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Thread: BULGARIA 2016 - Poli Genova - If Love Was A Crime

  1. Administrator escYOUnited's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    BULGARIA 2016 - Poli Genova - If Love Was A Crime

    Poli Genova - If Love Was A Crime

    Poli graduated from The National Music School "Ljubomir Pipkov", focusing on clarinet. Now she is in her third year of study to become a film director. Even so, she continues her singing career and is involved in several projects. Genova is part of the UNICEF Charity Project "The Magnificent Six", stands as a vocalist for "Azis' Show" and "Dani Milev Band" in the first edition of the reality show "Dancing with the Stars: Bulgaria".

    In 2005 and 2006 she took part in the National Selection of Eurovision Song Contest as a member of the trio "Melody".

    In 2011 she represented Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, with her song "Na inat", but didn't qualify to the finals. Her debut album was released in the same year.

    She was a judge on the first series of the Bulgarian version of The X Factor.

    On 21 October 2015, it was announced that Poli would host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

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    Likes  Mii11, nikolay_BG liked this post

  2. Legend
    tuorem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Re: BULGARIA 2016 - Poli Genova - If Love Was A Crime

    It's time for me to review this year's Bulgarian entry

    Poli Genova - If Love Was A Crime
    Status: Yaas! Anthem! Let me bow down!

    Song: In my opinion, Bulgaria has been one of the most underrated ESC participants since 2009, or maybe their entries just happened to be right up my alley, I don't know. They never qualified until this year (since I watched the contest), but I think their track record is nothing to be ashamed of tbh: I liked some efforts that didn't get much love from anyone (2009, 2010), I also enjoyed "Samo Shampioni" (2013) after the contest (I think the performance was strong and deserved a qualification) and I loved "Love Unlimited" (2012) from the start: they were so robbed that year imo I was so glad to see Bulgaria return this year after a two-year absence, however I was kind of stressed for them because they needed to "strike hard" not to join the group of non-qualifiers again; in their case, it wasn't easy since they've been sending various genres in recent years but nothing seemed to be successful. When the name of Poli Genova was officially announced, people were so over the moon... Personally, I wasn't because - I know it's an unpopular opinion - I never liked Na Inat not that I disliked it though, it was just ok and its non-qualification didn't shock me in 2011. With that being said, I was waiting for the song before criticizing that choice because it was said that that new effort would be completely different, and what a change! "If Love Was A Crime" - Bulgaria's comeback entry - is a pop song with electro/rnb influences that deals with two protagonists in love who realize that - despite the fact their relationship may not be well seen by society - their feelings towards each other make them feel alive and strong enough to defy that taboo. The message is of course very nice, even though overall the lyrics fit the Eurovision standards perfectly: metaphor with stars, some easy lines and not a particularly well-thought wording imo. Remember I was mocking the lyrics in this thread some time ago due to the amazing "If love was a crime, then we would be criminals" line, but I've come to get used it because the music is just too good that I can forgive this lyrical weakness. The song starts with a piano arrangement and a computer-distorted voice sample (which has been replaced by a flute sound for the live performances), I admit it's intriguing and not to everyone's liking, but I like it. Then Poli starts singing the first lines of the first verse while a discreet beat joins the piano chords pattern. I really appreciate the rhythmic phrasing they opted for, it's definitely not a common one and I think it brings dynamism and "tension", as it may make people expect the song to "explode" at some point, you're not allowed to have a flat chorus with such a starting pace. I love the fact that instruments and sounds progressively appear: electronic sounds and additional drums can be heard during the second part of the first verse, then the instrumentation completely changes twice during the pre-chorus (stripped down atmosphere at first with slower beat and synthesizers that becomes an efficient build up with rnb light drums and sounds that remind me of steel drum So exotic! It's also the part when Poli's voice is the most melodious, I consider it the first hook of the song as the melody is powerful and easy to remember imo. After a few seconds of vocal distortions, the chorus starts off with an almost shouted "they will never bring us down" line, followed by a sentence in Bulgarian repeated several times. At first, I thought it was a rather lazy chorus, but it actually became more powerful and catchier every time I listened to it. The piano pattern acts like a bass line setting a clear groovy mood, the drums are busy and cheerful, some electronic "embellisments" develop the instrumentation, and Poli's voice is accompanied by backing voices and a reverb that imo make the chorus sound anthem-like. I can imagine "If Love Was A Crime" be sung in a stadium or become the official song of an international sports event, it conveys an energy that goes beyond the fact it is an uptempo song. The vocal sample of the beginning was used as a transition to the second verse that has almost the same arrangements as the first one (with an added light electronic drum), but that's not an issue as all the successive changes in instrumentation last a few seconds only, so it never becomes boring or repetitive. After the second chorus, a short intrumental part includes a flute whose melodic pattern corresponds to the vocal sample (used previously) that comes back before new lyrical lines - used both during the bridge and at the end of the song - are introduced. During the last chorus, trumpets join the previous arrangements, thus giving a needed fresh flavour to that part, I love it Overall, I liked the song from the start, but it grew a lot on me, and now I love it, it's a banger! Bulgarians did resort to an international team this time and it worked like a charm: "If Love Was A Crime" has a wide appeal, yet it doesn't fall into the mainstream laziness category due to its original arrangements. It is impactful, energetic and the several tempo changes and musical additions prevent it from being monotonous. Really strong effort from Bulgaria, well done guys!

    Voice: Poli's got a voice and she knows how to perform live. As she said, she was much more relaxed and confident this year because she capitalized on her previous participation in the contest. She seemed quite stressed at the beginning of her semi performance (well, there was a lot at stake, so that's understandable) but succeeded in going with the flow in the course of the song. During the final, I think her vocals and stage presence were on point, she was alone on stage for a long time, yet I didn't feel any awkwardness or emptiness, unlike some other singers.

    Staging: The performance started with a close-up of Poli's face, which was the perfect opportunity to admire her gorgeous hairstyle and make-up (golden eye shadows, black mascara and bold dark lipstick ). Her voluminous earring was also standing out big time. Actually, I approved of her futuristic looks: she wore a black long outfit with sharp shoulder and forearm black/white pads, skin-like pale salmon pink rectangles were visible on her chest and arms. The outfit was open on the front, which allowed people to see her matching trousers (black at the sides and salmon pink fabric with white adornments on the front). A French guillemet-shaped black/white earring and some black rings completed the look. Personally, I found her beautiful and the boldness of her appearance fit the currentness of the song imo. Let's get back to the staging: after the close-up, one might see Poli was standing at the back of the stage, near the backdrops that displayed what seemed to be a moving TV white noise pattern interspersed with white vertical "waves" going from the center to the sides of the stage (same projections on the floor). During the pre-chorus, strobe lights located above the backdrops were used, then lights turned yellow and only a vertical column at the center of the stage remained sparkly before the chorus. The white noise pattern then expanded again everywhere (with reversed white waves this time) but on the lowest backdrops that showed several moving shadows of dancers. During the second verse, the stage intermittently became white, with a fade to the white noise pattern. I hadn't noticed that before, but the staging is actually quite simple: it has absolutely no colour but it's not austere (unlike Israel), it's shiny but not excessively so (unlike Azerbaijan), yet it still manages to be dynamic, classy and more than enough to "illustrate" the song imo. Less is more when visuals are well-thought, which was the case here. As for Poli's "chicken dance", it's just brilliant to me as some people said, it would have looked ridiculous for most entries, but it actually works there. Poli has a stage presence, but it was a clever move to make her perform a dance routine for the chorus. During the last chorus, Poli's pads (shoulder, forearm, knee, calf, thigh) lit up and her backing vocalists - all dressed in black - joined her on the main platform of the stage. Honestly, everything was on point to me; I loved everything about the performances.

    Outcome: Bulgaria qualified for the final and placed 4th overall, since Poli was ranked 7th with juries and 5th with televoters. First of all, congrats guys for qualifying after nine years of absence in the final! That was more than deserved AND you reached your best result to date! Yay! Personally - even though 4th place is already amazing - I think you were underrated with juries. For instance, they ranked my country (France) 3rd while we were nowhere near as powerful and polished as you, I don't get that 7th position. Sweden would have won again with your song, but that's how it goes. In my personal ranking, "If Love Was A Crime" is 2nd out of 42 in my ranking: I knew right away it would be in my top 10, but 2nd place was unexpected, it was my biggest grower of the year as it progressively beat all my previous faves but one. Welcome back guys, I'm so happy for you, I hope this great result will encourage you to stay and keep on trying. Please stay true to yourselves musically though, your 2016 effort was the perfect balance between mainstream appeal and originality imo, I wish you good luck for next year and look forward to your future entry
    Likes  94ayd, Eulaliya, Carian, MonkeyJaw liked this post


  3. Guru
    Mainshow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018

    Re: BULGARIA 2016 - Poli Genova - If Love Was A Crime

    6 points - one of the best Bulgarian entries in Eurovision, I didn't get the hype, though.

    I was happy to see Bulgaria being that successful, though,... kinda made up for the fact that Sofi Marinova didn't qualify back in 2012.

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