16 March 2015

Review: Czech Republic: Eurovision 2015 | Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta

Welcome back to the Eurovision stage to the Czech Republic, appearing for the first time since 2009. The country will be represented by the song Hope Never Dies sung by the duo, Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta.

It's another entry chosen internally and also another in a long line of ballads at this year's Contest. This one has more of a rock vibe going on than the majority of those already announced, though. Produced by Ondřej Soukup, who has worked with a number of Czech hit makers and who has also written some award-winning movie scores, this song could quite easily characterize itself as a part of a soundtrack or concept album.

Some have described it as a vague reminder of a James Bond theme from the 1990s, but its sound is more reminiscent of the type of collaboration that Meatloaf and Cher might have tackled thirty years ago. It may be softer around the edges than that hard-hitting partnership, but the duo's complementary vocals are no less effective.  

The Czechs will be singing in English this time around and, for a song about love and hope, the lyrics are a little on the dark side: “There is no light to pray for / Cold and dim are the skies.” Not quite the feeling of optimism and ambition the title promises.

Still, let's hope the juries and the televoters are feeling a little more upbeat about this song's prospects. Sure, it sounds like many other conveyor-belt ballads, but it's a lot less beige than some. This duet certainly deserves some votes and the chance to appear in the Final, particularly as it's a hell of a lot better than the Czech Republic's previous three campaigns.

Not a winner, but a strong effort.

What do you think?

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