Hungary holds a special place in my heart because of a book I read as a child, “The Good Master.” It was set on the Hungarian plains and concerned the adventures of cousins Kate and Jancsi. I remember being enchanted by how different life was there. Serbia I know of because of the 1990s wars. Then I remembered that Nikola Tesla was Serbian. Very cool. Macedonia is a mystery to me. Sort of like Greece, but not really? Regardless, let’s see what these countries have to offer by way of music.
Kaliopi is representing Macedonia with the rock ballad, Crno i Belo
I like her voice. It’s got a husky, rocker quality that’s imperfect but has power. The song builds from slow ballad to rock and roll about half-way through. The hook has just a hint of traditional flavor. I liked it. It’s different from what I’ve been hearing so far. It’s not my favorite, but I’d definitely like to see her perform live.
Željko Joksimović is representing Serbia with the ballad, Nije Ljubav Stvar
He’s got a great voice. Very smooth and effortless. I liked the song, especially the traditional hook. Then I noticed in the YouTube comments that people were comparing this to Coldplay’s Paradise. So I listened to the two songs one after the other. Definitely some similarities, but this isn’t a rip-off. Of the two, though, I prefer Paradise. Again, this is good, but not my favorite. However, with that voice, I wouldn’t count him out.
Compact Disco is representing Hungary with the rock ballad, Sound Of Our Hearts
A message video! Rich or poor, both characters sexually harass women and are need of anger management therapy. So, the message is that we’re more alike than different? Dunno. In this video, the singer has a good strong voice that suits the melancholy power of the music. However, I found a live performance where he sounds pitchy and nasal. Gotta wonder about auto-tuning. Though maybe he has a cold. We’ll see what he brings to the semi-finals.
Of the three, I liked Hungary’s song the best. I’m uncertain about the true quality of the singer’s voice, so no winners for me here.
These videos are from the list of Eurovison 2012 contestants on YouTube.