If slow and steady wins the race, then Poli Genova is most definitely in the lead. Bulgaria’s Eurovision 2016 starlet has finally released her song “If Love Was A Crime”, making her the 43rd of 43 acts to do so — and after the EBU granted Bulgaria a special extension. In recent days the team at BNT has teased us with the lyrics and with photos from the music video. Fans complained — “Where the song at?! — but thankfully it was worth the wait.
In fact, if love is a crime, then arrest us and throw away the key because we are FEELING this. Poli has met and exceeded our expectations, delivering a contemporary pop song with a killer hook. The opening, which melds piano with electronic flourishes, is soft, light and accessible, and it builds to an incredibly smooth pre-chorus.
Listen to Poli Genova’s Eurovision 2016 song
As we previously reported, all the verses are in English and the English is on-point. No Google Translate used here! The bi-lingual chorus, which alternates between English and Bulgarian, really works. Poli honors her Bulgarian roots (day mi lyubovta – give me the love) but it doesn’t jar with the rest of the song. In fact, the Bulgarian lyrics enhance the ethnic chorus, which wouldn’t feel out of place in a Turbo-folk number. All of this is done with contemporary, international production. Poli is thinking globally and acting locally. This is how you slay.
The song encourages people to love who they love, even when the haters say it’s wrong. The play on criminalisation in the title will no doubt stir talk of LGBT rights, but it can apply to any number of relationships considered taboo by some — rich marrying poor, black marrying white, Capulet hitting it with Montague. Love, Poli suggests, will give you the strength to push past the shade.