The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we take a journey to North Macedonia where Vasil has “Here I Stand”. Did we stand by his song? Read on to find out!
Vasil – “Here I Stand”
“Here I Stand” reviews
Jonathan: There’s a balance between showcasing vocal talent and retaining an emotional connection with the listener. While a song may be crafted for a live performance that delivers the WOW vocal moment, you run the risk of the polished production removing some of the underlying raw emotion. Vasil clearly connects with “Here I Stand” himself and it’s touching to see. However, despite being a fan of theatrical ballads at the best of times, the studio cut of “Here I Stand” currently leaves me feeling indifferent – hence the bang average score.
Robyn: Vasil is a super talented singer — easily the best in Eurovision 2021 — and he’s made that the focal point of his 2021 entry. And that’s the problem. “Here I Stand” comes across less as a song and more as a three-minute showreel, a chance for Vasil to spotlight his impressive vocal talents. While “Here I Stand” is ostensibly about the devastation Vasil felt when Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, the song doesn’t have any hooks that will keep it lingering with listeners. “Here I Stand” feels more like a song for the singer than for Eurovision viewers. I’m giving points solely for Vasil’s flawless vocals.
Kristín: “Here I Stand” is the song to put in the middle of straight-to-DVD of *insert any Disney movie ever*. I see it! The protagonist is standing alone on a dirt road, he/she has pissed everyone off, everything is falling apart and now it’s time to make things better by belting out the theme song. Yes! With that said, I kind of like this song. It’s a cliché á la mode song but yet there is something charming and true about it. Vasil’s genuine sincerity shines through and that definitely gives an otherwise plain song a much needed boost. I just hope that it won’t be overproduced once it hits the stage in Rotterdam, because it’s about raw emotions, and that alone should be the main centrepiece. Otherwise it could simply get lost and forgotten, and I don’t want that for Vasil. He is a diamond and must be protected at any cost. With any other singer, this would go directly to the “meh” file, but Vasil brings that extra kick to the table and lifts “Here I Stand” just above the average.
Oliver: Vasil is the protagonist in his own exuberant Off-off-off-Broadway autobiographical show. “Here I Stand” is high camp right from the get-go. That’s glorious. But the energy is wasted on tired clichés and tropes. The lyrics are corny, the structure is messy and the chorus is lacklustre with no real hook. This song sounds like an overzealous superfan tribute to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat — minus any kind of sing-along quality that makes those cheesy Andrew Lloyd Webber tracks remotely enjoyable. Even if Vasil nails the live vocal, North Macedonia seems destined to stay in the semi-final this year.
Pablo: This is… a lot. “Here I Stand” is a wall of sound that can overwhelm the unprepared. What wants to pass by as theatricality and a musical number can make oneself feel like they just came out of a brawl. Strings! Voice! Instrumental! Choir! Notes! Pathos! It borders on pomposity, and I find the instrumentals mismatched with the lyrical rhythm, making the final product feel like West End chaos. The silver lining for North Macedonia would be that this track could be pretty hard to overlook as long as the volume is cranked up to eleven.
Vasil – “Here I Stand” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 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 1.5 and a high of 7.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 4.05/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!