Last night the Wiwi Jury—our international panel of music un-professionals— flew to Berlin to sample sausages and review Roman Lob’s “Standing Still.” Did Germany’s pop-rock ballad move us to tears? Or were we barfing up our wurst? Read on to find out.
Wiwi: Whether it’s R&B or pop, blues or reggae, female singers frequently shriek about how a man did them wrong and left them shattered on the floor. And when they aren’t doing that, they’re singing about how they are stronger now that said man is out of their life. But ladies aren’t the only ones who hurt when a relationship comes to an end—or the only ones who can rebuild themselves afterwards. Germany’s Roman Lob demonstrates that men suffer, too, and that this pain makes for a damn good song.
With his pitch perfect vocals and that adorably vulnerable face, Roman sets a melancholy mood in the opening bars. His relationship is over and, as his girlfriend walks out the door, he debates whether he should wrap his arms around her in a last ditch effort to make it work. But as he croons in the chorus, “I’m just standing still.” At this point it’s unclear if he’s frozen out of shock, or if he just doesn’t want anything else to do with her. He clears it up in the next section when he realizes that the pain of a breakup is worth it when the relationship isn’t meant to be. “What I thought would be the end/ Is just the feeling that you freed me/ Girl this ain’t giving up/ It’s knowing where to stop/ Knowing every thing is over.”
The song’s most important semantic shift takes place at 1:47 when the chorus switches from “but I’m standing still” to “’cause I’m standing still.” But suggests confusion. Because suggests volition. He has the power to act, but chooses not to. For a heart-broken young man keen to start the next chapter in his life, “Standing Still” is actually moving forward.
Vebooboo: This is a contemporary slow song that just works. Roman is adorable, and this song is easy enough to follow. Roman will automatically be in the Final on Saturday, but he would have made it anyway. Don’t be surprised if this finishes in the Top 10, but don’t go ahead and buy tickets to Germany.
Meows Kitty: The best thing about this song is the stage lighting, and Roman Lob’s ragged good looks. The song sounds like it was written by the Frays…and I’m waiting for the Glee cast to make a more exciting cover of the current dull version. Sorry Germany, you’’ll be standing still, this song is going nowhere in this year’s Eurovision.
Deban: On hearing this, my first thought was “This must be a Matt Cardle album filler!” The X-Factor-esque type video doesn’t help either. It’s an average song that fails to make any memorable impact. Just pure Adult Oriented Pop-Rock that runs down very expected runways.
As a song, it reads as pure mediocrity. In addition to the composition not holding any surprises, Roman’s performance is predictably talent-show graduate. His voice could be any good male singer’s, and with a 3-minute slot that’s guaranteed to be in the final, I can’t see anyone rushing to their telephones to cast votes.
As for me, I’m standing still.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.63/10