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Thread: ARMENIA 2017 - Artsvik - Fly With Me

  1. Administrator escYOUnited's Avatar
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    ARMENIA 2017 - Artsvik - Fly With Me

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    May 2017

    Re: ARMENIA 2017 - Artsvik - Fly With Me


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    Jan 2012

    Re: ARMENIA 2017 - Artsvik - Fly With Me

    My review of "Fly With Me":

    -Armenia have sent this and that over this decade (never forget "Boom Boom"), but when they are willing to try their best, they definitely ain't playing. I loved several of their efforts ("Apricot Stone", "Not Alone" and "LoveWave") and I realise Armenians are low-key popping in the modern pop department. When it was announced that Artsvik's entry was written by the same composers as last year, I was delighted because I loved "LoveWave" and hoped they would keep going the experimental pop route. Needless to say that I wasn't disappointed by that new effort that was - voluntarily and thankfully - different from their 2016 entry. To me, while "LoveWave" is an experimental pop song including a hint of traditional flavour, "Fly With Me" is the total opposite: a traditional chant-inspired basis with experimental pop arrangements. The emphasised element isn't the same. The song started like a quiet lullaby: Artsvik sang in a soft voice, only accompanied by discreet piano notes (which slightly reminded me of Dilara's "Start A Fire"). I think it was a good start, the intimacy of the atmosphere almost made her sound like she confided in the listener. After those calm 30 seconds, all got silent before an arresting musical pattern resounded and nicely contrasted with the beginning, I can't tell what kind of instrument it is though. I like how it defied the listener's expectations who might have thought this was nothing more than a slow ballad. Then Artsvik resumed singing while both quiet beats and bass lines expanded the instrumentation, which drew a thin line already between alternative pop and ethnic flavour (at least the musical pattern did sound somewhat exotic to me). The vocal parts were very soft and melodic, and the strange and unexpected scraping sounds (I don't how to describe them) separating the sentences gave an edgy WTH-esque feel to the verses (same with the rumble/crackle-like sound that ensued). What I consider the first chorus is made up of two mere vocalises whose melody reminded me of an Asian traditional singing (India, China, you name it) - and noticeable organic percussions appeared as well - which clearly reinforced the ethnic hint of the first verse. The second verse was shorter than the first one, which isn't a bad thing here: the vocal variations were very enjoyable, Artsvik's voice was also more powerful and assertive there without being loud either, it was a subtle and mastered build-up vocally. The second chorus was composed of two sentences and the melody differed from the first one: I adored the vocal inflexions and musical emphasises on words here, it was very well done imo and reminded me of African chants this time. Afterwards, the instruments paused a little to introduce a traditional instrument that took us back to Armenia and Caucasia. Next surprise was the energetic, intricate and refined electro beat, giving another momentum to the song at this point. Artsvik finally belted out the same sentences as in the second chorus, but with a slightly different melody: the fact it was unmelodious at times made it really special and almost ritual-sounding. The song ended on a boom, which would be my only criticism, because it's the exact same as in LoveWave: only a die-hard ESC fan like me could have noticed that - and it's just a detail - yet they could have used a less similar sound imo. Overall, "Fly With Me" is a fantastic work on traditional singing that met avant-garde pop. The song isn't totally instant, it takes time to fully appreciate its power, but the best songs are usually growers, so I don't care. The structure was interesting, the build-up subtle and the sound effects clever. Pros: the vocal work which is the main interest of the song, the original and modern arrangements, the different ethnic flavours. Cons: the boom at the end was the same as LoveWave. Apart from that, given the ethnic nature of the composition, I would have loved the song to be sung in Armenian rather than in English. It would have made more sense to me and enhanced the song thanks to the language musicality.

    I have three highlights in this song: 1) at the beginning when the musical pattern kicks off after the instrumentation pauses. 2) the entire second chorus for the amazing vocal work. 3) when the energetic beat appears during the instrumental chorus.

    -Vocally, Artsvik was faultless. She got used to performing the song thanks to the Eurovision concerts and events, which probably made her confident for the actual shows. Honestly, both in the semi and final, she sounded the same as in the studio version AND replicated the nuances of her interpretation, which was vital imo. Lots of people were complaining about her winning the Armenian NF, but it's clear that they chose a song suitable for her vocal abilities, that she could sing live without any trouble. I loved her vocals here tbh. Well done gurl!

    -Visually, Sacha Jean-Baptiste outdid herself for Armenia once again, and more importantly took the song to another level by opting for an unexpected presentation. I guess we all have roughly the same ideas of staging when an entry is ethno/folk, so having visuals that were less connotated or predictable was a really good thing imo. It started with a dark camera shot of Artsvik in front of a plume of smoke and dark pink background. The smoke on the floor and the progressively moving black clouds on screen gave an otherworldly touch to the stage. I really liked the big ring behind the singer, which displayed various geometrical shapes, runic patterns and deities in blue, pink and purple shades (in line with the music video). The led screen went occasionally all white to lay emphasis on the verses' sound effects. I must say I loved the colour scheme (pink, white, black and purple are uncommon in Eurovision, especially for ethno-flavoured songs) and the whole imagery they tastefully included on stage. The work on white lights was on point too. Two dancers suddenly appeared next to Artsvik to perform a symmetrical arty choreo made of arm moves, Shiva-like poses and finger moves during the bridge closeup (great idea btw). The pyros, flames and flashing white light points to highlight the electronic beats worked well too. Finally (because there would be too much to say about the presentation otherwise), the 3D flying eagle was a cute way of ending the performance (reminiscent of the song title and Artsvik's own name meaning). Camera-wise, it was the best act of the year hands-down imo: Ukraine messed up some acts in this regard, but not Armenia. The well-conceived angles, the transitions fading to black, the quick camera changes a la "LoveWave", the nice closeups and earth-quake effect (so amazing!): it was really strong and mastered from beginning to end. Outfit-wise and hairstyle-wise, both Artsvik and her dancers looked mystical, sleek and fierce: two thumbs up from me! Overall, I have nothing negative to say about it or no suggestion for improvement, it blew me away from start to finish: arty, polished, mysterious, elegant, fierce and very suitable for the song, yet unexpected for that kind of song. And all without coming across as try-hard or over-the-top... Great job Armenia! You got me!

    -Results-wise, Armenia qualified, which was a formality of course. However, the 18th final placing is... embarrassing to say the least: their starting position wasn't the best, but the 5th slot isn't too bad, especially for an act that stands out so much. Between Austria and the Netherlands, I was confident they would shine like crazy, but that didn't happen. 18th place in televoting is quite low, even though I understand the song might come across as challenging and difficult to grasp at first listening. What I don't approve of is the juries' placing though: 14th place with 58pts... Ok, so musical merit and arty package don't matter, but the country name does. Why do I feel like they've mainly supported Western countries and almost no one else this year? Maybe a side effect of the Ukrainian drama... Anyway, this song deserved to be in the juries top 10, one can't overlook such a well-crafted effort, especially in a year full of forgettable entries. In my personal ranking, "Fly With Me" is currently my second favourite song of the year: Armenia brought their A-game to deliver a strong package at all levels, but failed to get the reward their deserved (it was the same last year). I'm sorry for this unfortunate outcome (many songs with far less qualities were better ranked), please don't abandon your convictions because of that. The path you've followed since last year is so unique it'd be a shame to go middle-of-the-road/formulaic next time. Please keep experimenting, try new things and - hopefully - we'll be able to hear your lovely language sometime soon. Fingers crossed for 2018, you're under my "winner" radar
    Likes  Preuss, Nikoreindeer1973 liked this post

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    Apr 2015

    Re: ARMENIA 2017 - Artsvik - Fly With Me

    Never though that this would turn out to be one of the most played song on my spotify list...
    I'm sad Artsvik didn't do better ):

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