- September 28, 2009
Unfortunately they have withdrawn very late! Hopefully thet will come back next yearMy review:
ARMENIA 2020 - Athena Manoukian - Chains on You = "Diversity honey!"
Kudos to Armenians for bringing a music style that's been prevalent for years and years out of the ESC bubble and - to my knowledge - rarely made its way to the contest, like many other genres. I won't risk describing the influences at work here, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear this mixture of layers that was enhanced by the revamp (Albania, take note!).
Armenia love their fierce female soloist and Athena is no exception. The verses are my highlights, I love the super crisp instrumentation and the fact it changes throughout the song. If I had to be picky, I'd say the pre-choruses are the weaker links of the chain (pun intended), but nothing significant enough for it to be a flaw for me.
Also, I like that it goes off the beaten path a little compared to what they've sent previously: yet it remains dark and it's got attitude.
Prediction-wise, I'm not sure what to think. I remember the MV was great, so I hope some good staging was planned (unlike in 2019...). I have no idea about how competent Athena is live, and it's key in this instance because it's a tricky song to pull off imo. It probably would have been among the borderline qualifiers with a 40/60 chance of failing to qualify, which would have been a shame because it's among the most qualitative entries of semi 2 imho. It's always an uphill struggle when one goes out of the purely pop territory.
In any case, the song is dope af, I awarded it 12 points in the poll months ago, so it'll be in my top 10 for sure. Hopefully Armenia will keep experimenting next year and not fall into the trap of going the safe route like way too many countries do.