Review: Ukraine (“Vidbir 2020” ) – Semi-Final 2

On Saturday the 15th of February 2020, Ukraine will hold the second semi-final of the national selection “Vidbir 2020″.

8 artists will compete for 3 spots in the final where they will meet the 3 qualifiers from semi-final 1: Jerry Heil, Krutь, and  Go_A.
The results will be determined by 50% jury voting and 50% public voting.

In this post, I will review the 8 competing songs of the second semi-final.

#1.  Moonzoo feat. F.M.F. Sure – Maze

MOONZOO feat. F.M.F. Sure

It’s an electro-dance-rep song. The melody (And actually the clip) has a strong connection with club music. The melody is based only on electronic beats. The lead singer has a clear voice. In some parts, the singing is pretty blended and it won’t be allowed in Eurovision. After an instrumental section, arrives the rap part which I find disconnected. The lyrics are pretty repetitive. In my opinion, getting rid of the rap section would improve the whole package. The strength of the song comes from the video clip. Therefore, the staging should be convincing. In the manners of electro-dance music is decent but similar to others in the genre.

 

#2. Fo Sho – Blck Sqr

FO SHO

It’s a Hip-Hop rap song with motives of classical music. The song starts with an incredible orchestra playing. Subsequently, a bombastic beat breaks it into black music vibes. One of the girls is singing Hip-Hop while the other is rapping. Thereafter, all of them sing in harmony with high voices. The song describes the phenomenon of being different but being with equal conditions. The majority of the rap lyrics don’t make any sense. Musically, it is special and unexcepted. besides, the melody contains some flute playing as instrumental transitions. My main concern is the way it will be accepted in Eurovision. It will be a huge risk for Ukraine but sometimes it worth it.

 

#3. Elina Ivashchenko – Get Up

Elina Ivashchenko

It’s a power ballad. The young singer starts with a middle-low voice alongside basic piano playing. through the bridge and chorus, the melody becomes powerful, stronger and dramatic. Elina proves herself as a strong vocalist. She knows how to control the height and color of her voice. Her singing has foundations of soul music, while the chorus can be related to soft rock music. It contains the right dosage of drama.
I really love the melody. The lyrics are a little bit kitschy, but it is common in the genre of power ballads.  The song has great potential for staging.

 

#4 Oleksandr Poriadynskyi – Savior

Oleksandr Poriadynskyi

It’s a pop-rock power ballad. The singer has a deep and low voice. Only by hearing him, we could never guess his young age. The beginning of the melody is based on the piano. Afterward, the lyrics consist of drums and guitar playing. The chorus emphasizes the rock character of the song. The peak of the song comes when Oleksandr roars. Although the song is powerful, I find it kind of repetitive, predictable and flat.
#5. Garna – Who We Are?

GARNA

It’s a rock-pop midtempo song. The melody develops interestingly. The chorus has electro-rock vibes. The singer shows her vocal abilities and uniqueness in the chorus. The instrumental sections contain some computerized process voices which can be replaced by backing vocalists. I find the song captivating, catchy and a standout act. If she will be able to perform it live as well as in the studio version, then it will shine like a diamond on stage. I can recognize in her some similarities with former female singers that represented Ukraine in the past.
#6. Khayat – Call For Love

KHAYAT

It’s an electro-dance pop song with some ethnic motives. There is a long instrumental introduction in the beginning. The melody overpowers his singing in the verses. The end of the verses characterized by extension of pronunciation. The transition includes some ethnic folklore melody. The chorus is catchier than the verses. The song ends out of the blue. I found myself pointing on a  missing puzzle piece. The song doesn’t explode. To be honest, I feel that Khayat has limited vocal abilities which influence the noticeability of the song.

 

#7. David Axelrod – Horizon

David Axelrod

It’s a dated piano ballad. I would even say that the song falls into the category of Disney movie theme songs. I’d like to mention that David is a good performer. The song is pretty predictable and in some sense, too much “by book”. There are plenty of songs of that kind. However, it sounds professional and ready. Unfortunately, I don’t see it as a strong contender in this national selection or as an act for Ukraine.

#8. Tvorchi – Bonfire

TVORCHI

It’s a modern Trap Pop mixed with Hip-Hop song. It starts with a happy fast keyboard playing.  There is a section between the verses which is actually a fast-talking.  The structure of the song is a list of broken sections than connect each other with instrumental linking nodes.  It’s super modern and radio-friendly, but I don’t see it suitable for Eurovision.

Ukraine 2020 (Vidbir відбір, Eurovision) #Playlist 300x300

 

My Ranking

#1. Garna – Who We Are?
#2. Elina Ivashchenko – Get Up
#3. Fo Sho – Blck Sqr
#4. Tvorchi – Bonfire
#5. Khayat – Call For Love
#6.Moonzoo feat. F.M.F. Sure – Maze
#7. David Axelrod – Horizon
#8. Oleksandr Poriadynskyi – Savior

I live in Israel and watch Eurovision since the early 2000s. I work as a mathematician but have a big interest in singing, music, and writing

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