The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 songs that had been selected for Eurovision 2020. Next up, we take a look at Eurovision 2006 star Natalia Gordienko, who won Moldova‘s national selection with her song “Prison”. Did we want to escape from her prison? Read on to find out!
Natalia Gordienko – “Prison”
Bernardo: I love me some dramatic epic songs. Having said that, “Prison” is not that song. I don’t understand why teams keep pushing songs in English when the singer does not have the diction to carry it 100%. No shade to Natalia — she’s a great vocalist — but better to keep it in Romanian. While I enjoy some parts of the song, it does not capture my interest as it falls flat as a studio cut. Mind that the live Eurovision performance could totally change my mind.
Natalie: Eurovision wouldn’t be Eurovision without some way-too-dramatic pop music from Eastern Europe. Those dark pulsating beats always need to see some life, and Natalia is great at this. Maybe I’ve just acquired a taste for this kind of music over the many years of Europop in my life, but I have a big soft spot for this song. Maybe it’s just my love for the thick bass line, but when Natalia shouts “PRISON”, I just swallow it up. And then the woodwind comes in… and it’s just so good. I’m sure it would’ve crashed in the semifinal but I’ll still replay it over and over.
Oliver: At first listen, I really did not find this song particularly appealing. The structure felt a bit jarring and offbeat with the verses and chorus making it a little difficult to follow and warm to. Over time, however, I really began to enjoy the dark atmosphere and mysteriousness surrounding the song, most notably the haunting fusion of voices that builds during the bridge into the final chorus.
Tobias: Moldova surprises me this year with “Prison”. From the start, it is an interesting song that serves high energy until the end! I could listen to it without being bothered but I wouldn’t add it to my Spotify list. You can tell Moldova tried with something contemporary this year by inviting foreign songwriters but the result is nothing out of the ordinary.
William: Tormented beauty, thy name is Natalia! “Prison” is among the most unusual ballads we’ve had at Eurovision in recent years. It brings together classic tropes — woman in pain, love as a place of torment — and wraps them up in pure power balladry. But the production merges traditional sounds — that flute, for instance — with some thoroughly contemporary rhythms and sounds courtesy of that heavy electronic beat and plenty of digital clangs. Moldova’s studio space is nothing to be envied, yet at two minutes they manage to use the wall to create a haunting landscape that would have only elevated in Rotterdam. Among the most original takes on a broken romance in recent memory.
Natalia Gordienko – “Prison” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five 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 2 and a high of 8.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.75/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!