First Listen: Ukraine’s Eurovision Entry “Tick-Tock”

The 2014 Eurovision Song Contest has officially begun with Ukraine's selection of "Tick-Tock" by Maria Yaremchuk. Here are some first impressions of the track.

Feel free to question my devotion to the Eurovision Song Contest, I’m not waking up at 5am on a Saturday to watch a national selection, even if it is Ukraine’s. Also, tis the season for waking up to gifts and all. But is Maria Yaremchuk’s “Tick-Tock” a Tickle-Me Elmo or a white elephant?

 

 

What strikes me about this track is that it is a rather conventional pop song, which is not Ukraine’s typical style. Usually you can count on one aspect to be over-the-top in some nature, like the building vocal of “Gravity” (2013), the performance and dubious wordplay of “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” (2006), or just about everything in their winning entry “Wild Dances” (2004). In terms of style, this seems to be most similar to 2011’s “Angel” though “Tick-Tock” feels a bit dated in comparison.

Lyrically the song could use a few more passes. “We belong to each other / like a sister and a brother” is not the best way to open a love song, though it does raise eyebrows. The vocal is fine, but as the first selection of this year’s Contest, Ukraine could be setting the tone for more female pop singers. Well, more than usual. The song was the overwhelming audience winner in the selection, and with a few edits and remasters, Ukraine could produce a viable entry. It doesn’t have the immediate resonance which defines future Eurovision winners, but “Tick-Tock” could be a fun entry to watch in Copenhagen.

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