Initial Review: “Sentimentai” by Monika Liu (Lithuania)

Of all the four songs chosen to go to Eurovision this week, I’m afraid Lithuania’s selection of “Sentimentai” by Monika Liu is the one that connects the least with me. Liu comfortably won both the televote and jury vote in the final to give her a win no one could really argue with. I understand she is one of the most prominent singers in Lithuania, so it’s makes perfect sense to send her to Eurovision — this is an approach I definitely encourage more countries to do if possible. However, what we have here is a very old-fashioned song dressed up in modern production which might bring up all sorts of nostalgic feelings among some juries and older televoters, but I’m not sure that will be enough to send it to the final. (Of course, I have been wrong many times before about who qualifies and who doesn’t.)

This is the first time Lithuania has sent a song in Lithuanian in twenty years, so it is worth celebrating this track for that reason alone. In my brief review I suggested that Liu needed to have a strong stage presence in addition to her smooth, versatile voice to be able to pull off the genre at Eurovision, and that she most certainly has. The enhanced staging her entry will have by the time she reaches Turin no doubt will improve her chances by creating a more elaborate backdrop to really bring out the old world feel of her song.

Even though this song isn’t for me, I don’t think it’s a bad track by any means. It has charm and offers something different to all the other entries to this year’s contest we’ve seen so far. The question will be whether this meandering, contemplative song will stand out or fade away.