Steady yourself — Belarus’ national selection for Eurovision 2017 is right around the corner. In recent weeks the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — has been listening to and reviewing all of the songs. Next up is Isaac Nightingale with “On the Red Line”. Did this songbird get our blood pumping? Read on to find out.
Isaac Nightingale – “On the Red Line”
“On the Red Line” reviews
Robyn: “On the Red Line” seems to have come from the Nina Sublatti School of Oximated Lyric Writing, but perhaps “Why the debris on the floor?” is a question that needs to be asked. “On the Red Line” has an undeniably catchy early ’90s feel, and Isaac gives a good soul vocal performance. The song itself is repetitive and never seems to go anywhere, but it’s still one of the best in this year’s national final.
Luis: This offers some variety, but it still falls in the category of “lame Belarussian NF entries”. The title “On the Red Line” suggests punch, edge and grit. But what do we get? A boring rip-off of any male pop singer from the late ’90s and the early ’00s. Isaac has a cool voice, but that’s all. There’s no hook. There’s nothing memorable.
Kristin: I’ve heard this song a million times before and this time I like it. It makes me want to bust a move and I can see this going all the way. Maybe it’s oximated, maybe a little lame, but there is something that grabs my attention. It might be Isaac’s voice, it might be the beat. Either way, this is definitely a strong entry and one of my faves in the Belarusian NF of 2017.
William: Call the police — somebody stole his chorus! This song rambles and circles in mid-90s soul territory, a genre and decade I’m happy to forget. Like drunken masturbation, it seems like a good idea at first, but ultimately ends up as a mess worth regretting. I just can’t get behind this.
Mikhail: It starts nicely with a cool jazzy vibe, but soon gives way to that weird ’90s beat. Thankfully everything else works: the melody is nice, his voice is charming and the arrangement creates a mood. If he wins he’ll need a major revamp to even think about qualifying for the final at Eurovision.
Sami: Isaac has a bad-ass name and impressive voice, but he really needs a better song. It’s boring and doesn’t really offer anything to grab on to. All the points go to Isaac himself. He pours emotion into the mediocre tune. I strolled through his back catalogue and sadly they all sound like “On the Red Line”. What a waste of great talent.
Chris: I suppose the positive thing about “On the Red Line” is that I could, just about, see it at Eurovision. Isaac would need much better diction were he to get to that stage, of course, but he could work on that. There’s enough of a familiar tune here that, whilst it doesn’t ever hook you, it’s pleasant enough to hear.
Antranig: “On the Red Line” is full of unfulfilled potential. It’s certainly not bad but it’s not memorable or particularly interesting. Isaac’s vocals are strong but they don’t match the song particularly well. He has great stage presence but the song sounds the same for three minutes — a plateau of mediocrity.
In the Belarus Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for 8 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 8.