There have been many Eurovision songs in the last several years that have what I call the countdown effect. This is where a song either meanders to fill the allotted three minutes or ends abruptly because time is almost up. Ukraine has taken this metaphor to the next level, thanks to the winner of its national selection “Time” by the rock band O.Torvald.
There is a lot to love about this entry. First, this song is in no way a retread of last year’s winning entry “1944” by Jamala, so it shows off the versatility of Ukraine’s Eurovision process. As the host country, Ukraine gets an automatic pass to the Grand Final, which allows for a song outside of the Pop Music Industrial Complex to have a showcase it probably would not get otherwise. Austria’s 2015 entry was a good example of this, though it failed to score any points in the Grand Final (oops). I think a song like this could advance from a semi-final, but better to bank on a sure thing.
That’s not to say there isn’t stuff to work on between now and May 13. The lyrics could use one more pass to clean up some of the phrasing. The vocals in the above video are thin and may get overwhelmed on a significantly larger stage. The timing devices also need better synchronization–the one-second differential distracted from the performance.
All in all, this is an excellent radio-friendly rock song that has the potential to do well for the home team.