Ze Evrosong (North Macedonia) 2022 Reviews: Lara Ivanova and Ris Flower

Lara Ivanova — “Flower of Sorrow”
The ballad of this national selection initially ticks all the usual boxes: piano, strings, lift to the chorus. Then it changes direction for a while, focusing on guitars and drum for the second chorus before combining all the instruments for the next chorus. It’s an effective technique, filling out the song and lifting it to the next level without needing to do much with the vocals. Surprisingly, Ivanova doesn’t stretch herself much throughout — there isn’t a big note or particularly dramatic moment which you can point to. This might also end up being the song’s downfall, along with its remarkably abrupt ending.

Ris Flower — “Flying to Berlin”
The indie rock fan in me can appreciate the guitar work and the overall atmosphere of the song, especially in the verses. But I’m becoming a broken record in saying that the chorus falls flat, both musically, where Flower misses the opportunity to let loose a bit; and also lyrically, where it’s too predictable and awkward (“I need you asap”). I think his vocals are pleasantly smooth and the guitar solo is nice, but if you’re doing rock, I expect more commitment to the cause than he’s giving us.