Croatia! Long time no see! The former Yugoslavian state has taken a break from the Eurovision Song Contest, last competing in 2013 with the pretty yet misguided entry “Mizerja”, which capped a four year streak of failing to make it to the final. Opting for another internal selection this year, Croatia will be sending the winner of the first season of their version of The Voice1 Nina Kraljic with the song “Lighthouse” to Stockholm. Take a listen2:
As a personal preference, this song isn’t really my jam. It feels a little overproduced, though that may be some audio trickery to make it available to those of us Stateside.3 I’m not one for nautical metaphors, especially since this one seems to make only about 80% of the journey to completion.
That being said, I think this is a strong return for Croatia. Their 2013 entry was lovely to listen to, but its style was not a good match for Eurovision and the group featured six performers, which hamstrung them when it came to staging. I looooooooved their 2012 entry “Nebo”, but that feeling seemed to be shared by almost no one outside of the former Yugoslavia. Oddly, this sounds more Irish than Ireland’s entry. Perhaps that is some strategy on Croatia’s part?
In terms of stuff to work on, make the doggone song easily available to people outside of Europe (or wherever the region blocking is affected). I would also advise against getting too literal in the stage presentation, as that could make the performance more circus-y than engaging.
Welcome back, Croatia! You have been missed.