Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Armenia and visited the Matenadaran museuem in Yerevan. Amongst the ancient manuscripts we discussed the modern pop of Iveta Mukuchyan‘s song “LoveWave”. Did we catch her wave? Or was the surf flat? Read on to find out!
Iveta Mukuchyan – “LoveWave”
Mario: Arguably the most original entry of Eurovision 2016! Iveta’s vocals and the explosion of drama in music video are captive, breathtaking and raw to perfection. It’s hella brave of ARMTV’s team to pick this one for Eurovision — and it undoubtedly pays off! If Iveta’s diction is on point on the night, “LoveWave” is definitely the dark horse to look for.
Deban: Iveta needs to edit the spoken word intro out of “LoveWave” during her live rendition, but retain all the suspense and drama of the music video. Much of the success of this will rely heavily on staging. “LoveWave” is essentially a mediocre pop number underscored with clever instrumentation and effective visuals. Iveta’s beauty queen looks could secure another ENTM award for Armenia, and help in taking this to the finals.
Angus: Iveta had me from the spoken-word intro. She’s positioning herself alongside the greats, Britney and Madonna, and she delivers. Armenia specialises in art-pop songs that dazzle and hit each year’s contest like a strike of lightning. “LoveWave” is a towering production, side-stepping the vocal letdown of “Not Alone” and the confusion of “Face the Shadow” for a truly powerhouse product. Juries will love this. Televoting success depends 100% on the staging and Armenia are pros at that.
Bogdan: Arguably the most original and daring song of this year’s contest, “LoveWave” will have to rely heavily on Iveta’s voice, stage presence, and innovative staging in order to steal the show. I for one love the edginess of the track and Iveta’s vocal gymnastics (although she needs to focus on enunciation too, because the lyrics are almost impossible to discern sometimes), as well as the ethnic elements. Certainly a top 10 contender.
Denise: My first reaction was “What the hell is this? It’s so weird!” It gave me the same feeling as Aram MP3 which I loved after a few listens. This one also grew on me and now I adore it. It’s special and Iveta has the perfect voice for the song. The ‘woohooo’ part gets stuck in your head and it won’t get out. Could this beat Russia if they have the perfect staging?
George: This song stands out because it’s quite different — and I really like it. Weird in a good way and really original. I like the fact that it’s featuring traditional Armenian instruments. The only problem with me is that, even if the song is almost three minutes long, it seems way shorter than that and the ending is a bit sharper than it should have been.
Judit: Iveta has a mystic voice and she has a song which perfectly fits it. Well, that doesn’t mean I love it. After I listened it I can totally forget and I simply can’t feel the LoveWave. She’ll probably be in the final, but I wouldn’t cry if she’s not.
Mike: The first time I listened to this song I really did not understand what was happening. Is she calling Adele? But the more I listen to it, I start loving it. It is hard to describe this song as either good or bad — it is special in a bad way or special in a good way and I choose for the latter one. Special in a good way is what brought Armenia and the Netherlands in 2014 close to winning and did the same for Belgium and Latvia last year. I cannot wait to see Iveta challenge her high vocal skills in Stockholm and blow us away with her LoveWave.
Mikhail: Many people were confused, when they heard the song for the first time, but for me 20 seconds were enough to understand that this is a masterpiece. This “LoveWave” knocked me down. The whisper at the beginning instantly makes you excited. Then the weird sound of a braking metro makes you really puzzled, because you start thinking about what is going to happen next. And this excitement reaches the euphoria after all. Especially, I really appreciate the native Armenian motives and instruments — they are the icing on the cake. Moreover, Iveta’s voice is very unique and absolutely incredible. It has that spice and edginess that makes you wanting more.
Padraig: “LoveWave” is an absolute mindfuck of a song. One moment it’s pulling me one way and then the next it drags me in a completely different direction. The song has so many twists and turns that it’s impossible to predict what comes next. This unpredictability is likely to be both the song’s greatest strength and its biggest weakness. At certain points I’ve goose bumps, but I’m taken on such an epic journey that by the time the ending comes it feels like an anti-climax. There’s a chance that the this unconventional trajectory may alienate viewers. As for me, I’m left thrilled and thirsty for more.
Robyn: “LoveWave” has such a great start, from “Hi, it’s me” to that great big sonic explosion. But everything after is a letdown. It turns into a generic R&B song, an excuse for Iveta to riff over the beats. Nothing happens, there’s no great hook or even a memorable chorus, and then suddenly the song has ended without any kind of payoff. It will no doubt be presented well, but it’ll take Armenia a lot of work to make “LoveWave” feel like a structured song and not a freeform improvisation.
William: This isn’t a LoveWave, it’s a LoveTsunami! Iveta works her smokey, powerhouse vocals to great effect, giving us a contemporary sound with flashes of rock goddess. The first 50 seconds are among the edgiest, most de-constructed 50 seconds we’ve heard at Eurovision. The intro ends with a supersonic swell that leads into Iveta dropping it raw and without reserve. She almost sounds like Michael Jackson and, at times, Tina Turner. The song has a strange, other-worldly quality. It’s so weird that it will either skyrocket to the top or crash trying. I appreciate the risk-taking and love the song.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 7.5/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3.5 and a high of 10.