It’s time for another set of reviews as we put another two of this year’s competing songs to the escXtra team for them to hype to high heavens or to mercilessly tear apart. Today it’s the turn of Macedonia and our returning friends from the Czech Republic.
Daniel Kajmakoski – Autumn Leaves
Nick: It’s nice and that’s about it. It doesn’t ‘do’ much or go anywhere as it really has zero character.
Rodrigo: The song is nice enough but the translation to English kind of killed it. It seems like two disconnected songs now. I still love the melody, but I can’t make my peace with the forced lyrics.
Peter: I do like the melody to this, but they really sucked all the life out of it when they translated it into English. The music and the production really don’t seem to go together now.
Simon: Nothing unpleasant, but if I need an early toilet break, this will be it.
Dan: I feel Macedonia made a big mistake choosing to sing this in English. The Macedonian version flowed nicely but translated to English, I just didn’t feel anything from it and it doesn’t really go anywhere. Just a very stale song that I don’t expect to progress to the final.
Ryan: While the new version is alot more modern sounding, it now sounds a lot less Balkan and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I’ll also join the chorus and say that the switch to English was a bad move. The English lyrics are naff, especially the new song title. This was one of my favourites originally but has dropped considerably since, despite liking the rework.
Rinor: Unlike many others, “Autumn Leaves” is one of my favorite songs this year. Yes, I agree with most people that the new version is a little disappointing in comparison with the Macedonian one, but I still think it’s one of the most contemporary songs this year. I think a lot of people will enjoy this R&B/dubstep love ballad, because it’s not so common at Eurovision.
Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta – Hope Never Dies
Nick: Having Marta Jandová is a massive plus. Václav is ok, but doesn’t match Marta’s qualities. This should work even better on stage and fly to the final as I think this’ll be a visual wow.
Rodrigo: Love all three minutes of it. Their voices are outstanding, the lyrics work really well and I hope they will stage it to reflect all the drama that this should project. One of the stronger ballads of the year in my books.
Peter: I’m glad we’ve got a hammy melodramatic male/female ballad this year – there’s always a place for them at the contest and in my heart. I love how this builds and I hope the performance will be suitably over-the-top.
Simon: Both have distinct, powerful voices that contrast wonderfully. Shame about the song.
Dan: I was excited to see Czech Republic back but soon left massively disappointed when I heard they were sending this. I feel their voices don’t blend well together which makes the song incredibly uncomfortable to listen to. In my opinion, the weakest out of this year’s duos.
Ryan: This is a perfect example of why the Czech Republic keep quitting. These guys seem like good performers with good voices, but the song is rubbish. They will do terribly and then quit next year in a huff, but really, what do they expect?
Rinor: I’m very disappointed by the song. When the Czech Broadcaster decided to return, I felt quite excited because I thought they would come back stronger than ever. They had the time, they had the artists, but they failed at selecting the song. I find the song very outdated because we’ve already heard this material like a million times.
The Story So Far…
So the escXtra team has reviews 4 songs so far, and the scores on the doors are as follows (the maximum possible score is 60):
- Czech Republic – 36
- Lithuania – 33.5
- FYR Macedonia – 29
- Moldova – 19.5
Join us tomorrow when Armenia and Ireland will be getting the Xtra treatment!