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 64%
PREDICTION: Looking at the field for semi 1, I’m guessing this will either qualify by the edge of its teeth or give Armenia its second DNQ. I’m carefully leaning towards option 1.
The Song: If you told me this had been written by Ralph Siegel, I would believe you without questioning. It’s all smoke and no mirrors: the build-up is strange (it only gets going after one minute), the production is rather low-key and the title is needlessly and endlessly repeated towards the end. I do wonder why time is like thunder. But I’m not really eager to find out.
The Voice: We’ve had worse from Belarus, both in singing capabilities and pronunciation. But an Eastern European version of Adam Lambert he ain’t. Needs some practice, me thinks.
The Performance: I hope they’ll go for something that’s more dynamic than what we got in the preview video – but keeping Belarussian history at ESC in mind, they’ll probably try to oversell this (cue hourglass). Hope they get rid of the violin player though – we ALL know you’re miming, mkay?
In one line: Lightning doesn’t strike
PERSONAL TOTAL: 52%
PREDICTION: Also in the mix for an ‘I barely made it’ claim for qualification. I’d lean towards a no, at this point.
- Armenia – 64
- Albania – 62
- Belarus – 52
Tomorrow: Belgium, Denmark & Estonia