Croatia have had a mixed history at Eurovision, but we are yet to see the nation take the trophy home. Their highest result is 4th place, which they achieved twice back in the 1990’s, but in recent years, they struggle to reach the final, let alone the Top 10. Could this year be different? Albina is representing the nation with the upbeat song, Tick-Tock.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Looking back to 2020, Croatia ended up being one of my favourite entries of the contest, and I was very disappointed to know that Damir Kedžo wouldn’t automatically get the ticket to Rotterdam, nor would he be competing in the national selection. With that disappointment aside, I was looking forward to seeing what Croatia would offer up this year. The nation selected Albina with her song Tick-Tock, and while I love an upbeat number, I surprisingly didn’t connect with this song.
There are promising elements in this song, but there are also elements that feel undercooked. The first verse feels like a bad introduction to the song, as it lacks depth with the limited instrumentation. The starting melody isn’t memorable, and doesn’t give any indication of what’s next in the song. The chorus is a bit more promising, with a stronger beat and melody. The ‘Don’t Go’ parts of the song feel completely out of place and while it’s a chance for Albina to show off her vocals, it’s certainly the clincher for why I don’t enjoy this song. The Croatian part of the song is a nice addition, and I wish there were more moments like that in the song.
In terms of live vocals, Albina is a confident performer, although struggled with certain parts of the song. With the lack of instrumentation behind her in that first verse, there’s less room to hide. By the chorus, she seems a bit more comfortable.
Performance and Act
This song demands strong choreography, and I would confidently assume that they will continue with a similar performance style to the national final. Dancers are a must, but there are other elements of the stage performance that will need to come together to create a cohesive package. I think there should be a theme to the performance, so if they are going with the neon, festival style performance like in the national performance, they really need to push it further to create something more memorable.
While I personally wouldn’t have this song in my list of qualifiers, it’s hard to deny that this song is a hit with many fans. However, in a semi-final with a number of other upbeat songs, will this stand out? The other options feel more certain, nations such as Israel, Cyprus and Malta, just to name a few. Croatia is one of the nations I see as borderline, either qualifying but in a lower position, or failing to qualify but in that 11th to 13th region.
Song and Vocals
Albina gives us a fresh upbeat song with a cliché title, which makes me think about Kylie Minogue’s style in the early 00’s. It’s one of the better bangers in this semi final, and the low-beat Croatian verse after two minutes is very effective. During the winning performance at Dora we could hear that Albina is able to sing this song live in a capable manner.
Performance and Act
At Dora we saw a very colourful presentation, not just because of the make-up of Albina and all the dancers around her. In the video clip we see another more natural side of Albina as well and it will be very interesting to see in which direction Croatia will go during the rehearsals in May.
Croatia is being seen as a probable qualifier for the final in the list of the bookmakers. At the moment I write this, Albina is ranked 9th. I also believe it could very well be a qualifier, but if the visual presentation gets too much over the top, it could work against the Croatian team. I hope they get it right, because apart from the song title it is definitely not a bad song.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 6/10
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