Moscow calling! Recent releases from Polina Gagarina, Elena Temnikova and Alex Sparrow

4

Summer is over and Russia’s Eurovision stars have kissed vacation goodbye and returned to the studio. Among those who have recently released new music are Elena Temnikova, Polina Gagarina and Alex Sparrow. Moscow is calling — and we just had to answer…

Elena Temnikova — Temnikova II and “Mne normalyno”

Elena Temnikova represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 as a part of the girl group Serebro, achieving third place. And, in the grand tradition of Destiny’s Child and Girls Aloud, she left the trio in 2014 to focus on her solo career and released her first EP, Temnikova I last year.

Now Temnikova has released its follow-up Temnikova II. It contains eight tracks, which include the previously launched single “Golyie“. “Kazalsya strannym“, the second single, dropped just over a month ago. The electropop banger is every bit a potential club hit, skimming the idea of love that remains steadfast in the face of obstacles. Persevere, babes.

Unfortunately Temnikova II falls rather flat after those first two tracks. Yes, everything is there: quality production, a contemporary electropop sound, tasteful lyrics about love and feelings, and Temnikova’s bonafide vocals. But while trying to sound modern and world-class the album loses any sense of personality. “Ne veryu ya“, “Sryivayusy vnezapno” and other songs on the EP all are alright on their own, but put one after another and they sound completely the same. The one standout is “Fioletovyii“, which leans slightly edgier and more urban.

In addition to releasing Temnikova II, Temnikova has also treated her fans to another single that isn’t on the EP — “Mne normalnyno“. And it’s a shame that it got left out. An electro-ballad with elements of trip hop, “Mne normalyno” would break the monotony presented on Temnikova II.

“I want to share joy with you again / I could not not take you with me,” Temnikova sings, “Do not look at me like that, I am fine / this is normal to me, this is normal to me.”

What do you think? Do you like Temnikova’s new songs? Or do you think there should never be Temnikova III? Tell us in the comments section below!

Order Temnikova II on iTunes

Order “Mne normalno” on iTunes

Polina Gagarina — “Obezoruzhena”

Polina Gagarina has one of those voices that make you think any song is amazing. Her wide range along with the emotions she conveys with every word have made Gagarina one of the biggest pop stars in Russia, and fairly so.

Her new song “Obezoruzhena“, however, does not add much to her catalogue. It’s a decent ballad about a woman left disarmed by how much she needs her lover. But there is nothing original or truly inspiring here.

“I’m disarmed because I need you so much, I really need you, I need you, I need you,” Gagarina sings over and over again. Within a few seconds you get it.

All in all, Gagarina, as music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine once wrote, “puts in just enough effort to make it palatable, but not enough to make it appetizing.”

How do you like Gagarina’s new song? Does it leave you disarmed, or does it make you put your armour on? Tell us in the comments section below!

Order “Obezoruzhena” on iTunes

Alex Sparrow — “Love Is All That Matters” and “Ya tebya lyublyu”

Alex Sparrow was the Russian representative at Eurovision 2011, when he performed “Get You“, a song produced by RedOne. And now, six years later, the 29-year-old pop star and the American hitmaker have joined forces once again to create “Love Is All That Matters“.

The cheesily titled “Love Is All That Matters” was released as the official anthem of the All-World Festival of Youth and Students, which this year took place in Moscow and Sochi. Its cheesiness is completely appropriate.

“Every day is the same old story, but every minute is a chance to change our lives. […] The world could either change us or we could change the world,” he sings.

Keeping the sweet sentiments going is the rather likeable new single “Ya tebya lyublyu“. The saccharine doo-woop-influenced pop tune samples Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass“.

“Tell me, ‘I love you, love you’,” Sparrow tweets to his love, “When we become smarter and older, I’ll say that I love you even more.”

The music video is just as sweet as the song itself. The sequel to “Sumasshedshaya“, it stars Sparrow and actress Polina Maximova and follows their love story — from childhood until today.

What do you think about “Ya tebya lyublyu”? Is it love for you? Tell us in the comments section below!

Order “Ya tebya lyublyu” on iTunes

Follow our Russia Eurovision news here