29 December 2014

Eurovision 2015: Belarus: Uzari & Maimuna: Time

Uzari and Maimuna: (Image Facebook)
The process of choosing the song to represent Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest is not usually one which runs too smoothly - or, so it seems, without some kind of fallout.

This time, after a lineup of fifteen competitors fought for the right to represent the country in Vienna next year,  Uzari and Maimuna were ultimately crowned the winners with the song, Time.

For many, this was not the song that was predicted to win before the staging of the national final. That honour was bestowed upon the girl-group Milki and the song Accent, both a product of past Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak. As it turned out, neither the public vote nor the combined jury points placed Milki at the top of the pile, which prompted an angry outburst from the 2009 victor.

Rybak's consternation aside, the weighted votes of the jury put Time in first place, a full ten points ahead of the runner-up, Anastasia Malashkevich with Don't Save My Name. Having endured terrible audio on the internet feed from Minsk, practically all of the contenders sounded dreadful to me - including the much-lauded newcomers, Milki.

Uzari, however, has competed in the previous two Belorussian national finals without much luck, but combining talents with the beautiful violinist Maimuna has changed his fortunes - even if this wasn't a landslide victory.

Neither the public nor all of the members of the jury were behind Time. It's not surprising as the standard of all the songs was less than ideal.

Time tries to be a pop/rock song with classic overtones, courtesy of the violin. It starts off with promising drama, but that promise soon turns to disappointment as Uzari begins his vocals. The chorus sounds worse than the verses; a cat on heat is more in tune.

It's not only the vocals that let this song down. The lyrics leave something to be desired, as well. What exactly does "Time is like thunder" mean? Having read the text of the song, it looks mostly to be a collection of random words thrown together in the hope that they make sense. It's a shame really, as the melody and the hook are quite memorable.

How it fares in the Contest will be dependent on the staging and the set-up of the semi-finals, though. By any standards, the vocals will need improvement by May.

As it is now, I foresee Belarus failing to make the Grand Final. What are your thoughts?

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