Croatia’s Eurovision 2021 Entry

Before I talk about Albina, who won Dora this year, I want to reflect on last year’s winner, Damir Kedžo. National broadcaster HRT decided to keep the national final format and invited him to participate, but he declined the offer. Given the way things went in Lithuania, I wonder if the result would have been different had he made another go.

On the other hand, if he had denied us the opportunity to hear “Tick-Tock” in May, I would have been pretty disappointed.

Albina Grčić finished 3rd in the third season of The Voice Hrvatska. Before that, she competed on X Factor Adria, but dropped out the show when the producers wanted her to be a part of a girl group. She had a Top 20 hit on the Croatian charts last year with “Imuna na strah.”

“Tick-Tock” was written by Branimir Mihaljević, Max Cinnamon, and Tihana Buklijaš Bakić. Tihana is a songwriter and a voice over artist. Branimir competed in 1998’s edition of Dora with “Daj da.” He also cowrote Franka Batelić’s “Crazy” for Eurovision 2018 and Feminem’s “Lako je sve” for Eurovision 2010. And Max competed at Destination Eurovision in 2018 with “Ailleurs.”

I liked “Tick-Tock” almost immediately. It starts off with a gentle, almost meandering intro, which gave me certain expectations as to what was to come. Then that lush, disco-flecked orchestration dropped down to just bass and drum for the chorus. Ooo! It was a twist I wasn’t expecting, and I was hooked.

Upon repeated listens, I started to pick up an interesting structure to the song. What sounds like an initial verse turns out to be merely the intro and what sounds like a pre-chorus or a bridge turns out to be the verse. There is also a swank bridge section that gets reprised at the end.

“Tick-Tock” may be structurally intricate, but it’s not melodically complex, which makes it accessible. It also gives Albina room to move and space to belt as needed. It is a well-constructed performance piece, and I think it is a lot of fun.