26 March 2018

Goodbye / The Humans / Romania | Review

The Humans / Romania / Eurovision 2018
The Humans for Romania: hello or goodbye to Eurovision?
Last year's Romanian yodeling promoted the country back into Eurovision Top 10 territory having been stuck in mid-table for the previous few years. It seems that Romania is a nation with reliable Eurovision credentials but one which doesn't climb onto the left-hand side of the scoreboard as regularly as one might assume. This year, the Romanians are counting on relative newcomers The Humans, with their song Goodbye, to maintain the nation's 100% qualification record and return them to the Top 10.

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The Humans are a six-piece band which has been active since 2017, specialising in pop, rock and funk. They were virtually unknown when they came from nowhere to win the national pre-selection, since dividing opinion as to their song's potential in the competition. Although last year’s Yodel It felt like something that could only prevail within the framework of the Eurovision Song Contest, Goodbye seems like a radio hit first and an entry for Eurovision second.

The theme of the song – as shared by lyricist and lead singer Cristina Caramarcu – is "an urge to motivate one another not to give up our dreams" and "say[ing] 'goodbye' to all the emotions that keep us on the spot, say 'goodbye' to limitations, conventions and step confident towards the future".

Although not fully embraced by both the Eurovision community and some music critics, Goodbye is nevertheless a well produced and uplifting slice of anthemic pop that could make a legitimate impression outside of the confines of the contest. It feels as if its origins are in 1980s American arena rock, particularly songs from the back catalogues by female driven bands such as Heart or The Pretenders  However, it’s uncertain how much of an impression it’ll make in a sequence of typical Eurovision songs, but one would expect a decent series of votes in Lisbon - particularly if the song's message creates a strong emotional connection with the audience.

Romania’s vast diaspora will no doubt help ferry the country into the final again - although this year it feels less guaranteed - but once there it may well be overlooked for something more visually striking. One to watch, though.

Artist: The Humans
Song: Goodbye 
Semi-Final 2 | First Half

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