Lost in yesterday’s big news about Buranovskiye Babushki winning Russia’s national final was that Slovakia announced their Eurovision representative: dreamy metal singer Max Jason Mai and his song “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”
I’m an old ’80s metalhead, so I’m down with this. Given Mai’s look, I thought I would be getting some glam rock a la The Ark, but “Don’t Close Your Eyes” has a much harder edge than I was expecting. The chorus is a little too Creed for me, but that’s a minor quibble. I really like this.
The big question now is can Slovakia finally qualify for the Final? Mai performs in the second Semi, which is chock full of ballads and dance numbers, and also “I’m a Joker.” Belarus’ Litesound is the only other rock act that night, but they lie closer to pop rock than metal. In theory, the odds look good for Mai since the last two metal acts to perform in the Semis, Finland’s Teräsbetoni in 2008 and Finland’s Lordi in 2006, both made it to the big show. Of course, this could be wishful thinking on my part…
Regardless of what happens, I’m thinking this is going to be one I’ll be cranking a lot in the future.
Considering they didn’t really want to enter Eurovision this year, the Slovakians came out up with a decent entry in “I’m Still Alive” by TWiiNS. The operative word is decent.
The song was co-written by Bryan Todd, who has done a lot of producing for Jordin Sparks and Ashley Tinsdale, among others. That to me immediately suggests a certain Disney-machine, tween-pop sound, which “I’m Still Alive” indeed has. And for some reason, it reminds me of Feminnem’s entry from last year, except less interesting.
After a few hearings, we’ve realized the chorus has exactly three notes: E, G#, A. Mostly they go up: E, G#, A. Sometimes they go down: A, G#, E. Repeat again and again. It gets old pretty fast.
I figure it will be one of those entries that will come and go without leaving much of an impression during the second semi, and will be long forgotten by the time the other set of twins competing at ESC hit the stage later in the evening.
UPDATED: Every year there’s a song that I don’t hate at first, but grow to loathe. This is that song. Aside from the uncreative chorus mentioned earlier, there is the rudimentary boom-tish-boom-tish drum beat. It is really awful. Yet still better than Finland.
Here is Kristina, the Slovakian representative at Eurovision, with “Horehronie”:
So New Age! There’s nothing wrong with this song, per se, but it never really goes anywhere. It’s all mood and no substance. Compare it to “Water,” Bulgaria’s 2007 entry and a song that occupies the same space as “Horehronie.” There’s progression there. You feel it building as it goes along, whereas “Horehronie” just lies there. I didn’t hate it, but I won’t remember it either.
Slovakia has come back to Eurovision after 11 years away. Perhaps they’ve watched all the Czech entries, and thought, “There is no way we could possibly do worse than that.”
Indeed, Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková’s “Let’ Tmou” is no worse than anything the Czech Republic has done so far. In fact, it’s not bad, in an Elnur and Samir meets Vlad and Nico sort of way:
These popera entries tend to do decently at Eurovision. They never win, of course, but if Slovakia is looking to improve on its past results, they may be on to something here. I wouldn’t bump it in my vehicle, but a lot of people eat this sort of thing up. Namely, the Slovakian audience.