Missed part one of our Pabandom iš naujo reviews? Check them out HERE.
Tonight, ten acts will be fighting for their chance at Eurovision glory in the Pabandom iš Naujo semi-final as Lithuania’s search for Rotterdam continues. Which five of the acts deserve to make it through to join The Roop in next weekend’s final?
Our assembled panel of Boris, Daniel, James and Melanie passed judgement on the remaining Lithuanian contestants. What did they think of the last four semi-finalists and The Roop? Read on to find out…
Titas & Benas – No
Boris – 2 – “Sometimes the joke writes itself. Other times, it sits itself down at a table and prattles endlessly.”
Daniel – 6 – “I think that fact that they are doing a more pop friendly ballad is unique, something I never thought I would say. I also appreciate the fact that it is two guys, but that is not super common which itself could be interesting. The song itself is a bit to traditional to really make a huge impact on me personally, but again, given the heavy synth lineup, it might just stake its niche clearly enough. The voices are not as perfect as I would like them to be but I still think this song is catchy and easy to sing-along-to.”
James – 1 – “Go on lads, have a seat for two minutes of your performance. Put thee feet up! Would you like a cup of tea and some biscuits while you warble on? The guy on the right does look like the love child of Damon Albarn and Ray Wise, and that’s probably the nicest thing I have to say about this weak poorly staged ballad that sounds like a mid-00s ballad from two early round eliminated Voice UK contestants.”
Melanie – 4 – “No, no, no and I feel sorry for it, Titas and Benas both have amazing voices, and the verses are building really nice. But come one, that chorus? It’s such a letdown. It sounds so cliché and really turns me of. Is it still possible to rewrite the chorus for the semi-final? Regardless of that, I still see this as something that can be a hit by the teen girl (like it gives me One Direction vibes in a way?) So I wouldn’t write them off yet, but for me it’s a no for now.”
Total = 13 (avg. 3.25)
Martyna Jezepčikaitė – Thank You Very Much
Boris – 7 – “Martyna enters with a song called “F*ck you very much”, LRT makes her change the title, she spends the entirety of this honkfest screaming “THUCK YOU VARY MATCH”. I love this as much as she loves her sim cards.”
Daniel – 6 – “Oh this is a whole amount of energy that I was not expecting. I like the bridge, it is filled with attitude, and the pre-chorus is also very cool. The chorus is where this song loses me. I am not fan where the only lyrics is “yeah” and it seems a little bit underwhelming based on the previous verses. I think overall the song is good but there are certainly elements that I would have wished were differently to give this song higher marks. I do feel like we will be seeing more or Martyna so that has me really excited.”
James – 5 – “A generic modern pop song with all the usual production trimmings (synthesized vocals). I’m not sure 2021 is a year for a spiky break-up song, even if you know full well most Eurovision fans would enjoy replacing the “Thank” part of the chorus with a certain F-word that is more in the spirit of the song when singing along. As with other songs in this selection, I am now beginning to understand now where outfits of eliminated Project Runway contestants end up. This is another entry where Tim Gunn’s “Make it work” was lost on the contestants.”
Melanie – 3 – “This just sounds like an angry teen that they let loose on the Pabandom in Naujo stage. Martyna is just trying too hard to look cool or something? And it just doesn’t work. Also I don’t like her voice in it. Sometimes I even have the feeling that she’s screaming towards me. Maybe it’s just the style of this song, but this definitely my least favorite of this semi-final.”
Total = 21 (avg. 5.25)
Milita Daikerytė – Shadows
Boris – 8 – “A delightful synthbop that doesn’t get taken seriously because of the NF it’s in. Sucks it will inevitably be lost in the upcoming carnage.”
Daniel – 6.5 – “Now this staging has much better styling than some of the entries this year. I like the ultra retro feel that combines horns in the chorus, and the composition is done very well. Something about the backing track does not match particularly well with the vocals, maybe it’s the speed or the tune. I am not sure there is something that is slightly off. This happens only slightly, when she hits those big notes it is actually comes together pretty well. Overall a good song.”
James – 6 – “Another synth-heavy throwback to the ‘80s. And another horror show from the costume department. I am not saying it is bad. It is a fine pop song about escaping from negative thoughts that lurk in the shadows. There’s not much more to it, though. As with a couple other acts here with potential not quite realized, I’d like to see Milita back at a later selection with a stronger song and at a time when everything is not being stacked up against an 800 lb gorilla of an entry in The Roop.”
Melanie – 5 – “First of all, I really like the 80s vibes created in the beat and the sassy way she delivers the song. Like the clap moment is very sweet. The song itself sounds very flat and I think it’s because her voice isn’t strong enough to carry it on her own. Don’t get me wrong, she has a lovely voice, but this song just needs some more power and I’m missing it in the chorus. It just feels empty (like I never heard such an empty sounded “Wooohoooohoooo” ever), while it needs a more uplifting vibe. Maybe Milita can save it with some back-up dancers and back-up singers, but based on her performance in heat 1, it’s a No for me.”
Total = 25.5 (avg. 6.38)
Gebrasy – Where’d You Wanna Go?
Boris – 7 – “While this song doesn’t captivate my heart, I like the way it builds up. I would give more points/care more in general if the key change were more uptempo. This song just *SCREAMS* to burst into an upbeat New Wave track. What we get instead is servicable however, if only that.”
Daniel – 8.5 – “That intro really was something. It is so soft but captures your attention immediately. His voice is also rather incredible and parallels the tack so well. Those notes he hits just slap differently. I am usually the first to be like this song is so standard, but the quality is so obvious that I can forgive the banal elements. But like, this is not just a standard pop-ballad, it has a point of view that builds and provides such an interesting musical journey. To be honest, I know most people are just waiting for The Roop, but this song proves we can still get some really good quality entries in this national selection.”
James – 9 – “If you always wanted to know the point of view of the guy from Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” then this song is for you. Tracy painted her partner as romantic and aloof, while she was obsessed with the details of making it work in a new city (saving up money at her dreary job to land something better in the new location). Sadly, he lets her down as while she faces struggles of her own, Gebrasy’s desire to escape is all talk and he leaves her. Tracy is all dotting i’s and crossing t’s while Gebrasy is in daydream mode and talks of abstraction. No talk of working his way up to assistant manager in a crummy supermarket for him. Anyway, before I launch into my annual tirade on why “Fast Car” is one of the Top 100 pop songs of all time, I will say for Chapman fans there is some sort of closure in knowing how Chapman’s beau must have thought of getting in a car to escape. And Gebrasy’s song does work on its own merits, especially his beautiful delivery, elegantly interchanging between wistful and sad on a dime. If Lithuania is not going to select The Roop, I’d at least hope to see them pick this, especially now at a time when most of us are longing for an escape.”
Melanie – 9 – “This is pure quality, that it almost makes me sad that it is competing in the same year as The Roop. Gebrasy, why didn’t you save this song for the 2022 edition of Pabandom is Naujo? “Where’d You Wanna Go” gives me chills every time I listen to it. His voice is almost hypnotizing and the beat and pace of this song really let me sink in this song. It has everything in it to be a great representative for Lithuania.”
Total = 33.5 (avg. 8.38)
The Roop – Discoteque
Boris – 8 – “A solid upgrade to their previous entry, on all accounts. Gone is the amateur hour depeche-mode esque “I *AM* somebody” electropop, in comes the corona-friendly bed-room karaoke extravaganza! It’sabop! Points docked for having a similar rhythm to ‘Blurred Lines’ in the verses though.”
Daniel – 10 – “People have facetiously called this a coronation which seems unfair to the other songs. That being said, Lithuania has an even stronger entry than last year’s wildly popular song choice in the palms of its hands. Eyebrow choreography, references to “On Fire,” colorful-retro pant suits, this is a Eurovision geek’s dream. The angles on the camera are crisp, the asymmetrical dance makes it artistic, the easy to learn choreography makes it TikTokable and thus modern. It is darker and more mysterious but still very approachable synth-pop. Styling and staging is perfection. I mean what else can be said about what I expect to be the most lopsided national selection I expect to see this season?”
James – 10 – “Lightning struck twice. The Roop is the act I felt most sorry for after Eurovision 2020’s cancellation, but they have nailed it again with their new track “Discoteque.” The best part is that they have not reproduced “On Fire,” but also did not throw out the elements that made The Roop favorites for many fans (including ESC United’s “Expert Panel”) to win Eurovision 2020 had it happened. The goofy dances and hand gestures return, as does the inspirational message (“On Fire” was about not being too old to achieve and “Discoteque” poignantly referencing the lonely dancing or moshing that music lovers have been doing at home in 2020). The new dark disco sound reflects the mood of the times, but also offers hope and a way to cope even if Eurovision 2021 resorts to Scenario D.”
Melanie – 9 – “To be honest, I prefer this song over “On Fire” and that song was already on point. With “Discoteque” they really bring us a full package. They show us how a band can elevate a song with a quirky choreography, bright staging and charming front man. The Roop just really showed with their performance at Heat 2 from Pabandom is Naujo that they’re here to win the national final and maybe even the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s ready for Eurovision and I only hope that the people who are watching the contest and are not part of the fan community also can appreciate this.”
Total = 37 (avg. 9.25)
So, what does this mean for our team’s thoughts on this year’s Pabandom iš naujo?
- The Roop – Discoteque – 37
- Gebrasy – Where’d You Wanna Go? – 33.5
- Gabrielius Vagelis – My Guy – 30
- Voldemars Petersons – Never Fall For You Again – 27
- Be U – Love Yourself – 26
- Milita Daikerytė – Shadows – 25.5
- Norbertas – Man In Need – 24
- Aistė Brokenleg – Home – 23
- Martyna Jezepčikaitė – Thank You Very Much – 21
- Evita Cololo – Be paslapčių – 20
- Titas & Benas – No – 13
It’s a narrow success for The Roop in our view, and things are pointing towards them defending their Pabandom iš naujo title! Of the semi-finalists, it is Gebrasy who earned the most plaudits from our panel, but will this be reflected in tonight’s semi-final?
Do #YOU agree with our thoughts on the Lithuania entries? Have we underrated anyone? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!