Selecţia Naţională (Romania) 2022 Reviews: Aris and Ayona

Aris — “Do Svidaniya”
Sometimes there’s a song which might not be particularly brilliant musically or vocally, but it’s memorable, and that’s enough. There’s been a bit of a buzz around this track, because if there’s one thing you’re not going to be able to get out of your head, it’s “I’m not your a Russian doll / You ain’t a Russian spy […] Do Svidaniya”. The vocals? They’re fine, and same for the music: it’s basic EDM with some well-placed changes in pace. But it doesn’t really matter because the focus is on this story of intrigue — not a lament on a faceless lover, but something with more substance. There’s even a few whispered lines in Russian towards the end — it’s almost like the Cold War all over again.

Ayona — “Let Me Come to You”
An unimpressive first 45 seconds where Ayona isn’t articulating the English words of her lyrics enough eventually builds to a thumping electro-pop beat and a promising chorus. From there on, we stay in this mode for as long as possible, which is sensible given than Ayona clearly prefers the louder parts where she gets to make use of the growl in her voice. This would have worked better if they’d either kept the intro shorter, or left the song on full throttle for the last minute rather than including the awkward instrumental at 2:20 — it ruined the momentum and didn’t add anything.