The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we head to Belarus to review national final winner and Ukraine pop star Alekseev with his song “Forever”. Did we want his song to be ours forever? Read on to find out!
Alekseev – “Forever”
Anthony: Despite the inevitable conclusion at Eurofest, Alekseev’s vocals were all over the place. A repeat performance in Lisbon and he won’t be so lucky. The Russian version sounded mysterious but magical, swapping it with English lyrics felt awkward enough to kill the mood. And like a Great British Bake Off showstopper, staging will either amaze you or flop with a soggy bottom.
Bernardo: I was really excited listening to the studio cut of “Forever” but the live performance was chaotic and so were Alekseev’s vocals. It was very hard for me to find a note on key — hopefully he can work this out before Lisbon. As it stands, it’s a nice mid-tempo song. It’s not incredible but it isn’t disposable. At the end of the day, it won’t hurt anyone.
Chris: “Forever” would have romped to a Eurovision victory in the 00’s, and maybe even the early part of this decade. But now, Eurovision may have passed the song by. The national final performance seemed to highlight that even Alekseev and his team recognise this issue, as they through a hefty staging gimmick behind it. It’s slightly more memorable than some though, and if Alekseev’s vocals have improved for the “original” version, don’t rule it out from the final.
Jovana: “Forever” is a decent song, one of those that follow the recipe on how to write an entry that will do well. It is has a little bit of everything, slower rhythm, faster rhythm, drama, piano, electronica etc. But I cannot escape a feeling that Alekseev could have done better, that he deserved something better. It sounds like his voice could belt out something bigger than this.
Padraig: Back during Belarus’ selection, it felt like you were only allowed to either love or hate “Forever”. But I’ve always sat somewhere in between. Few other songs set the mood so well, but at times the brooding and gloomy atmosphere veers dangerously close to creepy. And it soon begins to drag, especially during Alekseev’s excruciatingly tuneless national final performance. Thankfully, his Voice performances suggest that that was a one-off hiccup which we won’t have to live through again in Lisbon. Nonetheless, it’s clear why Alekseev switched allegiances from Ukraine to Belarus – “Forever” would have struggled to reach the Vidbir final, let alone win it.
William: “Forever” has a timeless quality. The classical melody could have been born in any number of decades, but the modern production pulls it firmly into 2018. The sound drips with nostalgia and longing, carrying a strong regional identity that translates well outside of Eastern Europe. The staging at the national final — flashing body suits and LED everything — took me out of this world, but the dodgy vocals brought me back to earth. Thankfully Alekseev has had plenty of time to work on that — and to find a crew of backing vocalists to complement his own talents. If it all comes together, he’ll more than claw his way out of the semi-final of death.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 20 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 8.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.36/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!