Ukrainian National Selection for Eurovision is in its peak. The final will take place on February 21, but meanwhile the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has been listening to and reviewing all the songs that qualified from the semi-finals. This time we are discussing Jamala with her song “1944”. She is transferring all her pain into the song and sharing it with us. Did we feel it? Read and find out!

JAMALA – “1944”

“1944” REVIEWS

Mikhail: This song is astonishing. I absolutely adore ethnic folk elements in music and Jamala delivers it amazingly well. When you think that the song is becoming a bit repetitive, Jamala stirrs it up with her voice doing incredible vocalization and it is so close to my Siberian soul. Some may argue that the message is political, but as Russian, I can say that it is not. The song is about history, when we all were united, but we had all suffered a lot and still bear the consequences.

Score: 10/10

William: This is dark, direct and at times nihilistic: “They kill you all and say, ‘We’re not guilty’…everyone dies.” In lesser hands it would come off as melodrama. But Jamala delivers it with conviction and soul, resulting in a strangely intoxicating and other-worldly sound. “1944” defies convention, mixing traditional Ukrainian music with soul and R&B, and yet it somehow remains universal and accessible. At the end of the song she channels the pain of a thousand victims in one single cry. This is a gift that can’t be taught.

Score: 9/10

Deban: Anna Trincher touched on social issues, and SLAYED on stage. This doesn’t. “1944” is borderline boring when you’re oblivious to the backstory. Yes, I get it — there’s a powerful narrative at the core of this, however her music isn’t steering it.

Score: 6/10

Josh: If I had to pick three words to describe “1944”, it would be powerful, mesmerising and emotional. Jamala was born in current-day Kyrgyzstan to a Crimean Tatar family, and the song coveys such a powerful story about her ancestry and the wrongs that the Soviet regime created for the Crimean Tatars in 1944. I have no doubts that the Ukrainian public will get behind this, and I’ll happily join them. Stunning!

Score: 9/10

Robyn: I had to check that this was only three minutes long (it is) because it felt much longer. But I get the feeling that any perceived issues with dragging could be resolved with more dynamic staging. As it is, this combination of alternative R&B sounds with traditional folk styles creates a really bold and emotional song, and that’s even without knowing the history behind the lyrics. Perfect for a Ukraine comeback.

Score: 8/10

Luis: This is probably one of the most interesting compositions this year. “1944” is mature, avant-garde and emotional, and Jamala exudes confidence on stage. This is a huge step for Ukraine. Normally at the national final stage, their songs sound like unfinished demos, while this is could be perfectly released as a single tomorrow without any changes. It feels like heaven to imagine how good this could be in Stockholm.

Score: 9.5/10

Antranig: Jamala blew me away with her live performance — “1944” is incredible. The only criticism I have is that the last minute or so becomes a little repetitive — it’s not a huge problem but I wouldn’t mind seeing it revamped. Will this win Eurovision? I think not. Will it get into the top five? You’d have to be very brave to bet against her.

Score: 9.5/10

Zakaria: In my view, any controversial and/or historical issue should stay away from the contest. Having said that, I will only judge the song and not the topic. Jamala is an incredible vocalist and delivers the song with so much emotions and power. I think Ukraine just found the right one…

Score: 10/10

“1944” SCORES:

Patrick: 6/10

Sopon: 3.5/10

William C.: 8/10

The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 3.5 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY VERDICT: 8.33/10

FOR OUR LIST OF UKRAINE 2016 RANKINGS, CLICK HERE

FOLLOW ALL OF OUR UKRAINE EUROVISION NEWS HERE

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San
Guest
San

I would like to know the explanation that Sopon could ever possibly give to explain this 3.5 to this masterpiece….

oxyk
Guest
oxyk

@Tania, can you read Ukrainian or Russian? the site where I read detailed article is not accessible at the moment (or maybe closed). however you can start with this summary at meta news service
http://news.meta.ua/cluster:47184986-U-Sevastopol-pogodilisia-na-propozitsiu-Ukrani-provesti-v-mst-vrobachennia/

Mil
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Mil

@ Marshpan the sound producer for Jamala’s 1944 (as well as for entries from SunSay and Brunettes Shoot Blondes) is Yevgen Filatov (The Maneken).
@ [email protected] The folk motifs are not Ukrainian at all, but Crimean Tatar/ Turkish.
Anyway, I’ll vote for Jamala next Saturday!

Raul
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Raul

WOWOWOWOWOW Just love it

Alex
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Alex

@Charles: From what I’ve heard from the rest of her discography, she’s more in the jazz style than soul, which suits her voice better.

tania
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tania

oxyk
“and, wow, I just saw news that Russian occupational “authorities” of Sevastopol agreed to host ESC 2017 if Jamala will win”
interesting news ) where did you see that?

to tell the truth i don’t think she will win. this song is not about show and standard. but it’s not about victory. i want exactly her among all candidates to represent my country at esc

Erin
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Erin

The reservation I have with Djamala’s “1944” is that it seems like it is used as a political pawn against present day Russia and the former Soviet Union at the time of the Crimean-Tatar genocide. Are Ukrainians coming to terms with the fact that there was rampant racism against Tatars and other ethnic and religious minorities in Ukraine and that a portion of Ukrainians actively committed atrocities during WWII against those minorities? I would have appreciated a more introspective approach rather than resorting to blaming ‘others’, even if it is historically supported, because introspective songs (“Sweet People”) have more validity… Read more »

oxyk
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oxyk

@cheesecake, ESC 2017 won;t be in Kyiv. We already have a trolling slogan “If we’ll win this ESC, we’ll host it in Sevastopol in 2017”. Fat trolling 🙂 Sevastopol it’s the main navy base of Russian scum in our Crimea. I guess it’s fair – if we’ll win and will have to spend a lot of money from our beggar’s budget to host ESC, having back Crimea will be a better prize than money. But hey, we have not much time left, we have to build infrastructure, so Russians have to leave our Crimea soon. That’s an intrigue. and, wow,… Read more »

oxyk
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oxyk

This year Jamala wrote a song “Shlyah Dodomu (Way Home?)”, it’s in Ukrainian and with 2 words in Crimean Tatar language. Recently our President suggested us a book to read, a movie to watch and a song – this song – to listen this year. This is the first time in our history when President of Ukraine (in 25 years) doing such thing, must be Jamala stole his heart 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B-nbLVqDjY

silvester
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silvester

Jamala – a possible winner of the ESC 2016?

Charles
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Charles

For once Ukraine is doing music for sake of music … and that is why it stands out and leaves nobody indifferent … the blending of ethnic and dubstep/rnb is pure class and serves the emotion and the storytelling approach in a very credible way … her voice though for me is not my cup of tea … she tries to be a belter … but she seems to be singing out of her own range falling into falsetto tones which don’t sound pleasant to my ears. Soul music has always had one demand: a powerful chest voice … it’s… Read more »

Milla
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Milla

I still think it’s nothing special. It’s way too over-dramatic. I think “ordinary” people in Europe will not vote for this. The song itself is not good enough. It’s quite boring to listen to.

cheesecake
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cheesecake

This is pure class and a real contender for victory in May. Kyiv 2017?
I’m sure Ukraine will send this to Stockholm – what a comeback.

BeccaEscFan
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BeccaEscFan

I don’t like leaving negative comments but I can’t be the only one not getting this. Horrible wailing to me, at least if it gets through I’ve got my toilet break sorted

Transmermaid
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Transmermaid

From the songs i heard till now in the national final,and the ones; this would be my number 1 without a doubt ,love this song ,has been on a loop on spotify for days ,i feel her emotion ,i feel her pain and i feel every lyric coming from her mouth ,the song has a powerful message ,and in days like this i feel this would be the perfect song for ukraine to send to eurovison. Nonetheless ,i completely love this song

Steven Keenan
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Steven Keenan

This is a masterpiece! 8.33 isn’t doing the song justice especially when you look at what it is ranked around. This screamed winner for me and if it makes it to Eurovision it’s going to do extremely well.

tania
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tania

i think jamala will go to esc. if it is not so i will be very surprised

“When the peace message is not subtle, it is just kitsch!!”
true

El Rosario de Raquel
Guest

Mucha suerte, me gusta mucho tu cancion.

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

““1944” is borderline boring when you’re oblivious to the backstory””

How very untrue. I, at first, made no research to the song’s history yet enjoyed it (after the 4th listen).

This song will hit the Top 10 in May.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Pavel :- Thanks again for the explanation……………….it’s all a bit fishy!! It’s just awful to me, sorry.

When the peace message is not subtle, it is just kitsch!!

Pavel
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Pavel

@EugeneESCUK, The jury gives comments after the song and before the actual voting which obviously swings the voters’ preferences.
In case of SunSay, they’ve stated that Ukraine always sends girls but this time it has to be a different choice, they’ve mentioned that the song is a perfect blend of modern electropop which should do well in Stockholm and said this is one of the few songs in the contest which has both national and european appeal.
SunSay’s song is catchy though, the chorus is that repeptitive formula which sometimes works quite well

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Best song from any country so far.
Potential winner. Things are starting to get serious now.

Marshpan
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Marshpan

I’m surprised at Deban’s comments, also a little bit disappointed… The music is boring? HA! Not for me it isn’t. The instrumentation most likely takes a large leaf from Burial, a notable artist in the dubstep genre. I don’t know who produced ‘1944’, but I’d certainly say they have good taste… The overall feel of it is melancholic which complements and enhances ‘1944’ nicely. The huge point Deban is missing here is that the music should not be given the focus in a song as lyrically and vocally as potent as Jamala’s… ‘steering’ in this case would mean overpowering the… Read more »

eve
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eve

This song is original, and really emotional, I adore it, is an easy top 5 for Ukraine and maybe a victory in May, just stunning.

2015
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2015

It sounds so diffrent from… music?
I don’t hate it, but for Ukraine i would be a entry that wouldn’t do so well…
I can’t imagine that 12-18 year old people can appreciate a song like this, like for the western culture, this won’t get alot of votes. English always works better, but would be nice to have some different launguages.

6/10

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Pavel :- Thanks for that, what a ridiculous statement from the juries. They actually need the song that will achieve the best position in the ESC. There are going to be so many males with mediocre songs!! Jamala got 49.22% of the televote and Sun Say 53.03% in their semi-finals. Both got top points from jury and televote total 18 points. The point is Jamala was up against The Hardkiss!! I’ve listened to Sun Say a few times…………..is this “The Emperor’s new clothes” or something I’m not getting it, I prefer The Hardkiss to Sun Say!! It’s just one phrase… Read more »

EurovisionNow
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EurovisionNow

Vote your top9 from Eurovision >> http://eurovisionow.blogspot.com.es/p/sondeo-14.html

Andrew
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Andrew

She is the best ukrainian vocalist and really good artist. I wish her all the best and believe that she can win this year.

Ben Rafter
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Ben Rafter

I generally don’t like these kind of songs. However, this is brilliant. The music is spectacular and her voice is unique. Ukraine, don’t make the mistake Denmark made – this HAS to win the national final.

V
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V

I hope Sunsay will slay her next week.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

The comments on this page will fall under 4 headings :-

1 Those that really appreciate and feel what is going on in this song
2 Those that just don’t get it, and that’s fine
3 Those that just want to talk about the politics
4 Those that want The Hardkiss to win in the Ukraine.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Sorry, but The Hardkiss was just rubbish
But I now tend to think SunSay will go there, juries kept saying how they need a male contestant

never forget
Guest
never forget

Alvaricomg

EBU will allow this political song from Ukraine at contest, because Russia.

Alvaricomg
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Alvaricomg

It gets better and even better every time I listen to it, the First time I was a Little bit shocked and impressed by Jamala’s vocal powerhouse, but the song didn’t saynthat much To me, however, something un my mind “told me” To listen To it over and over, and now, I absolutely adore it! #GoUkraine
But I don’t know if the EBU will allow this song To take part in the eurovision song contest, because of their lyrics full of polítics, I hope they will allow it, #Please

oliverisamazing
Guest
oliverisamazing

How could you not give this song over a 9? I think you have been listening to too much pre-selection trashy pop songs. Sorry about it.

Hugh
Guest
Hugh

It just gets better and better every time I watch it, and I’ve watched it many times. There’s always something new and clever in the performance, something more truthful and emotive in the vocal, something smarter and more meaningful in the lyrics.

And it’s only the beginning. By the time we get to Stockholm, Jamala will have perfected it; there is definitely still room for improvement in a few different areas. But even with that said, it’s divine. 10/10

never forget
Guest
never forget

Josh

You forget that many Tatars suports Nazis. . In some document, we can read that 9,225 Crimean Tatars had served in anti-Soviet Tatar Legions and other German-formed battalions. How many people that 9225 people kill in Ukraine during II Word War.

Kirsten
Guest
Kirsten

it’s awful!

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Deban :- Perhaps focus on the original composition and the vocal demonstration then look at lyrics? You seem to have overlooked the two most important things? What if this song was not in English?

Sopon :- Really?

Bob Marley said :- “Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.”

That’s enough for now………………….we have our benchmark for 2016, it’s a 9/10 for now and they have not even started with staging and outfits!! This is Ukraine!!

PP
Guest
PP

Best song in national final , and I think Jamala wili be represent of Ukraine at Eurovision 2016, but if we don t have tension between Ukraine and Russia, I think we never have this song and if we have this song in normal situation Ukraine wili not send this kind of song at Eurovision contest.

Tavi
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Tavi

YOU MADE A CRIME AGAIN , 9.33 IT DESERVED !!!!

FlorynRomania
Guest
FlorynRomania

Sopon 3.5 ? Are you serious ?

Jacques
Guest
Jacques

The other-wordly sound is the part where she sings in Turkish.

The language sounds amazing.