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Eurovision 2009: Armenia

April 28, 2009

READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final

SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES

PERFORMANCE NOTES

SEMI-FINAL

The odd staging makes sense now I’ve seen it on the TV screen. But regardless of how it looks on stage this is still a great song. The two of them can really belt and most interestingly it did rather feel as though they were the only performers who had succeeded in communicating with the audience sat seemingly miles away from the stage. Definitely one to watch and if you do, be sure to tap your foot along to it too. 

REHEARSAL NOTES

SECOND REHEARSAL

 

Just so I’m being completely above board here, you need to know I’m reviewing this second rehearsal of Armenia’s song directly after Norway’s bubblegum firework from Alexander Rybak. I’ve grown to dislike Norway’s in the space of 24 hours (because I’m a miserable bitter arsehole whose happy to admit it a the risk of annoying a nation or at the very least going against the tide of opinion). 

It might be this which contributes to a palpable sense of relief when I hear sounds which are by now inextricably linked with Armenia.

This song improves with every listen and the reasonably simple yet sincere presentation makes the two plucky girls real stars. The song in itself is a strong one, starting from a seemingly unusual beginnign with an infectious rhythm track which builds in intensity to quite possibly the most effortlessly executed of key changes in the entire contest. Both ladies ever reliable voices are impressive and a welcome relief after what feels like a marathon week spent listening to bubblegum pop.  You’d think it would be the kind of quirky pop song which sold itself on the back of a studio production and yet their abilities and a reasonably simple stage presence proves it transfers well to stage. 

The only slight criticism is down to the introduction of the lasers by the dancers but frankly it’s such a minor point I’m liable to spend the rest of the evening kicking myself for being such a miserable bastard as to even mention it. 

FIRST REHEARSAL

Every year I find myself loving something in the early stages (ie when we see the song from the selection show) and then going through a moment of intense disappointment when it transfers to the main event. So it is with Armenia’s classy song combining a range of appealing styles which in the selection show (see below) looked simple, plausible and engaging. Now the dancers are at the forefront. Now there’s additional staging. Now there are arms waving all fver the place and now I’m beginning to worry. 

SONG REVIEW

Ticking the Eurovision boxes marked “ethnic” and “slightly odd” sounding is Inga & Anush delivering Armenia’s little contribution entitled “Jan Jan”. 

Maybe it’s the hint of the Eurythmics in the backing track or the shameless 80s beat which makes me feel included in this particular entry. Yeah, sure there are moments of absolutely bizareness but if you’re looking for a spot of boldness exemplified in the most unusual combination of sounds and styles look no further than Armenia this year. 

Definitely one to watch on Tuesday 12 May. And frankly, if it doesn’t get through to the final on Saturday 16 then it’s time to amending those all important Eurovision rules or (alternatively) for me to find another obsession.

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5 Comments
  1. Chris permalink

    You leave your obsession where it is.

    I really like this until singer #1 starts to sing. Then I really start to hate it. It’s a bit like Toyah on a helium balloon.

    I have no doubt it will feature in the final shake-up though.

  2. Pat permalink

    Armenia’s song is very ethnic and thats how it should be!
    Eurovision is a contest to display every country’s own culture and ethinicity … not to follow a popular trend just because everyone likes it!
    Of course this song may seem weird to some, however to armenians it is a true masterpiece!
    As sad as it is to admit this, people would most likely be weirded out and not vote for armenia … however if this contest is truly what its mmeant to be amd represent, then armenia should place in top 5 because hardly any country is truly presenting their own country’s and citizens’ favourite music

  3. Steve permalink

    I’m happy for Armenia to enter something that display their culture and enthnicity, and musically I have no problem with this song (I don’t actually like it, but I appreciate it’s a genuinely Armenian sound). What irks me is the bloody awful English lyric:
    “How can I stay when you are away?
    How can I be without me?
    Without me you cannot be”
    It sounds like schoolboy attempts at poetry, where you’re in such a hurry to get a rhyme mere sense doesn’t get a look in.
    How about Armenia singing in Armenian next time?

  4. Allex permalink

    I loved it. Great tune. Great costumes and choreography. Wouldn’t change a thing. Wait up, I would have sent the female dancers home and would have replaced them with bare chested male ones. Would have looked better.

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  1. Eurovision 2009: Journalists at rehearsals « Thoroughly Good Blog

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