This week the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — headed north for Melodi Grand Prix 2016, Norway’s selection for Eurovision. Somehow we found ourselves from the streets of Moscow, listening to The Hungry Hearts feat. Lisa Dillan singing “Laika”. But do we love the disco? Read on to find out…
The Hungry Hearts feat. Lisa Dillan – “Laika”
William: This isn’t just a tribute to the Soviet space dog — it’s a touching and poetic look at isolation, lost love and our never-ending journey to nothingness. The Hungry Hearts use accents and intonation to great effect, taking us to the Cold War and back, all the while making us want to dance. And when we do it’s with love and nostalgia and an acute awareness of our missed opportunities and disappointments. I just love this.
Chris: I can only shudder and wonder to think what is going to happen when this is performed live on the night of MGP. I’m expecting a trainwreck, because really the song is a trainwreck. It’s a glorious one at that, though, and I have to say I bloody love it…for the first two minutes, anyway. I wish that they had thrown something else in at the end, bar the slight German chanting, because it just sort of runs out of a little bit of steam. I’d love it if “Laika” won, but let’s get real; it won’t be in Stockholm. We’ll just always have it in our hearts.
Robyn: I’m a sucker for the romance of the Cold War-era space race, so using the sad fate of Laika the space dog as a metaphor for a doomed relationship is amazing. The combination of dance beats with German art school trash pop is even better. Yeah, it’s pretty much a checklist of loads of my favourite things all thrown together and somehow it all works. With every listen, “Laika” reveals more.
Edd: I can safely say that I have never heard anything like this before! It would be easy to mistake this for a cheap mess, when it is actually a masterpiece. The lyrics are surprisingly dark, which bizarrely works with the disco beat. And that chanting just sounds so amazing. I worry as to whether it will work live with the amount of voice editing in the production, but who cares. What a gem.
Antranig: “The streets of Moscow with my girlfriend” — I think these women are trying to be Serebro’s grandmothers and I’m all over it. “Laika” is insanely catchy and would stand out at Eurovision as a unique entry. Lyrically it sounded cheap on first listen but when you dig deeper, it is full of surprises. This could go a long way.
Mikhail: Firstly, I thought it was some trash, but I was enjoying it. But then the chorus came. That disco sound is very irritating. I personally hate such music and these old-fashioned electronic sounds make me sick. Sometimes it can be very catchy and it may eat your brain (in a good way), but this is definitely not the case.
Renske: This song is a solid 10 when it comes to originality, but it’s a bit too disco for me. Such a song will only end as a joke entry, because you simply can’t take it seriously. You either hate it or you love it and it’s a big tug-of-war between both sides.
Liam: What a guilty pleasure! It’s cheap, but boy do I LOVE IT! It’s infectious! One listen and I know half the song off by heart already. I’ve caught myself humming it down the street. I’ll be interested to see this song’s staging!
Bernardo: I don’t get the hype this song has. The lyrics are cheap, the production is messy and I bet live they’re going to flop, big time. My ears are bleeding and I don’t think the public will respond to this. Thank God I only need to listen to this one more time at the national final.
Deban: This is an ambitious concept that will die a painful death on stage when attempting a live delivery. However, in it’s studio format, it kisses the future. Merging electronica, disco and speech rap, “Laika” deserves a special mention, and possibly a bravery award for quirky queer realness.
In the Norwegian Wiwi Jury we have 25 jurors but only have room for 10 reviews. The remaining 15 scores are below!
William C: 10/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 0 and a high of 10.