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Not Quite as Good as I sort of want it to be… Lithuania’s 2017 Eurovision Entry

May 9, 2017


Lithuania this year bucks the more general observable trend of wealthier nations investing in glitzy performance videos and weaker economies preferring the more accessible impact of narrative video technology.  Vilnius puts on something of show here.

I like her look.  She’s wearing not so much a red dress as a red costume – and her strangely bunned hair gives her an almost ritual appearance, as though she is the officiant of a hitherto obscure but now growing Baltic religion.

The performance video pulls out all the stops as well, showing just how good Vilnius can be at creating a stage full of bells and whistles and flashing lights.  The Rain of this particular Revolution will assuredly be televised.  It will also be synchronised, choreographed, downloaded and heavily orchestrated.  If this song is indeed intended to represent something resembling an insurrectionary movement, it clearly isn’t the kind of radical transformation that bubbles up spontaneously from the streets.  Perhaps this rain of revolution is more of a palace coup.

The performance is much stronger than the song, so a key technical question involves the extent to which the effects we see here in Vilnius can be reproduced in Kiev.  She might not be able to walk through the same sort of firework display on tour.  These kind of stage effects serve the purpose of making a chorus seem rather more climactic than it really is, you see.

Clearly Fusedmark are something of an integrated audio-visual technological package.  It’s the overall effect which is meant to be important.  How much control will they have over their environment though when they’re confined to a brief slot in a congested competition?

I’m a little troubled by the words as well…

Life like roller coaster Spinning me around Breathing getting faster When i’m upside down Changes striking through me With a speed of sound There’s no need in green light Nothing stops me now
Making a start making a start making a start And let the light shine through me Figuring out meaning of love Breaking the rational views and narrow limits
Now i’m getting closer to you Feel the rain of Revolution Now i’m getting closer to you There’s no time for your illusions (now).

What does it mean to have “revolution” in the title?  I can fully respect ambivalence regarding political violence and much ink has been spilled considering the contrary implications of both the slow and the fast version of John Lennon’s song “Revolution”. What we get from Fusedmark is something else though – not a meditation on revolution, but an invocation of revolution that’s so individuated and so depoliticised that it’s pretty much pre-Hegelian.   If life is like a “roller coaster” then it’s not like a modern revolution at all – it’s pre-programmed and it finishes exactly where it started.  The reference to spinning around connects with an older sense of “revolution” as mere rotation.

In the early eighteenth century political commentators would speak of a “late revolution in state affairs” meaning nothing more than “Godolphin is out and Harley and Bolinbroke are in”.  Nothing fundamental or game-changing was implied.  Fusedmark’s revolution likewise deals with change and transformation – but in a finally predictive way.

They celebrate thinking outside the box, but only to find a bigger box that’s more or less the same shape.

I don’t think the song can sustain much (more) philosophical commentary.

For fresh-faced innocence – Bulgaria’s yer only man:

But if you prefer something jolly and sinister at the same time – you’ll prefer Belarus:

There’s something a bit too tasteful about Switzerland’s entry:

For something superficially a bit “edgy” – try Norway:

Croatia, on the other hand,  offers two voices for the price of one:

Here’s Ma and Pa in San Marino:

For youthful angst – Ireland:

Ireland’s entry is, I think, more emotionally involving than Denmark’s:

Right now I prefer cultural nationalism when it isn’t Hungarian:

The Netherlands offers something altogether safer:

Utterly (winningly?) different is Romania:

Less immediately exciting is Malta:

So you might prefer Macedonia:

Or you can “Climb Every Mountain” with Nathan from Austria:

Serbia offers a big ballad about rising and falling and falling and rising:

Meanwhile, here is Sweden:

Here, meanwhile, is Omar belting it out for Slovenia:

Portugal offers something just a bit more special:

Anyhow, Portugal’s offering is infinitely more palatable than Poland’s:

A man who needs a deal of personal space is this guy from Montenegro:

Equally sexualised is the Moldovan entry:

Latvia offers a more techno-trance version of minimalism:

Iceland’s entry isn’t really a Eurovision song either:

Georgia’s offering is undoubtedly a bigger if not bolder initiative:

Frankly, I prefer Finland:

I’ll be sorely vexed if Finland doesn’t do better than Cyprus

Frankly I’d rather the Czech Republic won – though they won’t…

Belgium looks like a better bet:

But if it isn’t, maybe it will go to Azerbaijan with this…

Armenia’s Entry is nowhere near as scary:

In the meantime here are my thoughts on the Australian entry:

And here’s Albania…





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