First Listen: Montenegro Has “The Real Thing”

But does Montenegro have a thing that's any good?

Highway will represent Montenegro at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden. (Screen: YouTube) Highway will represent Montenegro at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden. (Screen: YouTube)

I really appreciate Montenegro’s presence in the song contest; stylistically speaking, we never quite know whether to expect a legitimately well-done ballad, a “monetary breakdance,” or a space alien who distorts time and gravity. What is Montenegro giving up this year — a serious attempt at a successful entry, or a goofy loser that keeps Eurovision weird?

Darn, I was hoping for “goofy loser.” This is just not a good entry. Wait, here’s something positive: I like the dancer, she’s great! Otherwise, it’s angsty in a way that’s not compelling, doesn’t tell a story (we get it: you’re good at sex!) or create an inviting atmosphere, and doesn’t make particularly good use of EDM/dubstep elements. It’s also repetitive, similar to this year’s Dutch entry, and so is likely to wear out its welcome pretty quickly among listeners / voters. Last but not least, the lyrics “you’ve got speedy shadows on the walls / i see you inside them” has to be in the running for the year’s worst lyrics. I feel like we HAVE to start an annual contest for that.

From what I have seen so far, this year’s contest has a pretty good variety of song types that I’m looking forward to hearing — it’s not too ballad heavy — so “The Real Thing” wouldn’t even be useful in the Grand Final as a palate cleanser. If this song does make it through the qualification round and into the final, it’ll only be because of countries like San Marino.

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