For the first time since 2015, North Macedonia will select an artist and a song via a national selection: “Za Evrosong 2022“
A public vote will be available for a week.
Next Friday, the 4th of February 2022, the voting will close.
The results will be determined by 50% public voting and 50% international jury voting.
The artists won’t give any live performances of their songs in the national selection.
In this post, I will review the 6 competing songs:
#1. Kalina Velkovska [Kaly] – Love and Light
It’s a mid-tempo power ballad with electronic elements.
The song starts with an electronic beat and keyboards playing. She sings the first verse at a considerably slower rate and low voice. The second half of the first verse relies on cello/violin playing as well. The chorus is powerful, it relies on string instruments, keyboards, and drum beats. She sings out loud with some long notes. The chorus ends with a long, deep cello/violin playing that changes into a percussion session. The second verse is more rhythmic, based on the electronic beat and some moments of the string instrument. The chorus comes again and it is energetic and powerful.
With drum beat, wind instrument, and violin she delivers it. The song ends with its bridge which is less powerful and more exciting. The song has different parts that are connected together. Sometimes the different connections aren’t natural. Kaly‘s song is impressive and powerful. For some moments, it sounds a little bit of “James Bond” style. I must give a compliment to the whole orchestration in the melody.
#2. Yon Idy – Dreams
It’s a typical singer-songwriter song.
The song starts with an acoustic guitar playing.
The first verse has a mid-slow rate. It is bare of any production, very simple and basic.
Yon’s voice is pleasant and flows in the melody. In the pre-chorus, he tries to give us another color of his voice. The chorus is served with a scent of humor and a smile. The melody changes a little bit, but it is still similar to the verse. I think there is more “hymn” flavor to the chorus.
After a short instrumental part, we are moving to the second verse, that’s similar to the first one but just less slow. The chorus arrives again, in the same way. The bridge has a different character, it includes backing vocals and some vocal improvisations.
The song is decent, but it has all the ingredients to be forgotten. Yon is cute and has a charming smile. But at the same time, it sounds like a song you can hear one of the guys singing near the bonfire, while you are in the 11th grade.
#3. Lara Ivanova – Flower of Sorrow
It’s a lyrical love ballad.
The song starts with an instrumental part composed of piano playing.
Lara enters the song and clarifies from the beginning that she is a wonderful performer.
With interpretation full of emotions, she is telling us how terrible love can be.
The melody of the first verse is a classical piano melody. Lara sings it with self-confidence and soul motive. The pre-chorus is tenser, but at the same time, the softness and excitement in her voice reach to impressive threshold. The chorus continues the same music line, but it is more powerful. The main element in this part is nothing but Lara’s vocal performance.
Her singing transforms between powerful and soft. The second verse suggests a change in direction: it is faster and accompanied by an electric guitar. The pre-chorus is performed in a lower voice, but it still shows the different sides of her singing. There’s a short pause at the end of the second chorus.
The violin playing is denser. And then we get a great last chorus with a celebration of different musical instruments.
This is the way to make a decent and memorable ballad. It ticks all the boxes: A wonderful singer, song with a message, melody with development, but at the same time – simplicity.
I couldn’t resist but mentioning that she reminds me a lot of Alicja who should have represented Poland at Eurovision 2020.
And here is her version in the Macedonian language:
#4. Viktor Apostolovski – Superman
It’s an entertaining song with trap pop influences.
The song opens with a danceable cracked beat. The first verse is based on this beat and guitar playing. The lyrics are a little bit silly, as the main aim is rhyme and not creating a message.
He is proud of being able to do some basic actions like walking and talking, alongside super-powers.
Pre-chorus is more rhythmic and faster. His singing is theatrical and moves from pop style to almost rapping. The chorus itself just repeats the title with upbeat dance club beats and trap pop influences.
This is the moment when we can hear the power in his voice, but something in this beat is just way too much. The second verse includes another type of beat that is less noisy. The rhyme achieves another level of cringiness: joke, tik-tok and smoke are in the running.
The pre-chorus has some theater vibes and now he wants to mess with someone’s mother and father. The upbeat part of the chorus takes control again. This time the chorus is longer. The bridge has a different path, we can hear him singing with attitude, manners and some improvisations and decorations. Female backing vocalists supporting him (vocally and by telling him he is a superman). The melody is based on gentle piano playing. The song ends with the trap pop – dance club beat
The song ends with the sound of a broken glass.
The video’s theme image shows Viktor topless with focus on his muscles, and let me say that it is probably to motivate some people to vote for him.
I don’t want to be rude, but I really don’t like this song. Start with the forced lyrics and banel message, and end with the exaggerated beat. The saddest thing is that the most successful part of the song is the bridge, but there isn’t any hero (includong superman) that can save the song at this point.
#5. Andrea Koevska – Circles
It’s an indie pop ballad.
The song starts with piano playing. The first verse is based on simple piano playing. Andrea sings it effortlessly and with a low voice. Towards the end of the first verse, we can hear violin playing and backing vocals. The chorus is based on a light beat alongside piano and guitar playing. She sings it emotionally and with a high voice. Sometimes, her breathing is heavier, just to make us understand the message. She used some vocal improvisations and vibrations that made her voice even more beautiful. The second verse is built on a richer production. The rate is faster and she sings in a a convincing way. Towards the end of the second verse, she sings with a wide amplitude and a drum beat enters the composition. The chorus is more upbeat, but it still preserves the rebuke she wants to show us. We can even hear an electronic cyclic beat that’s composed of synth sounds.
Between the 2 choruses, she gives her all. The last chorus still relies on the same beat.
The song ends with a simple guitar playing.
Andrea is a sophisticated artist, with not much effort, she delivers the message and remains in the listeners consciousness. I would like to give a big applause for the production here. It is like another sphere that goes around the sound (my recommendation: listen with professional headphones).
#6. Ris Flower [Boris Cvetanovski] – Flying to Berlin
It’s a rock-blues song.
The song starts with an electric guitar playing.
Boris opens the song with his beautiful masculine voice. The melody of the first verse is based on the guitar playing and a basic beat. The pre-chorus is less memorable and sounds like a section that was meant to take some time until the chorus’s arrival. The end of the pre-chorus includes the massive use of effects (I believe auto-tune is one of them) that kind of reshape his voice.
The chorus comes immediately after the pre-chorus.There’s nothing special about the chorus and it was the thing that let me down about this song. a short comforting guitar solo leads us to the second verse. At this time. the melody is based on a sampling of keyboards playing together with guitar playing. The pre-chorus and chorus return again, as well as the effects.
This time the chorus ends differently with the same sentence.
The song closes with the question: “Why are you flying to Berlin?”.
I can easily imagine it being played in a smokey bar. This could have been a high quality song.
The best parts of the song are the verses.
The only problem is that it would probably have a narrowed audience.
My Personal Ranking
- Lara Ivanova – Flower of Sorrow
- Andrea Koevska – Circles
- Kaly – Love and Light
- Ris Cvetanovski – Flying to Berlin
- Yon Idy – Dreams
- Viktor Apostolovski – Superman
I am almost sure that the winner will be Lara Ivanova, but there’s a chance for Viktor Apostolovski as well.
This isn’t one of the strongest selections we have had. However, if the right song is chosen, North Macedonia will be able to surprise us and end in a decent place.
North Macedonia will compete in the second half of semi-final 2 that will be held on the 12th of May 2022.
If the country qualifies, they will compete in the grand final on the 14th of May 2022.
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