2015 Review: Armenia

This year Armenia is focusing on its diaspora and commemorating what happened in 1915 with the Genealogy and the song “Don’t Deny” “Face the Shadow.”

Inga and Anush Arshakyan describe the situation in their 2009 entry:

“Without me we cannot be, can’t you see? We aren’t free, fixed like a tree to the holy ground.”

And since much of the diaspora share the same story, ARMTV gathered the artists Essai, Tamar Kaprelian, Vahe Tilbian, Stephanie Topalian, Mary-Jean O’Doherty,  and Inga Arshakyan, five from the five continents (apparently South America got disregarded) to represent the diaspora and the final from Armenia.

Judging simply by the music and lyrics, the song doesn’t pull major political strings at the surface level since it’s mainly about people facing shadows and dark things/times in their lives. At a deeper level, the lyrics are a call to the diaspora to remember the past events. However, since the lyrics are in English, one could argue that it’s for the non-Armenian-speaking diaspora or for certain parties who don’t recognize the events.

The first song that I thought of after hearing “Face the Shadow” was Switzerland’s 2006 entry, which was another supergroup with six lead artists that didn’t have the best chemistry. That was pretty much caused by the molding the artists around the (borderline generic) song. The composers of “Face the Shadow” seem to have done a better job, writing the song around the artists to fit their voices and vocal styles. Still, there’s only so much they can do to cram six distinct voices into three minutes. Compared to most songs in the contest, the verses seem to be a little “disorganized” as all artists need to be showcased. It gets a lot cleaner once they leave the second verse and start the refrain; there the voices blend and they go from their individual identities to their one cultural identity.

Overall it’s a good song in studio. I’ve yet to hear it live, and I wonder how it will be staged in Vienna. Part of me is thinking that forget-me-nots are going to be involved, but that might not happen since that might end up being too political.


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