Apologies – I accidentally posted this unfinished yesterday, all sorted now!
The last big national final of the season, you can always count on Eastern Europe to come up with a giant grand final. I have a feeling this might be pretty hard going, but the end is in sight; only Belgium left to write about.
So Moldova. Looking at their short Eurovision history, they’re actually pretty solid, with only two songs I’d say I wasn’t very keen on (2006 & 2008). They’ve yet to follow up their 2005 debut with another top 10 finish, despite two cruel 11th places in 2012 & 2013, but one of these days I’m sure they will manage it.
O Melodie Pentru Europa started only four days before the final, but in that time two semi-finals of 12 songs were sent through to the 16-strong final. A 50/50 jury/televote decided the winner, representing Moldova in May’s Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen.
Diana Staver – One and all
That voice is a bit shaky, is that guy on stilts? A bit creepy… this is an unexpected dance track, not sure what the hell is going on with those dancers. A bit of a mess really, the vocals go wrong more than a couple of times. A shame, it’s quite contemporary and shows some promise, but… no, this isn’t working.
Margarita Ciorici & Metafora – Vis
Ooh is this a Big Balkan Ballad? We’ve hardly had any of them this year (mainly due to lack of Balkans). I like that folky elvish vibe, the violin is lovely, reminds me of The Corrs. She’s a nice singer but the song never quite gets off the ground, although I will grant that last 30 seconds is a bit more exciting. I can’t see Moldovan wailing playing too well though, more’s the pity.
Edict – Forever
Last of the last-placers, and it’s another dance song. It’s strange that there seem to be more of these sort of songs popping up in national finals, but hardly any are getting picked. Is she singing English? There are more lucid moments in the chorus, and while there’s nothing I dislike about the song, it’s just a big average, apart from the occasional big note. She’s got a nice rocky voice, nothing really wrong, it’s just… heh *shrug*
Paralela 47 – Fragmente
Rock!! And a strobe warning I think, that background visual is a bit busy. He’s got such a deep voice, very sexy. I hate comparing any uptempo rock song to The Killers – I guess this is more like the Stereophonics’ “Dakota”. As with Edict, there’s nothing bad about this, it’s just not really pushing any buttons.
Tatiana Heghea – I’m Yours
I guess Moldova aren’t into the subtle dance pop this year, another one outside the top 10. Not quite the height of originality (but what is these days?), but a perfectly pleasant bit of fluff. The only real issue is that she tries to hit some notes quite loudly and she doesn’t always make it. No really bad notes, just a feeling that she’s not quite there. But still, very nice, I think the studio version might be quite nice.
Diana Brescan – Hallelujah
I like that intro, those military drums. This is rather lovely – somewhere between some midtempo Schlager and an 80s power ballad. I like her voice, strong but not too full-on. The melody is simple and rather lovely. I thought the dancers might be a bit of an unwelcome addition, but they work rather well without distracting from Diana. Very good, and they put this 11th? For shame…
Curly – Your Recovery
Oh lord, is it Sideshow Bob? I can see why she’s called Curly, though that masquerade mask is a bit unsettling. They really liked this better than the “Hallelujah”? I guess it’s a bit more of a mould-breaker, but I’m not quite liking this. Very sparse and sultry, a bit too sinister to really get me enjoying myself, and her drifting off key doesn’t help much.
Felicia Dunaf – The Way I Do
Ugh, the say “The way I do” in Moldova too? The circus is in town, with some magician backup dancers. Very odd structure to this song, I like how frantic it turns after the first chorus. She needs to delegate some of this to the backing singers, I can’t hear them, only her sounding increasingly breathless. It’s grown on me after a few minutes, there’s a lot of energy. Not sure what to make of it, but it works out rather well!
Aurel Chirtoacă – Urme de iubiri
What is that horrible screaming sample in the background, that’s chilling! Very strange considering how subdued a ballad this is. He’s got a nice voice, but I’m not really on board with this, perhaps it’s really beautiful in the native language. But to my ears it just sounds like it belongs in 90s Eurovision.
FLUX LIGHT – Never Stop No
This looks promising, laserbeams and neon-lit clothes? The song doesn’t quite live up to those exciting standards though, it’s a bit uneventful. She’s got a strong voice but she’s just a bit loud in the mix. It all looks modern and sounds current, but there’s just not enough of a hook here.
Mikaella – Follow Your Dreams
More dramatic dancers to accompany a ballad. Somehow it doesn’t quite reach the level of interest melodically, it’s a fairly ordinary song about, well, following your dreams and bright tomorrows etc. There’s a flawlessly attacked money note before the last minute though, and an interesting little middle-eight. She’ll wish she hadn’t fluffed that final note though.
Doinița Gherman – Energy
Ooh who is this? That’s how you do drama! Shes like the Moldovan Shakira, or Ruslana. Are the dancers chimney sweeps? It’s an interesting first minute, make no mistake, and Doinița certainly has no shortage of energy. That chorus is a bit flimsy – “energy energy, all we are is energy”. But a big dose of Ethno-stomper nonsense, and you can never have enough of that.
Ana Cernicova – Dragostea divină
Goodness, how thin is that little ballerina?! Looks like we are in for a Disney Ballad this time, and more interpretive dancers. Things are pretty ordinary for the first half, but a big note kicks things up a gear. She’s trying to go for the epic middle-eight to emulate Aliona Moon last year, though instead of a dramatic empassioned rush of song, she opts for lightning effects and a hair-raisingly perfect operatic scale, with a real money note at the end. Nothing like a Disney Ballad by the end, well done Ana!
Lucia S. – Frozen
Top 3 time now, and the ice queen Lucia is flanked by two dancers (sound familiar?). But this is no ballad, it simmers for a bit but then there’s a cheap old Eurodance beat for the chorus. Not much to the lyrics is there? I like the shades of ethno-stomper in there, but I’m little sure how this has come 3rd out of a field of 16 songs. Nothing special, but still competently performed.
Boris Covali – Perfect Day
Second place now, and another unusually average choice by the Moldovans. In fairness it’s perfectly nice, it’s midtempo pop in the vein of Katy Perry’s “Firework” in places. Uplifting and well-sung by Boris. The staging is a little odd with those cellists kicking their heels up. What does this remind me of? I suspect it might be something Melodifestivalen-centric (I think Manda’s “Glow”). I’ll pay him his dues though, he sang that effortlessly and has a lovely tone to his voice.
Cristina Scarlat – Wild Soul
That DRESS!! Utterly bonkers, I love it, and some high drama right from the start. “What am I? AM I HUMAN?!”. There’s some rather strange choices of props here, is that mirrored metal supposed to be doing something? It’s pulsing with menace and passion, though the chorus maybe lets it down a bit – it sounds like it’s from a musical. The hover-pad things are a trange addition too.
She’s a great voice, and if they work out what the hell they’re doing for the performance this could be amazing. No idea though, it’s a very strange year so goodness knows how well this will do. Moldova seem to do well at surpassing expectations, but I hope they do well – they always end up doing slightly worse than I feel they deserve, so a surprise top 10 finish would be grand.