Wiwi Jury: Armenia’s Genealogy with “Face the Shadow”

Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — caught a flight to Yerevan, where we hoped to bump into the Kardashians! That didn’t happen, but we were just as happy to watch the dancing fountains in Republic Square and to listen to Genealogy and their track “Face the Shadow”. Did we want Genealogy to face the shadow or step into the light? Read on to find out…

Armenia’s Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Genealogy with “Face the Shadow”

Angus: The hairography in “Face The Shadow” is on point – the men and women of Genealogy know how to work that wind machine! The bridge is also absolutely wild and I love the storm of voices fighting one another for dominance. Most groups concern a lead vocal and five backing to make the lead look better, but these are ALL lead vocalists!

Score: 8.5/10

William C: When I first heard this song, I thought it was an absolute mess. Since then it has become one of my favourites. I adore everybody’s voice and I think they should all represent Armenia as solo artists in the future. The song’s lyrics are so-so, but it makes up for it with exhilarating operatic vocals from Miss Mary Jean O’Doherty. This won’t win, but it has a good shot at doing very well.

Score: 10/10

Robyn: I love the concept behind Genealogy – six performers of Armenian descent from around the globe, united in the name of music. It’s very Eurovision. But in practice, the supergroup doesn’t always work. The different vocal styles sometimes clash and it starts sounding like a hastily produced charity single. There are good bits, though – the chorus is great and the climax of the song will surely be amazing live.

Score: 6/10

William: Yes, there may be a lot of cooks in this kitchen, but after hearing the live version of “Face the Shadow”, I want to eat, eat, eat! This has a musical theatre feel: It’s dramatic and powerful, and it brings together voices so distinct it shouldn’t work — but does. It’s in a genre of its own at Eurovision this year. I’ll face the shadow so long as Armenia is singing!

Score: 9.5/10

Kristin: As much as I like the idea behind Genealogy’s entry, I really am bored to death during the song. It just has too much going on, and yet nothing seems to happen. But kudos for the blatant use of the wind machine. And the fact that each singer is extremely talented. And the fact the video is beautifully shot. But other than that this song is DOA.

Score: 4.5/10

Chris: It’s taken me some time, but I am getting increasingly behind “Face the Shadow” the more I listen to it. My fear that this would fall apart live and that the wealth of different voices would clash now seems ridiculous. Sometimes I think that girls overshadow Essai and Vahe. But whatever: I can’t deny my growing love for this one!

Score: 9/10

Sami: All six singers are amazingly talented and I love their voices. They also look absolutely gorgeous (especially Vahe and Tamar), and the video clip is one of the best of this year. They have quite a bad draw in the semifinal, but if their performance is as clean as in rehearsal, they won’t have any problem making it to the final. The song is well produced, they sound great and it’s also catchy enough for the audience to remember it by the end of the night.

Score: 8/10

Deban: A boring build-up to a catchy chorus, “Face The Shadow” would’ve made more sense as “Don’t Deny”. Although every member is outstanding vocally, it is evident that “group harmony” is a secondary concern. Armenia is a nation rich in history and music with a strong cultural identity. However, unlike “Apricot Stone” which drummed a clear point of view, this entry feels muzzled. You need to own it!

Score: 5/10

Padraig: Call this a tale of two reviews. Initially I thought “too many cooks spoil the broth”. I also thought that, as six solo singers, the Genealogy members would struggle to blend. Boy was I wrong. After seeing their live performance I can confirm Armenia are bringing it. The staging is magnificent, if at times rather literal. There’s an apricot tree blowing in the wind, some Tinkara-esque visuals on the floor and lots and lots of purple. Of the six singers, Essai, Tamar and Inga were the stand-outs. Genealogy are ready to do some serious damage.

Score: 7/10

Bogdan: It’s fitting that, 100 years since the Armenian Genocide, the country appears to be marking the occasion at Eurovision (I know, I know…the song is officially about love, but please, “Don’t Deny”). And what a beautiful tribute to history, especially the video! Genealogy itself is an homage to its global diasporas, and surely they will get behind this. Undoubtedly the Armenian emigrants will support “Face the Shadow” and, if the performance is flawless, juries will love the composition and vocal harmonies as well, so this should be a no-brainer to qualify. I’m curious what will happen in the final.

Score: 9/10

Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores. 

Anthony: 4/10

Denise: 8/10

Francheska: 6.5/10

Josh: 6.5/10

Judit: 6/10

Liam: 10/10

Luis: 8.5/10

Marek: 8/10

Mario: 8/10

Max: 6.5/10

Mike: 10/10

Mikhail: 4/10

Patrick: 4/10

Ramadan: 0/10

Renske: 6/10

Rezo: 9/10

Sinan: 10/10

Sopon: 8.5/10

Zach: 4/10

To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 0 and a high of 10.