10 March 2018

Under the Ladder / Mélovin / Ukraine | Review

Mélovin | Eurovision 2018 | Ukraine
Will it be lucky Under the Ladder for Mélovin?
Having failed in his attempt to represent his country in 2017, former X-Factor Ukraine winner Mélovin returned to the fray in February and won the opportunity to travel to Portugal with the entry Under the Ladder.

Flag Ukraine
As a former Soviet republic, Ukraine enthusiastically cut the shackles and have since unleashed  Eurovision entries which have offered an eclectic mix of the near-sublime and the cringingly ridiculous. This combination hasn’t harmed the nation's results too much, having qualified for the final in every year it has participated - winning the whole shebang on two occasions (2004 and 2016).

Under the Ladder is hardly sublime but neither is it totally off the wall. It begins with scant musical backing to Mélovin's vocal before exploding into a pop entry that seems custom-made for the Contest - but just not 2018 necessarily.

Mélovin's singing style throughout can be a little hard to take - particularly the battle with his English diction and his pitch. He could be singing about anything and, even having read the lyrics, I'm none the wiser. However, he effectively carries the initially fluctuating tempo of the song, selling both the vibrancy and the passion of the track.

These type of pop confections can be tough to win over audiences at Eurovision, though. While they’re satisfying to watch on video and we can all speculate whether they'll be hits after the contest, on the night it’s all too clear that many of them fail to provide that essential component that motivates people to vote. Many a favourite has fallen by the wayside because of this. Ultimately, Mélovin is relying on a dodgy eye and a fire under his elevated piano as encouragement.

Nevertheless, Ukraine is a country that can probably depend on its neighbours, so I expect them to continue their run of qualifications to the Grand Final. How Mélovin fares there is really contingent upon the quality of the songs around him. The fear for Ukraine this year is that, while some may remember the eye and the flames, many are likely to forget what is an average, if fairly catchy, pop song.

Artist: Mélovin
Song: Under the Ladder 
Semi-Final 2 | Second Half

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