Vera Turcanu

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to review the acts from Moldova’s O melodie pentru Europa 2018. Next we listen to Sandy C & Aaron Sibley‘s ballad “Once upon a time” and to Vera Turcanu‘s dark ballad “Black heart”. Did any of them make our hearts beat to their rhythm?

Sandy C & Aaron Sibley – “Once upon a time”

Antranig: If you’re looking for a dire duet, look no further. This takes a long time to get going but it admittedly picks up significantly with Sandy’s powerful vocals in the second verse. As with any Eurovision duet, their chemistry on stage will determine how far this can go. If they can connect, it could do decently in this national final but just relying on chemistry indicates problems with the song itself.

Score: 5/10

Bogdan: The song tries to emulate the likes of “Say Something”, and there’s something in here to love, from the melody to Aaron’s voice. Nevertheless, I’m not sure it blends well with Sandy’s, as the duet feels a bit unbalanced. Still, “Once Upon a Time” is the best ballad of Moldova’s national selection, and I hope it does well on the national final stage.

Score: 7.5/10

Kristin: Well, that was a snoozefest! But bless their hearts, they are trying their best with the tools they’ve got. Aaron and Sandy really are a dynamite duet. If only they’d have a better song to go with their flawless vocals. Usually I’m all for a strong ballad á la “Monster Like Me”. But this was just flat-out boring and there was absolutely nothing going on. Very disappointing indeed.

Score: 4/10

Luis: Aaron and Sandy’s voices are great on their own. When they start harmonizing, it’s a bit weird at first, because Sandy’s is so pitchy, but then they really come together. The song is amongst the best-constructed ones in this selection, but it’s a bit too safe. It lacks a major appeal, and as it stands, it’s just a decent ballad sung by two beautiful voices. Surely, we’ve never seen anything like this before.

Score: 6/10

Robyn: “Once upon a time” starts out with a lot of potential — it sounds like it will be a grand duet. But as it progresses… it’s just a boring duet. That’s frustrating because Sandy and Aaron both have good voices and they sound lovely together. But the song lets them down.

Score: 4/10

In the Moldovan Wiwi Jury, we have 10 jurors but only room for 5 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Aline: 4.5/10

Barnabas: 4.5/10

Bernardo: 5/10

Jonathan: 4.5/10

Lukas: 6/10

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 7.5.

WIWI JURY VERDICT: 4.94/10

Vera Turcanu – “Black Heart”

Antranig: Vera’s voice has a dynamic texture but “Black Heart” is simply not a great song. Based on the song title, I would’ve expected this to be darker and more haunting. Right now it’s a pale shade of grey and it needs to be fifty shades darker to achieve what it sets out to do. Vera should be able to improve the song when performing it live but the song needs a serious revamp before it is ready for Eurovision.

Score: 5.5/10

Bogdan: “Black Heart” starts off promisingly, but the chorus comes as a disappointment. Instead of lifting the song up, it lets it float in the middle and the potential is lost. Some bold staging might elevate it somewhat, but I wouldn’t bet on Vera getting anywhere near Lisbon this year.

Score: 6/10

Kristin: The songwriter(s) must have listened quite a lot to Portishead, for both the song and Vera herself bear a striking resemblance to that great band’s work and Beth Gibbons’ voice. However, this is a far cry from Portishead, although the dark undertone is definitely there. It just doesn’t manage to own the song like it should. But a great attempt nonetheless. I have to say that I am impressed.

Score: 6.5/10

Luis: There are some good ideas here, but the song doesn’t quite reach the heights a proper dark ballad should. It’s a bit languid, and while it’s not a bad song to have in the back. it doesn’t really stir anything inside. Vera sings about the pains of her “Black Heart”, but she doesn’t manage to create something so meaningful for the listeners to empathise with. This could be so much better than it is.

Score: 5.5/10

Robyn: I want to love this song, but it’s just not delivering where it should. It starts off sounding like it will be packed full of just the right kind of darkness and menace. And it does deliver that, to some extent. But the song drags. It’s in no hurry to take the listener on a journey. “Black Heart” feels like a missed opportunity.

Score: 6.5/10

In the Moldovan Wiwi Jury, we have 10 jurors but only room for 5 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Aline: 6/10

Barnabas: 7.5/10

Bernardo: 6/10

Jonathan: 5/10

Lukas: 6/10

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 5 and a high of 7.5.

WIWI JURY VERDICT: 5.93/10

See our list of O melodie pentru Europa 2018’s rankings here

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
AngieP
Guest
AngieP

“Once upon a time”: Forgettable. Not a fan. 4/10
“Black heart”: Nice beat with a good voice. It has a strong chorus I like. 6/10

Colin
Guest
Colin

Once Upon a Time – Really beautiful song, my favorite in Moldova. 8.5/10

Black Heart – It’s interesting, I like dark ballads. This one is just okay, though. 6/10

Colin
Guest
Colin

After seeing the performances, OUAT went to a 9/10 and BH to a 6.5/10. Definitely great in live!

Max
Guest
Max

Sandy C sounds like Florence Welsh in the second verse of Once Upon A Time. It’s really interesting to listen to how much their voices contrast in both melodic interpretation and pitch. I really like that ballad: the melody is not so predictable, the lyrics are ok and the instrumentation is beautiful, just as their voices. And on top of that Aaron’s just a damn beautiful man.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I sign everything you just wrote! 🙂