Belarus is often neither here nor there when it comes to Eurovision, as some years we find Belarus in the final, and some years not, but when they do make it to the final, it’s unconvincing. Only once have they cracked the Top 15 in the final, and that was way back in 2007 with Work Your Magic, but the magic hasn’t been worked since. This year, it’s up to Alekseev to improve the Eurovision situation for Belarus, but will he be able to do that with his song Forever?
This song has been the biggest enigma for me over the national final season. After the drama surrounding him in the national final, I have to admit I was totally put off listening to the entry. We’ve seen drama surrounding the Belarusian selections before, and in previous years I’m all for a Eurodrama, but this year, I was quick to move on to the next thing. That leads me to now, where it’s been months since Alekseev was chosen, and there’s been probably 100 revamps of this song, and interestingly, I’m listening to this song completely for the first time… right now.
This is a true first impressions, although I had heard the chorus a million times through the snippet videos on YouTube. So now, I have to say, I think I like this. I mean, I think I listened to the latest version of the song, but who’s to really know, but for reference, I’m judging it off the official video on the official Eurovision channel. The verses are something I had never heard, so it was a bit of a shock to the system thinking I knew the song based on the chorus. The song is definitely working the magic once again for Belarus, as it has this real mystical feel throughout the song. As I saw it described on YouTube, it’s a pop song with a distinct Eastern European feel, and I think that’s definitely aided by Alekseev’s accent peeking through the song.
I think this song builds well, but doesn’t really build to a big enough ending, especially since the song has a really tense feel. Despite that, I think the melody of the chorus is really catchy, not in a bop way, but in a way that it would pop into your head at the most random times.
In terms of its Eurovision potential, it’s honestly hard to say. I think the biggest problem with this song is actually the live performance specifically in terms of vocals. Looking back now at the performances, he isn’t always the most vocally confident, but I think this can be easily remedied with a team of strong backing artists. And this is where the Belarusian magic really kicks in, because they’re the nation of the unexpected. Think back to 2016, for example, where we had Ivan with his song pretty much written off by fans before the contest, only to come out with for us one of the most unexpected but memorable staging. We definitely can’t underestimate the element of surprise when it comes to Belarus, and I’m not sure this year will be much of an exception.
All aboard… the forever train!
After a couple of listens now, this certainly isn’t my favourite song of the year but I’m surprised at just how much I did enjoy it, at least the studio version. Being in semi-final one is a tough gig, and being wedged between Israel and Estonia is even tougher. This could potentially limit their chances of reaching the final, but I honestly cannot predict this one. The more I think about Eurovision 2018, the less confident I am in my predictions.
Our rating: 7/10
If you support Belarus at Eurovision, make sure to vote for Alekseev in our Eurovision 2018 poll! Watch his official video below, and check out our Eurovision 2018 playlist on Spotify.