By now you’re all well aware of the Georgian entry for Eurovision this year, “Three Minutes to Earth” by The Shin and Mariko. You’re probably also aware, if you’re a regular follower of this site, how many of the Wiwi Jury comprehensively slated the entry, branding it, among other things, “unbearably dull and cheesy” and “hilarious”. One even said it was worse than Anri Jokhadze’s apocalyptically bad “I’m a Joker” from Baku. As a Eurovision fan and a folk fan – but most importantly as a music fan – I can’t help but disagree with the entirety of the Wiwi Jury. This song stands out.

The jury is right in one respect – “Three Minutes to Earth” won’t make the final, nor will ardent supporters give it any hope. It will be washed away in a sea of pop music and glittery this and spangly that. Tough competition in Semi-Final Two means it stands little chance of making it through. The dead-cert qualifiers like “Miracle”, “Rise up” and “Silent Storm” will make The Shin seem downright weird in comparison. But in terms of criticising the song itself – I’m afraid my colleagues are less than accurate, in my eyes.

In a sense, I think Georgia have judged this well. The entry will make sure that Georgia won’t win the competition or have to foot the rather large bill that goes with it. But the entry will also showcase a “genre” (if you can call it that) that may never have been represented in the contest before. I applaud the Georgian selection. It is bold and brave, and the song is brilliant.

To understand this song, one has to look past the eccentric band itself. On the surface, you don’t see much more than this:

> A drumming lead singer.

> An incredibly RiverSong-esque female vocalist with a penchant for weird arm movements.

> A secondary drummer who likely moonlights as a tai-chi instructor.

> A bassist with the world’s loudest shirt.

Georgia2014recording

If you mine deep enough you’ll find beauty beneath that layer of weird. It will take you a few listens. Hell, when I first heard it, I shared the original “what the bloody hell is this?” response. But listen to the bass and acoustic guitar lines beneath it – particularly, the moment at 1:35 in which the bass and acoustic guitar work together, with the latter emitting uninterrupted and gorgeous melodies. Those guitar skills really shine.

Admittedly the rhythm isn’t easy to follow. But with a song that leans so predominantly towards the influence of prog, that’s hardly surprising. Furthermore, it demands attention from the listener. Unlike a song like “Miracle” – which, no matter how catchy, is essentially one melody with a key change towards the end – you will not gain anything if you only listen once.

The vocals on the track are particularly interesting. WiwiBloggs have already focussed on the lyrics of the song, but ignore the lyrics a second. Listen to some of the sounds that aren’t actually words. Yes, on first listen it seems rather weird. But weird is not, nor will it ever be, bad. The vocals of the lead vocalist/drummer fit perfectly with those of Mariko, culminating in a rather sensational climax towards the conclusion of the track. Once again, it demands patience and appreciation from the listener. But a song this complex deserves that attention.

The Shin Eurovision Georgia

My colleague Padraig described The Shin and Mariko’s entry as “more like three minutes of glorified noise…basically a hotchpotch of musical calamities”. Whilst I wouldn’t dare to call him wrong, I think this song deserves more patience. No, it won’t set clubs on fire like Freaky Fortune’s entry will. It won’t bring the ever popular pop-dub sound to Copenhagen like Aram Mp3. It doesn’t even have cake in it.

But a song like this is like a fine wine. Certainly not for everyone, too strong for some, too weak for others – but guaranteed to age better than the bottles of Bucks Fizz across the aisle.

Chris Wood contributed this report from the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @crwexeYou can also keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

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Rashad
Guest

I don’t get why people are too mean to Georgia this year. Well, “I’m a Joker” was a joke, but this one sounds pretty good. Georgia usually send quality songs, and this is one of them. Good luck neighbors!

Julian
Guest

Opinion of the juries on this song will be interesting. They are the music professionals we are not.

Zolan
Guest

@DanielLuis.
Thanks for pasting the quote exactly; you are objecting to an interpretation that was not intended.
The majority of televoters, who influence its chance to qualify, will only hear it once, as you say. Readers of this blog, to whom my comment is addressed, have the option to listen again. Fans who are interested in music will seek more from songs than what it takes to qualify, as you have done.

Tha
Guest

I totally agree with you, Chris.
Is great to see something new in eurovision, and 3 Minutes to Earth is a good song. Not the best, but I hope to see it on the Final.
Great article!

DanielLuis
Guest
@Zolan “True, it has little chance of qualifying, but if “instant” is your ONLY mode of musical appreciation, you’re not actually into music anyway.” The thing is, this is the Eurovision Song Contest. Most viewers will be listening to the songs for the first time during the show. So a song that needs many listenings to be appreciated won’t do well. Don’t get me wrong, I like the song. At first I too thought “What the hell?” but it grew on me with every new listening. However, because of the reason stated above, it won’t do well, and it’s not… Read more »
Grifit
Guest
Grifit
Guest
I havenn’t read the article because I wanted to give mi point of view before getting into an opinion interchange. I actually like the song is really alternative and has a lot of musical qualities but it is not good for the eurovision, it is like trying to send Björk or Thom Yorke into the contest, that would be insane. We have to admit that Eurovision is a music contest with more “digerible” songs. I’m quite sorry for Georgia because they actually sent something good but they are not going to qualify but I’m happy to have the oportunity to… Read more »
Marcelo N
Guest
@ Bogdan and Chris Wood – Thanks for taking the trouble to explain your positions to the redership. It is a noble detail that shows you don’t forget we’re all here 🙂 On the issue of personal taste and preferences, of course there is naught to add. We won’t “start a fire” over what’s better, considering better is a mostly personal interpretation. We all know, or should know, there are certain universally recognised standards, but then again this is a generally pop music festival and I won’t be the one to pontificate on the virtues of more intricate composition! However… Read more »
Dan RO
Guest

OMG, this article is so condescending and pretentious! It makes me hate the song even more!

Chris Wood
Guest

I would also like to echo Bogdan. Thanks for your feedback and support, guys!

Chris Wood
Guest

When I wrote it, I had the ideas from a purely musical perspective. I wouldn’t say it is for Eurovision (many people agree), but I like the Georgian intelligence and tenacity behind it. Nowadays, in general cultural songs are dying out in favour of an Americanised entry, designed for votes. This is not bad, but it is always nice to see an try do something different – someone like Who See, or even Horehronie from Slovenia.

Bogdan
Guest
@DJ No. Speaking for myself, I listened to it several times, but I judged it based on my first impression. This is what I generally do. It is true however that I definitely listened to it less than other entries simply because it’s not my style and it sounds very outdated to me. It’s easy to judge the jury as a whole but I would like to remind everyone that 1. We are not professional critics, 2. We are fans like you guys and 3. We are different and you simply cannot put a label on so many people. We… Read more »
ESCaddict
Guest

I applaud Georgia for sending a song that is different from the pack. What I love about Eurovision is diversity. I would happily listen to this than the stuff Denmark has been throwing up the last couple of years. It is unfortunate that mediocre songs are so popular. I wish The Shin & Mariko well.

Thiefo
Guest

Just like Montenegro in 2012, I think there are entries every year that “don’t have ambition for high position in the competition”, their intention is not to win, but to bring something else, give a message, make a statement or just expose the audience to something fresh and new, different, etc. I think this is the case, it is almost certain they won’t even pass the semi final, most people won’t appreciate it, but for me this is one of the most interesting entries in years and I’m growing to truly adore it, and I’m so grateful for that.

Melissa J
Guest

I like the different point of view. I too have become somewhat enchanted with this song.

Zolan
Guest

As per my avatar, I concur.
True, it has little chance of qualifying, but if “instant” is your ONLY mode of musical appreciation, you’re not actually into music anyway.

“Follow the bass” is good advice.

AlvaRito_Spain
Guest

Dhani’s right. This song is not the best, but not bad, just different. The good thing is to listen eurovision songs of all kinds, and I am glad that these songs are in the competition. Where else we could hear songs of this style?

dhani
Guest

dont listen to what the wiwi jury says. they only like boring dance tracks and huge ballads by female singers. the wiwi jury is a joke and only likes discount pop music.

San Marino 2015
Guest

I’m sorry, but are you people deaf? This song is appalling. You have three minutes to make an impression at Eurovision. And the impression of this one is BAD. Not going to the final. Not finishing above last.

DJ
Guest

Bogdan, are you suggesting that you and the Jury only listened to this song once before your review? Based on how long the entries have been out, and published here, that review must have been performed weeks ago?

DJ
Guest

The Wiwi Jury needs to be replaced for their previous reviews of this entry!

The song is genius, pure nostalgia. Thank you for this article.

Diane
Guest
Thank you for writing this article. Well, as for me, I love this song since the very first listen because it’s very unique in terms of music composition and also the theme. For me personally, this song is like a story so it doesn’t matter whether it has a catchy part or some ooh-la-la hooks that Eurovision songs generally have. I still believe that this song is way more deserve in another respectable music festival rather than to be in Eurovision, but you have to do it. Eurovision need to be revived as a credible song competition again, and I… Read more »
Bogdan
Guest

I agree with you 100 percent – after repeated listens, I would have given the Georgian entry a lot more than 3/10 – but as far as Eurovision goes, most of the audience won’t have but one occasion to listen to the song, and they will be as baffled as you were at first listen. That’s how we also judged it, based on a first impression, which wasn’t pretty.