I wasn’t a huge fan of Roxen’s 2020 Eurovision effort “Alcohol You,” although I have a feeling my thoughts on it were based more on her back catalog than the intrinsic quality of the song. I felt like she had a lot more potential than shown by the choices the Romanian public had to vote on.
I’m a lot happier with what she’s given us this year, although I’m not without my reservations.
While Roxen didn’t write “Amnesia” (Viky Red & Adelina Stînga did), I think that she is using her platform at Eurovision to express a strong personal message. The song is about how hard it is to love who you are when you feel pressured to conform to the narrow definitions that society has for you.
The arrangement is intense and atmospheric, perfectly capturing the mood of the lyrics. While manipulated vocals can go either way for me, I think the use of artificial modulation on Roxen’s vocals add a strong, almost unsettling layer to “Amnesia.” She sounds like she is underwater, close to drowning in anxiety.
While I think “Amnesia” is a good song, I find myself struggling to wholly get into it. The choices Roxen and her production crew made here are technically smart, but they don’t pack the wallop it should. Somehow it comes off as a bit clinical and safe. “Amnesia” is so close to being memorable, but it ends up being merely clever.