Vidbir (Ukraine) 2022 Reviews: Our Atlantic and Barleben

Our Atlantic — “Моя любов”
What do you get when you mix fairly chilled pop music with an eclectic singer who likes to sing in the upper range of his vocal range? A song that works surprisingly well, as it happens. The weakness here is that I can’t recognise a specific vocal hook or something to anchor my understanding of the song’s structure, but I’m not sure this bothers me as much as it otherwise would. I really appreciate the guitar grooves, and the singer is an instrument in his own right as far as I’m concerned. He also looks like he’d have good stage presence. Not sure this is going to win, but I like it — there’s something about this that feels different (in a good way) to anything else we’ve heard so far in the national selections.

Barleben — “Hear My Words”
Piano ballad that never really goes anywhere or leaves much of an impression. Yes, Barleben has a pleasant jazzy voice, and the chords which accompany him are classically-influenced: an unusual twist which I’m sure some juries will love. But here’s the thing: ballads at Eurovision either need to be power ballads, or have a crescendo which captivates the audience. It’s definitely not the the former, and I don’t hear the latter. But in terms of having some musical variety, this certainly is in a category on its own.