Review: “O Melodie Pentru Europa” – Eurovision 2020 Moldova Finalists

Moldova will select its artist and song for Eurovision 2020 via the traditional national selection “O Melodie Pentru Europa”.
Interested artists, writers, and composers had to submit songs until the 17th of January 2020.
On the 21st of January 2020, 36 artists were shortlisted for the first round.
The 36 artists were invited for an audition. On the 1st of February 2020, 20 among them were announced as finalists.
The final will be held on Saturday the 29th of February 2020. The results will be determined by 50% jury voting and 50% public voting.

In this post, I will review the 20 finalists songs.

01 – Denis Midone – Like A Champion

Denis Midone

It’s a ballad that is based on acoustic guitar playing. The singer has a low voice. The chorus is almost a direct extension of the verses since the lack of melody changing. It feels like a sketch or an unfinished demo version. In the original version, the singer tended to pronounce “Shampion” instead of a “Champion”. I don’t see it as a strong enough contender.

 

02 – Natalia Gordienco – Prison

Natalia Gordienco

It’s a dramatic ballad. The melody is based on the guitar and piano. Natalia shows her excellent vocal abilities. The verses are a little bit dark and mysterious. The style of the song has a lot of common with the 1990s music (and it’s said as a compliment). The genre is actually a rock-pop ballad. In the chorus, there is a use of drums and electric guitars. By that, The stress and drama are increased and the rhythm is finally in. The transition and bridge are well built and planned. The words have meaning and depth. It’s could be a shining diamond.
03 – Geta Burlacu – Răspunde (Eng: Answer)

Geta Burlacu

The song starts with a piano playing. It’s a dated ballad with a simple and basic melody.
In the bridge, there is an entrance of rhythm. The singer is heard as an experienced artist. The song remains a little bit flat since the melody is pretty constant. Besides, the singer has mannerisms in her singing. The final outcome is OK but it has the positive potential to be forgettable.
04 – Viorela Moraru – Remedy

Viorela Moraru

It’s a pop ballad. The melody in the first verse namely based on light and soft production. The song starts to gain its power in the bridge. The chorus is very catchy and powerful. The verse that arrives after the chorus is rhythmic than the first verse od the song. Therefore we have direct transitions between the verse, the bridge, and the chorus. There is a part in the song where the melody is changed surprisingly and it’s a pleasant moment. Viorela uses elements of soul singing. She shows us the different abilities and colors of her voice.
05 – Valentin Uzun and Irina Kovalsky – Moldoviţa

Valentin Uzun and Irina Kovalsky

It’s a typical Balkan national song. The lyrics contain the word “Hello” in different languages such as Romanian, English, Hebrew, Russian, French and more. The song calls for hearts union and friendship. The melody is based on drums and saxophone. In the chorus, we have a special beat. It’s a joyful song that combines traditional dancing and other ethnic motives. However, I see it as too local and national in the sense that listeners from other countries won’t understand it. The lyrics are too kitschy. Putting all together, we get a typical Balkan Eurovision entry that we’ve already heard in the past.
06 – Lavinia Rusu – Touch

Lavinia Rusu

It’s a dance-pop song. The style reminds of club music and contains influences from the 1980s music. In the bridge, the melody becomes powerful and contains a significant and dominant beat. The chorus consists of one phrase that repeats itself. Before the chorus, she announces “1,2,3” which I see unnecessary. The last third of the song is characterized by melody changing to an acoustic one with some echo elements. The echo is catchy and reparative. Vocally, Lavinia is av average vocalists that hasn’t the “big voice”. In my opinion, adding a modern beat and dancing movements can lift up the song.
07 – Dima Jelezoglo – Do It Slow

Dima Jelezoglo

It’s a dance-pop song with wide influences of middle-east music. The main genre and style can be related to songs that we’ve received from Greece and Israel in the past. The song starts with an electronic beat combined with percussions and string instruments. That instrumental section lasts for 30 seconds. The first verse is being performed as an oriental midtempo pop piece. Thereafter, the familiar beat from the beginning arrives again and it builds the chorus. The chorus is pretty poor and namely consists of the title of the song several times. Dima‘s singing is sensual and he is pulling syllables. I would like to get a chorus with more words. The song is unique and catchy but it lacks something that will transform it into a competitive entry.
08 – Diana Rotaru – Dale Dale

Diana Rotaru

It’s a dance-pop with wide influences from Latin music. The song is bilingual, it has lyrics in Romanian and Spanish. There is an electronic beat that repeats along with the song but every time with a variable rhythm. The verses are being performed as fast and half-broken pieces. The chorus has the right structure, it is rhythmic, light and jaunty. There is a trumpet in the melody and it helps to build the uniqueness in the song.  The song includes several instrumentals sections. Towards the end, the chorus is performed in a different melody and it’s a part that must be in the final version of the song. The song is too long and thus would be changed.
In the live performance, we will have to see a suitable dance so the song won’t be static.  The vocal abilities of Diana match the song
09 – Pasha Parfeny – My Wine

Pasha Parfeni

It’s an oriental Pop song that’s is opened with a trumpet. The first verse is short comparing the other parts of the song. The chorus starts with a slow singing and the melody is pretty simple and basic. Afterward, we are getting an instrumental section that’s almost identical to the introduction of the song. It seems like a lot of efforts were invested in the transitions and only a few in the chorus. Finally, the only thing that I can remember is the instrumental sections.

 
10 – Live Beat – Love Me Now

Live Beat

It’s a radio-friendly dance-pop song. There is a beat in the chorus that had started to build in the verses. That beat is actually the majority of the melody in the chorus. in the verses, one of the singers is the lead vocalist while the other being used as a backing vocalist. They switch rules through the song.
After the chorus, there is an unnecessary rap-singing.  Subsequently, another occurrence of the chorus arrives. Towards the end, there is a transition where the two female singers sing together in a soul style alongside an almost acoustic melody. Afterward, the familiar instrumental section. Vocally, the performance is on point. In my opinion, a revamp would lift it up.

 
11 – Valeria Pașa – It’s Time

Valeria Pasa

It’s a soul-pop rock ballad that’s a modern radio-friendly song. The song starts with the sound of the clock’s ticking. Valeria has a pleasant voice and she is always accurate. The verses are being performed as a pop ballad. In the bridge, we get keyboard playing that builds the rhythm. The chorus includes drums and electric guitar. The first lines in the chorus are powerful and raise a protest in the name of the women in the world. After the chorus, there is an instrumental section that’s controlled by drums and electric guitar. Subsequently, there is a rap section that’s is surprisingly good. The song is over after another occurrence of the chorus. However, it isn’t complete this time. To sum up, it’s contemporary, catchy and namely performed by a strong vocalist.
12 – Maria Ciolac – Our Home

Maria Ciolac3

The song was published in a kind of acoustic version or even a demo version. We can namely hear the keyboard playing. It’s a singer-songwriter song. The chorus isn’t powerful enough and it sounds like a direct continuation of the verses. I think that the song needs the involvement of new production or changing parts of the melody. Maria performs the song in an angelic and soft voice. It seems like Maria has a lot of exhausted potential.
13 – Sasha Letty – Summer of Love

Sasha Letty

It’s an electro-dance pop song. The style can belong to the 1980s and 1990s music. The chorus is based on a sharp and cyclic electronic beat. The chorus takes us back in time considering the timeline of music. The chorus contains breaking and repeating the phrase “summer of love”. Afterward, there is an additional electronic beat that includes computerized – processed vocals. The verse that comes after the chorus is more powerful that the first verse. The next chorus contains more words than the first one and it has a successful beat. The song ends in disco electronic beat.
Sasha’s voice is integrated well in the whole production. The song can be super successful if it will have the right staging but not an ornate one.
14 – Irina Kit – Chain Reaction

Irina Kit

The song starts as a pop ballad with keyboards playing and a gentle electronic production. The chorus has a powerful production. The style reminds me of a lot of dance-pop songs from the latest 1980s – early 1990s. The melody is catchy but it lacks of drop that would give it a stronger character. Subsequently, there is a transition where the electronic beat becomes weaker. She performs again the chorus with the help of backing vocalists. Irina has a sweet and gentle voice, sometimes it is against her.

 
15 – Petronela Donciu & Andreea Portărescu – We Will Be Legends

Andreea Portarescu & Petronela Donciu

It’s a pop-rock ballad with gentle and soft electronic production. The style reminds me of dark ballads that were successful in the 1990s. The song begins with repeating several times on the title. The first verse starts with the sound of keyboards playing together with an electronic effect that’s similar to the synthesizer. At the end of the first verse, the other singer starts singing. The two of them perform the chorus in harmony and powerful voices. The transition after the chorus is almost identical to the introduction. The song is catchy and melody is addictive and choicest like an old good wine. The ending of the song contains a modulation with an electronic melody. It also has a violin playing in a short solo. They came back to sing together in the ending. It an effective and catchy song.

 

 

16 – LANJERON – Hi-Five

LANJERON

 

It’s a dance-pop R&B song with the influences of Reggae and Latin music. It seems like the lead vocalist tends to create an accent that he hasn’t. There is also a use of a trumpet in the melody.  It makes it hard to recognize the lyrics. Afterward, a rap singer is joining him. They sing the chorus together. The song is heard like others in the genre. I can barely find something special in it.

 

17 – Julia Ilienko feat. Mishel Dar – Tears

Julia Ilienko feat. Mishel Dar

It a hymn ballad that’s based on electronic production. Mishel has a rockist voice, while Julia has a more soft and gentle voice. I feel like the song was written with too many efforts in rhyming. It’s a modern and radio-friendly song. The song is pretty predictable and lacks a “wow” moment. The song includes computerized-processed voices. The final product is decent but it has the sin of being generic. It isn’t the type of the songs than can push Moldova forward.
18 – Catarina Sandu – Die for You

Catarina Sandu

It’s an uptempo pop-soul ballad. In the first verses, Catarina’s singing is exciting and calming. She is singing while the beat is built and grows strong. The transition is being performed almost without any melody and in the style of soul. The chorus is addictive, catchy and rhythmic. The instrumental part in the chorus combines several musical instruments that create a perfect synergy. The verses that come after are more rhythmic. The additional occurrence of the chorus breaks into the electronic beat with the frills in her singing. The part after the chorus is being performed almost without any production. It’s a song that can stand out. It’s written with a lot of emotions and with a professional melody. There is no reason that the song won’t become a hit of summer 2020.
19 – Alexandru Cibotaru – Cine Te-A Facut Să Plîngi

Alexandru Cibotaru

It’s a dated ballad with influences of Jazz music. The melody is based on keyboards playing and drums. The verses are being performed in a personal and emotional way and with a low voice. In the chorus, he doesn’t change the scale of singing. The second verse arrives directly after the chorus. Melodically, it makes sense but it doesn’t make sense in the terms of structure. Towards the end, there is a use of a violin. The song is too conservative and dated from being the right song in the selection.
20 – Maxim Zavidia – Take Control

Maxim Zavidia

 

It’s a rock-pop song that its melody is based on drums and guitars. The verses are being performed sensually and mysteriously. The chorus arrives at an early point. Maxim serves different colors of his voice, where the ending of the last line in the chorus is performed in a low and deep voice. The chorus is split between Maxim and his backing vocalists. Towards the end, he performs the verses in a roght way. The backing vocalist voices are getting louder and it’s the “peak point” of the song. The song is catchy and it’s a good match between the singer and the song. I would like to hear him express more feeling while singing.

 

My Personal Ranking

O_Melodie_Pentru_Europa_2020_-_Moldova_Eurovision

#1– Catarina Sandu – Die for You
#2 – Petronela Donciu & Andreea Portărescu – We Will Be Legends
#3 – Natalia Gordienco – Prison
#4 – Sasha Letty – Summer of Love
#5 – Valeria Pașa – It’s Time
#6 – Irina Kit – Chain Reaction
#7 – Viorela Moraru – Remedy
#8– Maxim Zavidia – Take Control
#9 – Diana Rotaru – Dale Dale
#10– Lavinia Rusu – Touch
#11 – Dima Jelezoglo – Do It Slow
#12 – Live Beat – Love Me Now
#13 – Denis Midone – Like A Champion
#14 – LANJERON – Hi Five
#15 – Maria Ciolac – Our Home
#16 – Julia Ilienko feat. Mishel Dar – Tears
#17 – Geta Burlacu – Răspunde
#18 – Pasha Parfeny – My Wine
#19 – Valentin Uzun and Irina Kovalsky – Moldoviţa
#20 – Alexandru Cibotaru – Cine Te-A Facut Să Plîngi

 

I think that Moldova has one of its strongest national selection. It will be very difficult to predict the winner. I would be glad to see any artist of my top 8 representing the country in Eurovision 2020.
The full playlist (including eliminated acts) is available in different digital platforms:

Image result for spotify apple music youtube

Spotify

AppleMusic

YouTube

Official Website

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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