05 April 2014

Eurovision 2014: Georgia: Three Minutes to Earth

For the most part, Georgia has had a reasonably successful run in its short time at the Eurovision Song Contest. In six outings, the country has participated in five finals and finished in the Top 15 each time.

I've a very strong feeling that The Shin and Mariko's Three Minutes to Earth is not going to emulate its predecessors. It has received a very bad press among Eurovision fans and figures towards the bottom of many of their rankings of this year's songs.

In many ways, this reaction is not totally fair. After all, one of Eurovision's tenets has always been that every song presented should reflect a particular nation's cultural music. Over the years each Contest has strayed further from that principle, so when a track such as this comes along it's often universally derided.

The Shin is essentially a jazz band which fuses other musical genres into its output. Three Minutes to Earth is rich with this fusion, introducing elements of traditional Georgian styles and instrumentation. Unfortunately, because so much is crammed into its three minutes, on a first listening it comes across as totally inaccessible.

Some might say it's an unholy mess, but that would be taking criticism to an extreme. Mariko's vocals are spot on, even if a lot of what she is singing sounds like nonsense - "sky diver's space jump"?

With this sound and lyrics such as those, the whole package has an air of late Sixties psychedelic folk about it. But those experimental sounds tended to last a lot longer than three minutes. Maybe this song needs a couple more to explain itself.

Voters will not give it that chance, though. This will be one of the entries dumped from semi-final two and sent into oblivion.

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