Latvia will be selecting their representative this Saturday. 10 acts initially advanced to the final, but there was a wildcard given to one of the acts because of technical difficulties with their performance. Today we will discuss the first 6 songs from the running order and tomorrow we will talk about the remaining 5!

On today’s review panel we find:

  • Boris Meersman, our Belgian correspondent.
  • James Maude, our Californian based writer.
  • Roy Postema, our Dutch correspondent.
  • Tyler Griffiths, our Alaskan resident and writer.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the reviews are those of the person making the statement, and not of ESCUnited as a whole, nor of Matt or Sean. If you take umbrage at what will be written below, take it up with the person who said it.

We will go by each song in order of the official running order, now let’s get it started!

 

Raum – Plans

Boris – 6 – “A genial poprock song let down by dodgy vocals.”

James – 5 – “Oh boy, I hope Raum doesn’t have Turin in his travel plans! Har har har. It was all going so well as a peppy punk pop track until Raum’s terrible rap and stopping the song to turn on a TV to hear a canned laugh track. Trim out those two elements and you have something cute and fun for the Happy Hour at Applebee’s crowd. This is the perfect example of a song that with a bit more thought in production and arrangement can be turned from a loser to a winner. Right now, quality-wise, it comes off as that guy who drinks St. Ides outside the 7-Eleven trying to perform Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday.’”

Roy – 6.5 – “This is a really nice up-tempo kind of poprock tune. I dig it! Unfortunately the live performance wasn’t very strong and the chorus felt very lacklustre. I don’t think this should go to Eurovision anymore after that. Who cares though, I love the song, it’s in my playlist and I thank Raum for this song! But he shouldn’t go to Eurovision..”

Tyler – 6 – “‘Plans’ is a cute song! It’s a light pop rock song that I enjoy when it’s the chorus and I can pretend I’m back in my teenage years. Otherwise, it feels like there’s a rap/cool guy vibe going on that I don’t care for at all the kills the vibes for me. So parts of the song I like, others not so much, so this score feels appropriate!”

Total score: 24 (avg. 5.9)

Highest: Roy (6.5)

Lowest: James (5)

 

Linda Rušeniece – Pay My Own Bills

Boris – 8 –“A bouncy adulting/feminist anthem by a Millennial Monroe dressed up like a pink chocobo <3”

James – 3 – “Why are there two goofballs onstage blowing trumpets on a song that doesn’t have any (or at least buried so deep in the mix beneath that near-brown note synth line)? With decisions like this, I doubt Linda can pay her own bills as a musician, at least. Some Europeans can do the blues, especially in the East where memories of the Soviet Union remain. But this misguided independence anthem is not one of them. I guess if you’re a fan of Lala Kent’s lazy brand of feminism you might like it. Otherwise, move on ability to pay your own bills or not.”

Roy – 4.5 – “This backing track isn’t exciting me at all in the verses. The chorus definitely improves. Unfortunately the chorus lyrically is just Linda repeating the same line over and over.. She does perform this song really well and I hope to see her back with a better song in the future!”

Tyler – 8 – “Barring Linda’s outfit as it feels like a knockout Malibu Stacy costume, I like “Pay My Own Bills”! The song tries to be more soulful than I think it could be, but it’s still a lot of fun to watch and listen to. And the song isn’t nearly as meme-y as some of the other songs in this selection, so I appreciate it too! Overall enjoyed this a lot.”

Total score: 23.5 (avg. 5.9)

Highest: 8 (Boris, Tyler)

Lowest: 3 (James)

 

Bermudu Divstūris – Bad

Boris – 3 – The Ride remixed into a repetitive frat-bro anthem featuring inarticulate catchphrases and grating falsettos. Hard f-ing pass.”

James – 1 –“Getting drunk, high and making love are behaviors of someone who’s bad? Probably for the sad dads in this act, who look like they are an assembled group of henpecked husbands forced to perform a skit while their wives have it off with the binmen. This is every cringe Eastern European novelty act cliché jammed into one song, from the meme glasses as costume to the “feminine” swanning around dance. I’m actually going to use this as a test if my nightmare of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” comes to life, as anyone who finds this funny has got to be a pod person who murdered and replaced the one I know.”

Roy – 8 – “I don’t care, I absolutely love this song! The lyrics are your stereotypical nonsensical party song, but this house beat is everything!! I wish they played it louder in the live performance, but that is easily fixable, his vocals are really goot live! The studio version is great and I might not want this to go to Eurovision, but this is definitely one of those ‘Roy-gems’ that I absolutely love!”

Tyler – 4.5 –“Bad” is… Well, it isn’t good lol. I like how “Bad” feels like it’s a parody of recent entries where it’s a man talking about his game to pick up chicks, but then the song keeps going and I start to think it actually isn’t one and it’s serious? I don’t know what to think. I don’t like the pixel glasses or the choreography or the high pitch voice, I just think this is bad to listen and watch to, there I said the thing okay??”

Total score: 16.5 (avg. 4.1)

Highest: Roy (8)

Lowest: James (1)

 

Miks Galvanovskis – I’m Just A Sinner

Boris – 2 – “This grease monkey. Hated this in the wildcard vote, still hate it now. Bonus point because the sexual objectification of the act is almost funny. That THIS was in the top 3 of the televote (with Bujans and Bermudu Divsturis X__X) is downright DIABOLICAL.”

James – 1.5 – “Christ above, another crap faux country track with Swedish production touches? I am not sure if Miks’s voice or the guitar tone annoys me more. There are at least some quirky manic touches like Miks screaming like his crotch is on fire and his backup vocalists sounding straight out the back arse of Daugavpils heading to a taping of “Hee Haw.” Also, there is not much in the narrative about his sins, what he has to atone for, if he has atoned for it, etc. Usually, narrative is a strong suit for country, but it’s totally absent here and we’re left with a jumble of cliches. I don’t particularly care for American authenticity, but I don’t want the Latvian Muppets do Nashville either.”

Roy – 6 – “I dig how he looks, I dig the vibe of the song, perhaps the execution of the song could have been better and more interesting, but not too bad!”

Tyler – 4 – “At least there’s a fire stunt in this performance, so that’s cool to see! But for “I’m Just a Sinner” itself? No thank you. I didn’t like this song when it was a wildcard competitor, and I didn’t care for the performance itself as well. The staging and performance makes it feel like it’s trying too hard to play up the “sin” in the song, but I just don’t care for how tame it feels. Outside of the fire stunt, this does nothing to me but make me want the next entry so bye!”

Total score: 13.5 (avg. 3.4)

Highest: Roy (6)

Lowest: James (1.5)

 

Bujāns – He, She, You & Me

Boris – 2 – “Bujans release a crappy joke song and their fans cajole them into entering Supernova, where they promptly become favourites. Does this sound familiar? Yikes though, Intars Busulis WISHES he was a Samanta Tina. “Still breathing” was bad but it won me over because Samanta was a force who couldn’t be denied. Seeing these two dweebasses in cringe costumes flail around fully out of breath for three minutes makes me wish I was watching (and hearing) anything else.”

James – 1 – “This comes off as a clumsy right-wing parody of the usage of gender pronouns with an early ‘90s dance track. I don’t think it is (or at least would not like to think it is), so I will just chalk this off as being another crap Latvian novelty dad act that fails miserably at being fun and just ends up being awkward. The last time Intars Busilis entered Eurovision in 2009, it set off a six-year non-qualification streak for Latvia. Expect this to be Latvia’s 5th non-qualifier in a row if they win Supernova 2022.”

Roy – 1 – “I love the oldschool throwback techno beat, but these lyrics are some of the worst I have ever heard. Honestly inexcusable and so hindering that I can’t do anyhting else than give this a 1 out of 10… The beat definitely had more potential…”

Tyler – 4.5 – “The best way to describe this song is “A Eurovision movie reject”. “He, She, You & Me” feels like a song to laugh at instead of laugh with, and doesn’t feel earnest to me at all. It feels like it’s trying to hard to tell the joke when the joke itself wasn’t funny to begin with. I wish I could like this, but nah life’s too short so bye!”

Total score: 8.5 (avg. 2.1)

Highest: Tyler (4.5)

Lowest: James & Roy (1)

 

Elīna Gluzunova – Es pabiju tur

Boris – 7 – “This is really pretty. Anyway, Elina qualified from second last in the televote to vanquish the offensive mediocrity of Markus Riva once again <3 Thank you for your community service, your reward is 8th place in the Supernova final.”

James – 7 – “We’re being punked. We have had to put up with some of the worst novelty songs of all time in this selection, and now some bird called Elina has stepped out of a time machine from 1965 to perform. As an academic exercise, I find this song interesting, but it does leave you cold like you’re watching an exact reproduction of something that was done better 50 years ago. If Samanta Tina’s “sin” is that she imprinted too much of her manic self into her entry, Elina’s would be she imprints too little. I’d rather have this song than a bunch of lame dads embarrassing the entire Baltic region with half-assed skits, but this would be a Carousel-esque entry from another adult contemporary sub-genre.”

Roy – 6.5 – “A simple ballad sung in Latvian. It really showcases her clear voice and the beautiful Latvian language. It could have been a tad more exciting and it might have been nice to have a wow-moment somewhere in the song. If this song were too win, it could really be a lovely moment in the show in between the chaos of Eurovision. Just, some nice song really!”

Tyler – 6.5 – “Love hearing Latvian, but I don’t think this would be a good choice unfortunately. Namely that this song feels like it’s from 1994 Eurovision. Which hey, isn’t the worst year to pick from, but also dates the song despite Elīna singing “Es pabiju tur” well. The outfit is a no for me, but I’m glad to see this in the final for Supernova even if it has no chance.”

Total score: 27 (avg. 6.8)

Highest: Boris & James (7)

Lowest: Roy & Tyler (6.5)

 

That concludes our reviews of the first part of our Latvian reviews! Let’s summarize the scores for a nice overview:

  1. Elīna Gluzunova – Es pabiju tur (6.8)
  2. Linda Rušeniece – Pay My Own Bills (5.9)
  3. Raum – Plans (5.9)
  4. Bermudu Divstūris – Bad (4.1)
  5. Miks Galvanovskis – I’m Just A Sinner (3.4)
  6. Bujāns – He, She, You & Me (2.1)

Currently our favourite is ‘Es Pabiju Tur’! Find out tomorrow if this will change or if this will remain our highest scored song!

Do #YOU agree with our opinions on the first songs from the Latvian selection? Who do #YOU see as the favourites to win the selection? Let us know in the comments below, on our forum, or on social media @ESCUnited.

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