Forgoing the usual epic national final, FYR Macedonia enlisted Kaliopi to be its representative at Eurovision this year, and today she presented her song “Crno i belo”:
There is really just one melody in “Crno i belo,” with a minor variation to act as a chorus, and Kaliopi repeats it ad naseum. Starting off on piano, she proceeds to add new, increasingly loud and increasingly shrill musical instruments over the course of the three minutes. Going from a sensitive ballad into a mid-tempo hard rock song complete with ridiculous hair metal guitar solo does nothing to inject any life into it. It’s competent for what it is, but I don’t think it really adds up to much in the end.
“Crno i belo” will be performed in the first half of the second Semi, and I think it operates in the same space as Croatia’s Nina Badric’s “Nebo,” which will be performed later that night. Comparing the two makes me appreciate “Nebo” more, because Nina does a good job of building the song to a peak, rather than just throwing a whole bunch of sturm und drang at it to simulate a climax. In the end, I’d be willing to bet “Nebo” will be moving on to the Final long after everyone has forgotten about “Crno i belo.”