Armenia: Wiwi Jury reviews Tamar Kaprelian and Mger Armenia

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The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — returned to the Armenian capital of Yerevan to finish its duties. After exploring the iconic steps of The Cascade, the Wiwi Jury turned their attention to the last two acts vying to represent Armenia in Lisbon. Among them, a Eurovision veteran and a former national final runner-up. Is the Depi Evratesil winner also among them?

Tamar Kaprelian — “Poison (Ari Ari)”

“Poison (Ari Ari)” reviews

Antranig: Continuing the foray into avant-garde ethnic music that “LoveWave” and “Fly with Me” carved out, “Poison (Ari Ari)” takes things one step further by being infinitely more accessible and radio-friendly than its predecessors. The talented Tamar Kaprelian has crafted a song that stands heads and shoulders above her competition and could contend for the title at Eurovision. As an Armenian, I’m so proud of Tamar and this gives me goosebumps every single time I listen to it — almost as much as Loreen’s “Statements” does. Sorry dear Iveta, step aside — “Poison (Ari Ari)” is by far the best song to ever come out of Armenia.

Score: 10/10

Jonathan: It’s fair to say Tamar built up quite a bit of hype around this song. And while “Poison (Ari Ari)” lives up to a lot of it, it doesn’t quite go all the way. The song beautifully blends traditional instruments and modern production. But in a way, it does this too well, as it ends up landing in a middle zone between the two and doesn’t push the boundaries enough either way to become a standout. This is still one of the best songs in Depi Evratesil this year and would be deserving of the ticket to Lisbon. But staging and Tamar’s live performance will be crucial in providing this with the epic climax moment it desperately needs in order to be a Eurovision front-runner.

Score: 8/10

Luis: Didn’t you need a song that updated what pre-jury Eurovision was to 2018? Well, here it is, in all its glory. Tamar provides an earworm with huge potential for a bombastic staging. It’s a very good sign when you can hum the chorus already in the first listen. Pure slayage.

Score: 8.5/10

Bernardo: This has ethno bop written all over it and I love it for that. In a year that — for sure — is going to be heavy on ballads, Tamar Kaprelian takes us back to Armenia with some Eurovision 2008 and 2009 flavour. The potential for staging is enormous, the chorus is catchy, the production is good. Everything works here. “Ari, Ari”, I am LIVING for this.

Score: 9/10

Robyn: This is a bop! “Poison” seems written for the Eurovision in the sense that it works both as audio, but it’s loaded with potential for an explosive stage show. The verses feel a little thin (though that could easily be remedied) but the chorus more than makes up for it with a massive explosion of fun and style. This is a serious contender for the ticket to Lisbon.

Score: 8.5/10

Deban: Just when you thought that Tamar Kaprelian was relying on her outstanding beauty to court votes, she’s dusted off the shadows of Geneology and emerged with a banging track.  The poison running through”Ari Ari” is in a league of its own; building Eurovision hype and validating Depi Evratesil in equal measure. More importantly, this excellent dance-edged folk stomper rides a thumping beat, and packs enough bounce to keep itself on a loop.

Score: 9/10

In our Depi Evratesil Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for 6 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Barnabas: 7.5/10

Bogdan: 9.5/10

Chris: 8.5/10

Cinan: 10/10

Edd: 8.5/10

Erdi: 8.5/10

Lukas: 9.5/10

Natalie: 8/10

Rezo: 9/10

Sebastian: 8/10

 

 

 

 

 

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 7.5 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 8.75/10

Mger Armenia — “Forever”

“Forever” reviews

Chris: Mger is doing his best Dima Bilan impersonation here. Unfortunately, that was Eurovision in the ’00s — and we’re ten years past that. “Forever” could work if they embrace the campy feel of the song: make it a Liberace-esque spectacular. Unfortunately the suspicion is that this is meant to be a much more serious affair. Mger might be repping the country in his name, but hopefully he won’t be doing the same at Eurovision.

Score: 4.5/10

Robyn: What a self-indulgent mess. It’s similar to Omar Naber’s “On My Way”, where a dude shouts about his ambitious plans and expects everyone else to cheer him on. But most importantly, “Forever” sounds tired and old, not a representation of contemporary Armenian music. But surely this isn’t the end of the road for Mger — if he achieves his goal of immortality, perhaps he can represent Armenia at Eurovision 2097.

Score: 3.5/10

Bogdan: The song is dated, Mger’s singing style is dated, the lyrics are ridiculous. It’s like the soundtrack to a soap opera that only middle-aged housewives with poor musical taste will enjoy. To make matters worse, the repetitiveness of the chorus is grating. By no means should this be sent to Lisbon.

Score: 2/10

Cinan: I loved the way the song started, with these traditional sounds. Not a bad song by the way, but the lyrics could have been better. Also why is his stage name called Armenia? Like that’s amazing. Another key change on this song, yaaas! Loved it!

Score: 6.5/10

Natalie: Gotta love a singer who names himself after an entire nation. Only someone desiring immortality would do something like that. I dunno whether I’m supposed to take this song seriously or not, but I just can’t. It’s not just the really strange lyrics, but also the confusing production which can’t seem to decide whether to be dramatic or uplifting. By the time all the chord changes came in, I was completely lost. Armenia can do much better.

Score: 4/10

Edd: Whilst the production may be very generic and Mger’s vocals underwhelming, something about this grabs my attention. The melody is oh so epic, and that is one fantastic key change. If he can give us a visual performance as outrageous as the lyrics, I could buy this.

Score: 5.5/10

In our Depi Evratesil Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for 6 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Antranig: 5.5/10

Barnabas: 5.5/10

Bernardo: 2/10

Deban: 2/10

Erdi: 7/10

Jonathan: 3.5/10

Luis: 3/10

Lukas: 5/10

Rezo: 4/10

Sebastian: 3/10

 

 

 

 

 

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 7.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.11/10

SEE OUR LIST OF DEPI EVRATESIL 2018 RANKINGS HERE

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