17 April 2016

Eurovision 2016: Review: Latvia: Justs: Heartbeat

Justs / Eurovision 2016 / Latvia
The Heartbeat of Latvia: Justs to fly the Latvian flag in Stockholm

It was at the end of February when the Latvian public voted for Justs to represent their country at this year's Eurovision Song Contest with the song Heartbeat. It was a close-run decision with less than two thousand votes separating the young singer from runners-up, Catalepsia.

There was perhaps an air of inevitability surrounding his victory. Heartbeat is, of course, the brainchild of last year's successful Latvian participant, Animata, and features more than just a few of the electro elements which made Love Injected stand out.

Although there's a manufactured, even industrial, quality to the electronic chords which run through the song, it's Justs' enthusiastic - though vulnerable - vocal ability which adds both warmth and honesty to Heartbeat. There's a passionate, even explosive, chorus in which his tone reminds the listener of some of the freshest R&B singers of today. Combine that with the ultra-modern production values and he and his songwriter have conceived one of the most radio-friendly creations in this year's competition.

The big question is, of course, whether Latvia can win the competition with this song? Inevitable comparisons will be made to Animata's final position on the scoreboard in 2015 (6th), as well as Justs' proportionate ability to impress both the juries and the public.

Last year, Love Injected failed to do as well with the televote as it did with the juries, but Justs has the potential magnetism in both presentation and vocal ability to pull in votes on both fronts. Heartbeat may not be this year's winner, but a Top 3 finish is not entirely out of the question.

What do you think?

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