Today Wiwi called in some favours for the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – and got us First Class Seats for early morning flights to Yerevan. We took in a tour of the Monastery of Geghard, took some snaps at the only remaining Hellenic temple at Garni and rounded the night off taking in some ruul, ruul quality 1930s Yerevan Opera Theater. The next morning over a croissant and OJ we asked the waiter to turn up the radio so we could listen to Armenia’s contestant Aram Mp3 and his song ‘Not Alone’. Did we throw shade or cast it into the spotlight? Read on to find out!
Angus: Let’s just all expunge Dorians from collective Eurovision memory and pretend that this is the song Yerevan returned to the Contest with after their absence in Baku. A full half of this song is absolutely perfect and it’s the half until the chaotic dubstep breakdown kicks in and Aram starts yelling. His vocal is stirring and the lyrics are beautiful up unto about the 1:30 mark. After that it’s just yelling and ill-advised dubstep. I think it’s meant to give power to the song but instead it squanders the emotion and beauty demonstrated in the restraint of the first half. The overall result is a bungled production salvaged only by a strong vocal and excellent lyrics.
Wiwi: This electro ballad, which features glorious instrumentals, is a hymn devoted to perseverance. It encourages victims of domestic abuse and torrid relationships to remember that they’re not alone, and that they can remove themselves from all the turmoil. The song begins solemnly, and builds continuously. Moving into the second minute, it crescendos into an extended period of rage as horns blare over the synthesized backing. It’s measured and perfectly timed. Thematically he suggests that passion can lead to one’s unraveling. It can blind us from the horrors and faults of those we think we love. Seeing the truth can hurt, but it’s essential to have that reckoning: “You’re gonna wake up/ It’s only a dream/ And why do dreams make people scream?” That’s deep, y’all.
Billy: So, this song will most probably win the contest. It’s lovely, and so is Aram MP3. Nowadays, dubstep is becoming more and more popular, so a Eurovision winning song must have dubstep (maybe for not such a big duration). The switch between sleeping ballad-mode to over-exciting dubstep is quite good, although there is one thing I can’t ignore. The entry has very few lyrics. Consequently, “Not Alone” is repeated for many many times. However, the song’s overall style is wonderful! The Armenians could bring a couple of dancers on stage, and change a little Aram’s moves, as, judging from the short rehearsal video, he moves in the same way he moves in the video-clip, which by the way was thrilling. Well done, Armenia!
Bogdan: Aram Mp3 should give up comedy (the only “joke” I heard from him was highly offensive, unfunny and could very well cost him victory this year) and become a full-time songwriter. As far as songs go, “Not Alone” is a masterpiece. He was right when he said that it’s like a film. It starts like an unassuming Chopin nocturne and grows and grows like Ravel’s “Bolero”, adding layer upon layer of instrument and feeling until it explodes. It’s very cinematic. Its only correspondent I can think of in modern music is Björk’s “All Is Full Of Love”, which also defies pop rules and grows like a balloon. Vocally, Aram is alright, but I worry about the faces he makes when he sings live. He needs to work on that and become more telegenic, otherwise he will scare the viewers. But again, the song is without flaw. I can definitely understand why Aram’s fans are so passionate about it.
Francheska: Let me start off on this: I know that Aram has found himself in more controversies and second-looks than Paris Hilton has said “poor people should just get rich”, but before anyone starts splurging in the comments that no one should give him a good score: Eurovision, ultimately, is about the nation being represented. But not in a political way, in a way that encourages peace and understanding among nations while enjoying the talents of each other. I quite like the song, since my famous shark metaphor says that ballads need to move. Many songs from this year and the year before put too much emphasis on electronic/dubstep music, thinking that somehow it’s a magic formula for success. Belgium from last year and Armenia this year got it right: you build up, then you drop the base. It has the quasi-inspirational/love angle to it, and Aram adds instruments to go along. If anyone remembers my attack on “Best Friend’s Boyfriend” (Melodi Grand Prix, Norway), I said that the violin was unnecessary. It isn’t in Armenia’s case. To me, this is ultimately a song of smart arrangement. PS: If Armenia hosts next year, it’ll be the centennial of the start of the Armenian Genocide (Which did happen, by the way). I think that it might be fate. Armenia could use a bump in tourism (lord knows the only people who go are probably distant cousins).
Katie: I was surprised when I found out this song was favourite to win, but I do like it. There’s quite a slow start, and that’s why I love the crazy, exploding chorus as it’s so unexpected yet works perfectly. There’s a nice build up to the chorus, it gets a lot more intense during the bridge when the violins kick in and Aram starts to shout a bit more. The chorus is like a firework, violin and drum madness carried off perfectly with Aram’s harsh tones. I can’t believe he’s a comedian! He’s talented enough to be a full time, serious singer!
Vebooboo: People say it will be a head-to-head battle between Sanna and Aram MP3 this year. What I love about both entries is the way that they start soft and build until the end, capturing our attention throughout — something that so few songs have successfully done this year. I am completely mesmorised by the passion and fire that comes out of this man’s voice when he starts screaming toward the end of the entry. My only concern is that the contrast with his sweet, sweet whisperings from the start of the song may be a bit too drastic (and definitely more polarising than Sanna’s shift). But there’s no denying that this is generally a fantastic entry, and deserves a place within the Top 5. Aram MP3 may not be a fan of gay people, but I have to say I am a fan of his music–hence why I ironically place him tied with his bestie Conchita Wurst 😉
Padraig: To quote John Travolta, “I’ve got chills and they’re multiplying”. Thankfully, I’m maintaining control, but only just. The soaring orchestra, the pulsating dubstep, and Aram’s gravely voice draw me in and ensnare my senses. I’m fully aware that it’s 100% emotional manipulation, but I don’t care. “Not Alone” would be nigh on perfection; if only the lyrics weren’t so perfunctory. The verses are riddled with repetition, while the chorus is just downright lazy. However, the text is only a tiny cog in a well constructed machine, and is not enough to cause a derailment. It’s little wonder that all signs seem to pointing towards Yerevan 2015.
James L: In some ways, I’m not sure why Armenia is one of the major favourites to win this year. The song is a bit unbalanced, with a fairly yawn-inducing first half and a relentless electro-dubstep screamfest for the second half, and Aram has ruffled a few feathers already with some of his less-than-careful comments. He seems to have smoothed over those feathers and will surely be on his best behaviour now, and I can’t help loving this song. It starts slow, but it has an emotional power that pulls you in. And then it builds to an epic head-banging climax that leaves you satisfied – except you want to hear it all over again.
Deban:The message of not giving up on love is a timeless one that universally resonates. However, being whispered to, only to be shouted out, is not the best way of putting that message forward. Aram Mp3’s roots are in comedy. However, unlike Anri Jokhadze who crashed in the semis when he represented Georgia in 2012, many ESC fans are firmly behind this year’s Armenian entry. Personally, I don’t think this track is capable of gaining any mileage beyond the contest. Fuelled by hype and hostility in equal measure, ‘Not Alone’ simply doesn’t measure up when critically assessed.Some of the ideas are good, but the finished product reads like a demo.
All 19 jurors review all 37 songs, but we only had space to share 9 written reviews. Here are the remaining 10 scores.
Maxim Montana: 5/10
William C: 9.9/10
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 3 and a high of 10.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 8.05/10
Note: An earlier version of this post mistakenly calculated the average as 8.24. We neglected to include a score from our 19th juror. This lowers the average to 8.05. We apologize for the error.
You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.
I do not understand at all … Sweden is sooo Celine Dion ten years ago … but with a much worse voice … let Sweden can not win with this only two gourmet dessert after Euphoria.
aram aram aram! crazy about the songs from the performance! insanely talented guy! day and night listening to his song!! is a celebration of music, forget all about politics and enjoy the songs! Aram!
@debans review is pure trash sorry
I hardly can understand the hatred coming from Armenia’s neibouring countries. I remember very well when Armenia gave pointed both to Turkey and the second Turkish country-Azerbaijan (Back in 2011 after victory Azeri’s entries aired the flag of Turkey instead of showing the flag of their multinational country). If the PM of Turkey accepts the fact of genocide, guys you are very miserable people here to discuss it. I’m sure your knowledge will not be that sufficient to analyse the history, so, please, enjoy the great performance by Aram and get packed to visit Armenia next year. I shall be… Read more »
this song would be flawless without the dubstep. with it, it has ventured to the love-it-or-hate-it territory.
i think we should ban contries who part at wore with each other and are part of the ebu to not be in eurovision im sick of this arguing between Armenia and Azerbaijan they both are peeing me off no here is my review. when i first heard this song i thought it was really good and it was one of my top five until a wind rush of annoying armenians kept going on about how amazing there song was this isn’t exactly bad but then they go on how denmark are rubbish host and started showing off there shitty… Read more »
Haha @Lolilly good luck ! 😉
This ís probably going to be one of my last comments, since I’m on my ay to Denmaaaaaaaaark! 🙂 can’t wit to meet with Aram and the rest… I guess the majority is going to win in this case also. For example, just take a closer look at the wiwi jury’s’ scores. Most definitely, most of them like this song. It’s going to be this way all over the Europe. If you hate it, don’t listen to it. Everyone has their own favorites. My favorite is Montenegro, but I’m not going to nag the hell about it. So what, if… Read more »
@Kery es cuyc talu kariq chunem ; ) Ughghaki vorosh azgeri hetevic ashkhatum em maqrel ovqer mer azgi anvan tak inchvor animast baner e khosum : ) Erevi nor eq aystegh teghyak cheq incher en mer [email protected] anum ..vochinch ksovoreq 😉
Armenian guy-er dzez eq cuyc tali
Aauuuuu rofl xD so you only know word ‘ara’ ? xD Ok let me talk to you in Armenian …[email protected] khosa tenam inches uzum ay uru glux .De pataskhani . ; )
@Armenia gay aka Azer ,Salam dude Nejesan ? 😉 Let me correct you we do not call ourselves ‘Hayastani’ .At least write correct so people will believe you Lol 😉
@Timselvision I am agree about Emmy xD that song was horrible and to be honest she was not happy with that song either,she sang like 4-5 songs and that one was chosen, I do not know how .Cuz nobody liked it .Even she was surprised .Anyways ,however Gor from Dorians is talented ,his vocal is great.And song had message too (last year) . It was maybe boring for people ,cuz it was rock and not everybody likes rock. 😉
And thanks for supporting Aram 😉
By far my favorite entry this year! 😀 It probably won’t win because my winners are mostly not the real winners… But I love this song and it’s among my top ESC songs. The instrumental stuff really touches me and it gives me goosebumbs… A major change from the terrible Emmy and Dorians to Aram MP3 🙂
@Thiefo haha do not worry no one hates on you 😉 .I see you everywhere complaining about the fact that Aram is favourite .I am happy that FINALLY you could post your opinion under article connected with Aram’s song .
Your opinion is accepted 😉 Good luck to Ruth anyways.
Raw emotion very clear in the vocals and video. Video strong and very professionally put together. Musical instruments makes it happen all the way from soft to euphoric – never a dull moment. I hope politics keeps out of this entry this year. 9/10
Well, is finally time to give my complete opinion about this one 😛 I don’t like it, at all, while is one of the hot favourites, it’s my #37. That pretty much sums it. Deban already said it and better than I ever could, the message is great and all, but the way to present it is not the best in my opinion. It starts so slow and down, like many other ballads, but like others like Undo or Silent Storm, which build up nicely until reaching climax, this one suddenly explodes into a dub step mess, it’s like two… Read more »
Hungary ,U.K.,Spain, Israel , they are the best songs this year also Norway, Sweden and Netherlands , the rest is just out, cheap and no enough quality ,point
Is your favourite song Not Alone? But your country is voting in the 2nd Semi Final, not the 1st Semi Final:( well how about you turn that frown upside down and VOTE IRELAND!
You won’t regret it!!
This song is OK but it is not a winner.
Sweden will win.
The winner! Eurovision 2015 in ARMENIA!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk73dLNaQik look this link it is sumgait but you must look 1.00 he is a bitch armenian eduard grigorian which have made sumgait and there was 11 azerbaijanes killed but today bitch grigorian live in yeravan ok eurovision 2015 yeravan land of gangster
Aram is a great opportunity to win, he’s a good singer, good comedian and generally talented people. I like the song and am sure, that will win.
Aram is a great opportunity to win, he’s a good singer, good comedian and generally talented people. ?? I like the song and am sure, that will win
Armenian guy yes sumgait what was it. how many people and kids killed in there i can say only 32 people and 21 armenians +11 azeribajans and it was SSR and SSR kill who made it ,it Was fuking Armenian bitch Grigorian not Azerbaijans. but only AZerbaijans killed why if you want discover it came on and we can say about it
@Dilara will you please stop : ) Or should I talk about Sumgait ?? ; ) I do not think so .It’s not the right place.
If you do not know a sh-t about history better do not embarrass yourself ; ) Good luck!
Yeah, I mean it is shocking to see kids killed in genocide or any other conflict. It really is upsetting to see millions of children get murdered in front of their parents and vice versa. I mean, what did the kids do wrong? Nothing and here they are being hacked to death. Yeah, you do see it in the news alot. Armenian kids are/were also killed in Syria quite often.
So yeah Dilara, It is horrendous to see kids die in conflict.
@Deven O’Kearney Amen to that ; )
It is indeed a sensitive topic .However some trolls ,from I do not know which country (Well I think I know ),having fun with it . Cruel World he : )
I already have Azeri friend.And many Azeris who live far from Azerbaijan have lots of Armenian friends .So I think step by step people will understand that -> LEADERS START the war , PEOPLE STOP the war .
Let’s just enjoy ESC 😉 Good luck to all.
@Dilara There is no dead kids in Eurovision…why dont you wrong a letter to the Armenian government voicing your opinions. An unofficial Eurovision news website is really not the place. And that goes for all of you, seriously, grow the fuck up, this websites wrecks my head, there is some seriously sad people here who clearly have no lives. Its a fucking song contest not the United nations, so grow a fuckin ballsack. Almost every country in Europe has had a conflict with its neighbor at one stage, but this is about music. If we were to all take your… Read more »
YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! I was waiting for this review a long time! Big THANKS for giving this song a high rank!
I freaking love this song. Aram made it really perfect, this mix of orchestra and dubstep is phenomenal!
12 points from me <3
Deven O’Kearney do you watch the video link if you watched it i want ask you what do you feel to see dead kids
Guys, I know it’s an very sensitive issue in Armenia but this really is not the place or time for talking about the Armenian genocide or 45 million dead Armenians. This is the Eurovision Song Contest. We are meant to enjoy whatever music each country sends. Not worry about things like genocide or the Nagorno Karabakh war with Azerbaijan. Eurovision is all about uniting Europe. Something that the contest had succeeded in where governments have failed. Armenia and Azerbaijan need to start making nice with eachother. If the UK and Ireland or Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia can do it after… Read more »
it is a big fail why wiwibloggs and eurovision tv support armenia you must be objective
there is another big favorites like Hungary Sweden UK Romania not only faking armenia
@pricess you are also included in my previous comment then 😉
Trolls are growing way too fast Lol.
the worst thing about Aram is that he is a big fat HOMOPHOBE.
we all know sweden will beat this song into second place in the final. aram is not in the same league as sanna nielsen.
I think armenias song is great. but it will NOT win. arams stage presence is zero.. he should have had more going on at stage than just himself standing there.
he does not have sannas stage presence..at all.
@Emmanuel UK-RO thanks – this has now been updated :3
Amazing song, fantastic staging! He’s going to win, i bet!
I Love it
Good luck Armenia from Ukraine 😉
@Alexey aka O’nail aka Padre hello guy 😉 what’s up ? I just want to say , I want someone to do a ‘massive ‘ TROLL GENOCIDE and do all those things that were done with Armenians. And yea I am will the one who will RECOGNIZE it first ; ) Good luck!
#Iwanttrollgenocide #volunteersareneeded 😉
@ Francheska Thanks dear ! : )) + thanks all other juries too for objective point 😉
I love this song and I think it’s one of the best this year (together with Hungary and the UK)
To all the people here talking about the genocide in such a disrespectful manner, you disgust me. Read a history book or just shut up.
your method of calculating the average is not very accurate because I tried calculating it myself and i got 8.24
i understand that you want to remove the “outliers” (i.e the highest and lowest scores) so that your score is more representative of the data, but i don’t think you should remove ALL the 10’s because they simply aren’t outliers if the majority of the scores are 8’s, 9’s and higher
People please do not bring up the Irish famine! It has nothing to do with Aram and Armenias history, well below the belt I have to say.
Just comment on the song and no political issues or religious issues. SERIOUSLY
I’ve no comment for fear of attack from the Armenian people 🙁 free speech doesn’t seem to go on any of the threads in relation to Aram.
Anyway good luck 🙂
I really wish DR to give them #1 or #2 spot. 😛
Armenia, please don’t win. Next year’s 60th anniversary should be a spectacle, not a travesty. Maybe next year, perhaps.
And how did you count the final score? 😀 you get the final score 8.24 dumbasses.
@ TIMO: thank you for bringing up Sirusho and Qele Qele :). Actually it was my favourite in 2008 (even more than ‘Shady Lady’) and I still love it!
Well I’ve got a better idea now of why people like it, but I still can’t see it myself. Dare I say that both Billy and Bogdan have got caught up in the hype, because though they list several negatives in their assessments, they still give it a virtually perfect score. I predict that it will scrape into the final, draw first half and be put on at #2 by DR.
I actually agree almost 100% with Angus, so there is nothing more I can add… ‘Almost’ 100%, because I don’t agree about the lyrics – what’s so excellent about them?! He just screams for half of the song ‘you’re not alone’ to the point of (my) exasperation.
Definitely top 10 material (maybe even top 5 – although not in my personal preferences), but not a winner…