Ukraine has been a powerhouse at Eurovision, having won the contest twice, and finished in the Top 10 numerous times. We are yet to see Ukraine miss a Eurovision final, and is one of only two countries to not miss a final in their Eurovision history. Hoping to continue that streak is the group Go_A, who are returning to Eurovision this year with the new song, Shum.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
If you remember back to our review of Ukraine last year, where Go_A was originally selected to represent the nation, you will remember that I really wasn’t fond of their entry. While I love songs that have strong traditional and ethnic elements, I just couldn’t get past the vocals. In many ways, the entry reminded me of Bulgaria in 2007, which is easily one of my most loathed Eurovision entries. With that said, it was going to be a tough task to impress me this year, as the song might be different, but the vocal style was bound to be the same.
Shum has been released twice, with the second version a revamp in order to get the song under 3 minutes. While they simply could have cut the song, instead, the group completely changed the sound of the song. Both iterations of the song are definitely not to my tastes, but saying that, I did find the first version of the song more tolerable. The vocals were as piercing as expected, but i didn’t mind the backing music or melody. In comparison, the new version sounds like a completely different song. The melodies are different, and the beat sounds different. There’s no real hook to this song, making it hard to connect with and remember once the song is over. The memorable part is the vocals, and while it will appeal to some, it certainly won’t appeal to all. It’s hard to say whether juries will appreciate a song like this, however the die-hard fans of this song will certainly televote.
Performance and Act
Both music videos felt sterile, although it seemed intentional. They may choose to continue with that theme on the Eurovision stage, or rather, capitalise on the ethnic elements in a similar format to their entry from last year. Visually, the performance of Solovey in the national final last year was strong, and Ukraine usually offer strong visual performances at Eurovision.
While I am certainly not a fan of this year’s Ukrainian entry, I also objectively struggle to predict whether Ukraine will be a qualifier. It’s just such a divisive entry, and while Bulgaria succeeded with a similar style back in 2007, there was no jury (other than the back up jury, which only two countries used). There’s no doubt that this will stand out in the semi-final, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the song will gain enough support. Time will tell.
Song and Vocals
One of the loudest songs of the year comes from Ukraine. There is a niche market for this style of song, with ‘Voda’ from Bulgaria in 2007 being the one that performed best on the scoreboard. That is the example however, as most songs in this genre did not make a big impact. Vocally, the tone of voice from the lead singer Kateryna is not for everyone’s taste as well.
Performance and Act
Within the act and visual presentation lies the main strength of the Ukrainian entry. Their entry for 2020 was lifted to a higher level when they performed it live in the national finals. This is something that will also happen with ‘Shum’. The use of the many instruments and beats is something you can get across even stronger with the right camerawork. Combined with a fine draw, Ukraine will surely stand out in the field of the first semi final.
Ukraine has a 100% track record of qualifying for the final, but is not a certain qualifier in 2021. Their song is certainly unique and the presentation will be convincing and energetic. But either way it will remain an entry within a very specific niche genre, and if it will convince enough people to actually vote for it, remains to be seen.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 4.9/10