2019 Eurovision Reviews – Poland

Between their return to the contest in 2014 until last year, Poland almost had an impeccable run at Eurovision, however as we know, the nation stumbled last year with the DJ and artist combo of Gromee and Lukas Meijer. This year, Poland has done a complete 180 and selected the group Tulia internally who as we know now will be singing their previously released single Fire of Love (Pali się), but will this change in style mean a change in fortune?

Song + Vocals

This is certainly an interesting one. Coming off the back of a fairly generic, radio friendly DJ song, Fire of Love (Pali się) is a complete shock to the system. The genre of Tulia has been described as Folk with modern production. I’d also argue that the group incorporates rock elements into their music, mixed with the archaic vocals, this is just one big mixture of… I don’t know.

Fire of Love (Pali się) although being a previously released single was slightly modified for the purposes of Eurovision as it now features some parts in English. It does feel a bit lazy to have essentially 10 months to prepare an artist and song for Eurovision, yet we have a group performing a song they have already released. I suppose this isn’t new for Poland who did the same for Eurovision 2014. Lazy from my perspective, but probably an intelligent move from the Polish team’s perspective as the group know the song well and have already performed it live various times.

Onto the song itself, the intro to the song is piercing and that first few seconds is likely to either capture a viewer’s attention or alternatively put someone off completely. From there, we see a fairly monotone melody for essentially the next three minutes. If we take away the vocals, I enjoy the sound of this song, and I feel as it does fit into that mash of styles that Tulia is known for, however as we know, this isn’t an instrumental. Where I can’t get along with this song is the vocals. Four singers singing the same notes for the entire three minutes. I want harmonies, and if you want harmonies too, you ain’t gonna find them here. It goes back to that adjective – piercing. That’s how I find the entire song.

This song has been performed live, and although the girls can manage to quite closely replicate the produced vocals of the studio version, it still doesn’t make this song any more bearable for me to listen to – sorry. This is the reality though, this will be divisive at Eurovision which makes it hard to predict how this will go.

Act + Performance

I think the concept of Tulia is interesting, and when they were first announced I was definitely curious even just based on their outfits. Their look is reminiscent of Cleo (of Cleo and Donatan) and optimistic me was hoping for something along that line, but that’s where the similarities ended. I think come Eurovision we will see a simple staging that uses some elements of cultural imagery with the four girls who remain in the same spots on stage for the entire three minutes. That seems to be their style.

I think that approach, if that’s what they end up doing, might be novel to watch for the first verse and chorus perhaps, but three minutes of minimal movement can actually be quite uncomfortable and disengaging to watch. With that said, I don’t know if I could offer up an alternative staging. It will be interesting to see how they stage this, as I feel that they won’t be able to go down any other route that isn’t the folk route.

Conclusions

I think the more I listen to this song, the more I struggle to make it through the entire three minutes. That said, I still can’t predict how this will go at Eurovision. It’s unique in both the Eurovision context but also just in general, and I’d argue that this will be a style that majority of Eurovision fans haven’t had too much exposure to so it’s hard to say whether this will be a hit or a miss. If it was up to me, I’d say give the qualifying position to something less divisive, but ask the next person and their opinion could be the complete opposite. I can’t call this one.

It’s not all doom and gloom, as there are some redeeming elements to this song and the act itself, but overall it’s just not doing it for me.

Rating

4/10

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