When I think of the word “milky”, I think of chilled dairy products, packed full of vitamins and minerals that do my body good. Sadly, there is nothing nourishing about MILKI — Alexander Rybak’s girl group, formed especially for Belarus’ EuroFest. They take their name from the Belarusian word “milka”, which means “cute” or “loved one”. Yes, they’ve got the look. Yes, they’ve got the talent and prowess of Eurovision winner Alexander — the Belarusian-born, Norwegian songwriter who still holds the record for the highest number of points ever received at Eurovision. There’s just one thing missing: a decent song.
Today Alexander uploaded MILKI’s number “Accent” to YouTube with the message,”Instead of hiding our accent, let’s sing about it!” It’s a good starting point. Depending on your interpretation, it smacks of patriotism and romance. It plays on nationalist fervor (“I Love Belarus”, anyone?). And it also speaks of self-worth and self-affirmation: why should you change your accent for a man or anyone else? The lyrics are frothy and fun and, if you’re willing to tease it out, the narrative does make a bit of sense: “You had a choice, babe, I can be yours ’till the end of time. But if you wanna be with me, there’s one thing you need to know. I will do anything you want, but you will never change my soul…. La, la, la, la, My accent is the same.”
Despite these redeeming qualities, this song ultimately feels like a hot mess. It takes several Eurovision tropes — electronic accordion, “la la la la”s, thick accents, attractive women brought together for their looks rather than their voices — and mashes them all together. At times I hear flashes of Ivi Adamou, the Buranovskiye Babushki, Cleo & Donatan and, of course, Alexander Rybak. They’re all great on their own, but not all at once.
To read a dissenting opinion, click here.