It’s fair to say that Russia has (for the most part) brought out the big guns for Eurovision in recent years, and subsequently reaped the rewards. And those Russian starts of the 200s haven’t stopped working. We’re continuing to take a look at some of their new releases.
Russia’s track record from the 2000s is impressive. Naturally, Dima Bilan took home the victory in 2008. But Russia also only hit the right-hand side of the grand-final scoreboard once throughout the entire decade. The artists that represented the country during this period were, and still are, producing some standout tracks.
Therefore, we thought it was only right to take a look at what some of Russia’s stars of the 2000s were up to now.
We have already looked at new releases from Alsou, Mumiy Troll and Lena Katina. And here’s a round-up of the latest musical offerings from Natalia Podolskaya, Serebro, Elena Temnikova and Anastasia Prikhodko.
Natalia Podolskaya – “Проиграл” and “Сильная Слабая”
Natalia Podolskaya has the unfortunate honour of being the only Russian Eurovision representative of the 2000s to end up on the right-hand side of the scoreboard, placing 15th with her song “Nobody Hurt No One” in 2005. But that hasn’t stopped the Belarusian-born singer, who is still dropping some great pop tracks to this day. Following “Ни много ни мало” in late 2017, Natalia released “Проиграл” (“Lost”) in April this year — and what a treat it is! Starting off with a heavy synthesiser beat and the singer’s smooth vocals, the song moves into an infectious chorus that you can’t help singing along with after you’ve heard it once.
The accompanying music video sees Natalia and her partner enjoying the spoils of their luxurious mansion and lifestyle — snooker table, fancy jewellery, a number of dogs, and even a bit of strip chess. However, the Eurovision alumn soon becomes impatient with her muscled partner as he focuses on his work instead of her. Not one to be ignored, Natalia begins kitting herself out with combat equipment, and eventually points a rifle at her half-naked fella.
The Eurovision alumni’s latest release is Сильная Слабая (“Strong Weakness”). In the song Natalia is battling within herself, as although she feels strong on many occasions there are times when she feels like a different person and is unable to use the strength she has: “I can do everything myself, I’m strong / But here again I am afraid to believe, I am weak / I’m afraid to fall and I do fall / I do not understand who I am, as if there’s two of me”. The music video sees the two sides of the singer represented as she works some black and white fabric. At other times, however, Natalia wears a large red hat, held to her head by red ribbon — unfortunately it’s perhaps more Barbara Dex Award worthy than runway couture.
Serebro – “Chico Loco”
Skipping forward a couple of years, and sandwiched in between Dima Bilan’s two Eurovision attempts, we find another podium finisher for Russia — girl group Serebro, who claimed third place with “Song #1” in 2007. Although numerous line-up changes mean Olga Seryabkina is the only original member left in the trio, that hasn’t stopped them from producing a plethora of excellent tracks over the past eleven years.
Following the release of “Новый год” and “111307” earlier this year, the girls’ latest is the English-Spanish bilingual track “Chico Loco”. With a Latin flavour to it, the song is a nice mid-tempo bop, but it’s not so summery that it feels out of place on an autumn music playlist. In addition to having fun on a carousel and relaxing by the pool, the track’s music video predominantly sees the three singers in front of a number of bubblegum and dessert-themed backdrops and props – in fact there’s more sweet treats featured here than for the music video of their 2016 hit “Chocolate”.
Elena Temnikova – “Не модные” music video, “Чёрные Белые” (with Callmeartur and Fabio) and “Под сердцами в кругах”
Original Serebro member turned solo star, Elena Temnikova has also had a busy 2018. Since last catching up with her she’s dropped the official music video for “Не модные” (“Not Fashionable”), the title track of her latest album. In it we see Elena travelling with her partner to party with other friends (whilst also casually advertising headphones). Reviewing the song previously in the context of the entire TEMNIKOVA III: Не модные album, we noted:
Copy and paste everything we’ve said about the previous two songs from the album here – if you’ve heard one song, you’ve heard all 13, and there’s not much variety in pace and style to keep casual fans interested enough to listen all the way through.
However, as a stand-alone song and with added visuals, the tune does pick up a bit more energy. In particular, its simple structure means it can quickly get stuck in your head.
Elena has also recently featured on a collaboration with fellow Russian musicians Callmeartur and Fabio on the song “Чёрные Белые” (“Black White”). A fairly standard hip-hop song, the Eurovision contestant’s vocals are only heard on one short verse while the rest of the song features a monotone, mid-tempo rap from the other two artists.
However, Elena has also released a new solo song herself. Titled “Под сердцами в кругах” (“Under the hearts in circles”), it’s the sort of track that we’ve come to expect from the Russian singer over recent years – a mid-tempo electronic song with a linear structure that doesn’t particularly go anywhere. Of course those who are fans of her previous work (and going by the millions of views on her music videos there’s a fair few of them) will likely still enjoy this new song as well. However, it won’t do much to broaden out her appeal and entice new fans in.
Anastasia Prikhodko – “Саме той”
Finally we reach the end of the decade where Anastasia Prikhodko represented Russia on home soil with the song “Mamo”, placing 11th. But while the Ukrainian-born singer may have vowed to never perform in Russia again following the invasion of Crimea, that hasn’t stopped her from producing new music. “Саме той” (“That’s The One”) is the first single from an upcoming Ukrainian-language album. And it’s been some time in the coming — the biographical song has been three years in the making.
A rock-ballad, the lyrics of the song are dedicated to the singer’s husband and explore Anastasia’s emotions at the early stages of their relationship when they went through an initial break-up. The music video, released with the song at the start of October, is filmed in black and white and sees Anastasia with her loved one and the pain she begins to feel when she loses him (though it’s not her actual husband in the video).
What do you think of these latest tracks from Russia’s past Eurovision stars? Let us know in the comments below!