Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house of music unprofessionals — travelled to Montenegro and visited the bayside town of Kotor. While enjoying the view from the hilly streets, we discussed Highway‘s song “The Real Thing”. Did we think it was the real deal? Or did it come across as more artificial? Read on to find out!
Highway with “The Real Thing”
“The Real Thing” reviews
Padraig: Of the two eclectic rock entries, Montenegro is by far the strongest. Unlike Georgia, “The Real Thing” actually feels alive. The opening bars pack some real drama and the atmosphere continues to build throughout. It’s a more polished entry with fuller production. That said, its chances of qualifying are practically non-existent. The lyrics occasionally verge on the creepy, while the vocals are likely to be too harsh for casual listeners.
Bogdan: I struggle to find the merits of this songs, and that’s not because rock isn’t my favourite genre. I think even the rock fans should face the music and agree that this is a mess: from the ’80s style of singing to the dubstep, from the sleazy machismo to the creepy lyrics, everything literally screams disaster. Why Montenegro would send this after the success of Knez is baffling.
Liam: To listen to this is a draining experience which I would wish upon no one, including my worst enemies. What ANYONE could find even slightly appealing about this song bewilders me.
Angus: Let’s get real: this is a car crash performance. The opening scream is painful and the vocal is too low to really resonate with you. The entire thing passes without making an impact and that’s exactly why “The Real Thing” will be staying in the semi-final.
Antranig: Musically, I really like this song in the chorus — it sounds like it was made for a car-racing game’s soundtrack. However, their vocals are absolutely ghastly and it would probably feature on the soundtrack of my worst nightmares. Them singing “inside you” repeatedly almost warrants a phone call to the Montenegrin authorities.
Chris: Cheap video, cheap song, cheap entry. Nothing about this is really worth talking about: it’s doomed to not qualify, particularly with many of its Balkan neighbours delivering much better efforts this year to steal any vote source. Adding Bojan to bolster Highway’s lacking vocals was smart, but that’s probably the only thing they’ve done right with “The Real Thing”.
Deban: The few merits contained in “The Real Thing” were voided with flashes of interpretive dance. It made Highway appear gimmicky and out of ideas. Although the hard-rock genre is well suited to their voices, this entry sounds predictable and isn’t the best representation of their capabilities.
Sinan: Too rocky for me. I’m not sure this song is the real thing for Montenegro this year, I’m sorry. Knez’ song was better than this one definitely. I expected more from a band. It looks like this year is not the year of the bands.
William: There is a thin line between sexy and sexual, and this definitely leans toward the latter. The provocative lyrics suggest a man eager to get off — regardless of whether the object of his affection is interested in helping or not. The lead singer says he’s the real thing. Other real things include depression, disease and dysentary — none of which one should embrace. One of the singers’ father runs Montenegro’s state broadcaster. A prime example of why nepotism is so destructive.
Mario: From awkward lyrics to enraged music background, this is a NO from me. The Montenegrin accent is pretty strong on this one, making it a clash against the groovy, not so typical Balkan music accompaniment. This is probably too alternative for non-rock fans to understand and appreciate.
Max: This is attention-seeking for the sake of being attention-seeking. Such a clash of styles and genres can produce acceptable results if weaved together appropriately, but this is a complete mess. Hard rock isn’t my kind of music in the first place, but Highway aren’t making it any more appealing by throwing in dubstep, interpretive dance and ludicrous lyrics. I’m intrigued to see how this will translate to the Eurovision stage, but I think I will turn the volume right down when I watch this performance in May.
Robyn: Highway are perhaps trying to be quite sexy and seductive, talking about being “inside you” and “I’m gonna feel what my body knows”. But it comes across as quite predatory – he’s coming after her, whether she likes it or not. I like that Montenegro is sending one of their more unconventional acts (albeit an X Factor boyband transformed into a cod rock band) but the song lyrics just creep me out.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 3.5/10
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 0 and a high of 9.