Pabandom iš Naujo (Lithuania) National Final 2022 Heat 1: Sun Francisco and Voldemars Petersons

Sun Francisco — “Dream Again”
I didn’t think I’d be listening to lounge jazz when I pressed play on this song, although maybe the blue leaves in the video should have been a small clue. This genre isn’t my thing, but I don’t mind this song at all. It’s nice. The lyrics are competent, and I’d be pleased to hear this song being played if I ended up in a quiet bar at the end of a night out. Here’s the problem: it’s Eurovision, not a dive bar. Sure, since “Amar Pelos Dois” won for Portugal in 2017, the notion of a jazz song winning the contest has been proven not to be impossible, but this doesn’t feel like it has that kind of cut-through.

Voldemars Petersons — “Up”
We’ve gone from classy but ultimately doomed to a song that really needs a lot of work. Let’s begin with the lyrics. If I didn’t have the video clip, I’d think that this was a song about video gaming. But maybe it’s about the climate crisis? It’s hard to tell, because too often the phrases are disjointed, a medley of English words that fit the rhyming pattern, but definitely don’t come together to create a coherent narrative. The music is fairly basic EDM that sounds like it also came from a video game, with some cheesy guitar solos that don’t do much either way. There are some catchy elements to this track, but they’re overshadowed by all the layers of awkwardness.