Last night the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — flew to Prague and paid a visit to the world famous Prague Zoo and said hello to Len, the Przewalski’s horse. Around the back of the gorilla enclosure we set about reviewing the Czech Republic’s 2015 act Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta. Did their song “Hope Never Dies” leave us full of hope? Or was it dead and buried? Read on to find out…
Czech Republic’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta with ‘Hope Never Dies’
Angus: Best Czech entry ever? No doubt. That isn’t tough though, and a Bond-ish piano-ballad just doesn’t cut it in 2015’s field. The vocals are overproduced and Marta and Václav’s chemistry comes across wooden. A little less technology might have made the song more accessible.
Mikhail: This song is perfection! When I first heard it, I got goosebumps all over my body, and I couldn’t stop listening to it for two hours! “Hope Never Dies” is extremely emotional: You can feel the story without understanding the lyrics. It is dark and gloomy, so desperate at the beginning and then it transforms into this bright fire, a torch for the fight for a bright future. Its atmosphere is amazing and original, and unique for ESC. I should especially underline the magical sound of instruments in the song (I guess that’s a harpsichord?). Not to mention that Marta and Vaclav’s voices are incredible. They are very strong and that may spoil the studio version, but I can assure you that their live performance will be outstanding. I recently heard Vaclav perform live in a theatre show and he was spectacular! I am absolutely sure that Czech Republic will go straight to the final!
Bogdan: It’s difficult to review a Eurovision song before listening to it live (which is what I’m doing now, back in March), but I am sure that not even a studio-version quality performance can save a dated song – that is basically a waltz – in 2015. And it’s unlikely that Marta and Václav, despite their chemistry, are able to push the Czech Republic to the Grand Final of Eurovision. A pleasant melody is never enough. Oh and Václav, please lose the scarf. It doesn’t make you look less butch, which by the way is part of your appeal.
Chris: Marta has a really appealing voice. That’s probably where the compliments end on this one. Václav’s voice probably will have some fans, but to me it’s totally dragging the song down. It’s far too musical theatre and by the halfway point of the song you’re just wishing it were over. Nice to see you back, Czech Republic, but this entry shows that the country still doesn’t get how to do Eurovision properly.
Robyn: I love this song so much. It has a really indulgent feeling and reminds me of the melodramatic rock ballads I used to listen to when I was younger. “Hope Never Dies” is so rich and luscious, and I love how emotionally manipulated it leaves me feeling. Marta and Noid’s voices perfectly complement each other, and bring a rock rawness to the competition that stands out amongst all the diva ballads and bright pop.
Deban: Although “Hope Never Dies” isn’t spectacular, it is far from being terrible. Sounding dated in parts, and probably more suited to a musical score, “Hope Never Dies” embodies emotion and drama. The monochrome music video presentation drives the story in a film noir direction. The choreography is just right, and the chemistry exhibited is appropriate to the narrative.
Padraig: A dash of Nickelback, a sprinkle of Evanescence and a slice of Meat Loaf, et voila, you’ve got the horrible concoction which is “Hope Never Dies”. While it’s nice to see the Czechs back in the game, you gotta admit that this is going nowhere. It pales in comparison to all the other duets and gothic ballads this year, sounding like a badly aged entry from the early noughties. Needs to go.
Initial reaction to “Hope Never Dies”
Zach: It’s still a bit of a shock to see Czech Republic participating again. Never thought I’d see the day, personally. However, I’m glad to see them making a really dedicated attempt at doing well, and I think this song can bring them into the final. The vocals are nice, both have this twinge of Gothic-like quality to them, and I really like the backing music. It’s a little calculated if one listens closely, but after the results the Czechs got in the past, it’s evident they have tried to send something that will appeal to the fans in the most beneficial way. I think people will vote for them in order to keep them around, because if they don’t qualify this year, then I’ll be really afraid of them leaving for good.
Patrick: OMG how can you all guys vote the song so highly? This song is one of those song where I can’t decide if it’s a mess or a disaster… Marta has a great voice, Vaclav maybe too but his voice is too much for me, it’s too dark and musical like. It is the best entry of the Czech Republic but thats not a big deal! The song may have great lyrics or a good message but I really can’t feel the passion and the Eurovision feeling in it. This song is one of those, where the performance will decide about the result – For me, this is a non-finalist.
William: When I first heard this I shouted “Amen!” On repeat listen it’s clear I was thrilled for a credible return from the Czech Republic rather than actually liking this. They’re great vocalists and I like the contrast of their voices, but this sounds like an operatic dirge. Pass the anti-depressants please.
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores.
William C: 8/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 2 and a high of 10.