Pabandom iš Naujo (Lithuania) 2022 Heat 2 Reviews: Ieva Zasimauskaitė and Justin 3 feat. nanaart

These are the two songs I couldn’t find online before the heat aired. Of course, I already know the results now, but I’ll not to let that influence my reviews.

Ieva Zasimauskaitė — “I’ll Be There”
There’s always the warm sense of seeing an old friend again when a former Eurovision contestant makes another attempt at the contest. Zasimauskaitė represented Lithuania in 2018 with “When We’re Old”, a charming ballad which finished 12th in the final and had the most balance in terms of its appeal to both the juries and the televote (90 points from the former, and 91 points from the latter). This time she’s stuck to the piano-drived ballad format, except there’s build and more musical variation. Her voice hasn’t lost any of its charm, and the song is well-produced and catchy, even though it feels generic at times. My main concern is that comparisons with “When We’re Old” are inevitable (as I’ve just demonstrated), and I don’t think “I’ll Be There” doesn’t win that duel.

Justin 3 feat. Nanaart — “Something That Is Natural”
This was a pleasant surprise — a saxophone that carried most of this slice of Americana along as though wrapped in an evening haze. Lyrically there’s nothing special, and I wasn’t impressed by the section where the male vocal is central, but otherwise there’s a bit of dusty heartland magic about this song. The primary vocalist might not articulate some words particularly well, but when she hits the chorus, it’s just what the song needs.