27 February 2015

Review: Latvia: Eurovision 2015 | Aminata

Aminata will fly the flag for Latvia

On February 22, it was the turn of Latvia to choose its Eurovision entry for 2015 and, after a final consisting of four songs, Aminata with Love Injected was announced as the winner.

Over the past few years, this Baltic state has not had much luck in its search for another Eurovision winner. Their participation began so well back in 2000 when Brainstorm ranked third, followed by the victory of Marie N in 2002. Since then, Latvia's fortunes have declined dramatically, leading to a failure to qualify for the Final for the past six Contests.

Surprisingly, Latvian interest in Eurovision continues to be strong, but a change of direction in choosing the country's entry was needed. Step forward Supernova, a national final marking a major overhaul in Latvia's selection process. With a remit to unearth a credible domestic song with global muscle, this new technique appears to have proved successful with the victory of Aminata.

Her sound is certainly "out there". Some might say that it does not fit in well with the Eurovision template but, in my opinion, it should always be wholly appropriate to push the boundaries of the competition. Love Injected certainly does that.  Full of electronic and alternative R'n'B references, Animata's soaring vocals enliven the song's seemingly unusual construction.

Yes, there are verses and yes, there's a chorus - but across its three minutes, Aminata sounds as if she has created a haphazard mix of the two. The song demands that one listens a couple of times in order to identify the delicacy of the verses in comparison to the energy of the chorus. The wailing of the last half-minute of the song is not going to be to everyone's taste, but Aminata's powerful execution commands your attention nonetheless. That in itself should be enough to see Latvia back in the final after seven years.

However, it's very likely not the winner, but it could easily turn into the dark horse of the competition. If her team provide impressive staging and the pretty Aminata can deliver a focused performance of Love Injected, we could see the country achieve its highest placing on the scoreboard for a very long time.

What are your thoughts?

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