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The Vine reviews ‘Russian Woman’ for Russia

Song #6- Russia- Russian Woman

When I say this took my breath away the first time I heard the song, I am not lying. Manizha is incredibly talented, and the power this song has, it just knocks me away every time. I love the message of this song, but even before I read the English lyrics, I was transfixed. This might just be my favourite instrumental this year- there’s so much going on, and every time I listen to Russian Woman, I find something new. Even now, after hundreds of listens. I love the cheeky introduction, immediately telling us that Manizha is not conforming to society’s rules- she’s doing as she pleases. The moment when the backing vocalists come in makes me sit up and listen, and then Manizha just goes for it vocally. Even if you don’t understand the Russian, this is powerful. Then we get that sassy drop and that gorgeous rhythm on the strings- it catches you off guard, the contemporary rhythm on the traditional string instrument, and it’s a powerful moment. Then we get the core message of the song in the English lyrics- now we know what the song is about, and I cannot help but feel empowered here. It’s already a wild, non-confoming song, and then, it gets even better when the full choir comes in and the instrumental goes theatrical and traditional. It’s spectacular and gives me shivers every time I hear it. Every time. The harmonies are lush, the string intro into is stunning, and then, seamlessly, we go straight back into that contemporary section. It’s incredibly impactful, and one of the best goosebumps moments in this year’s contest. Then we have the ‘don’t be afraid’ section, really hammering home the message, before that mesmerising choir once more. The song follows no rules, and is a breath of fresh air, powerful and unpredictable. I just love the fusion of old and new- the song is so unique and memorable, yet so catchy and impactful even on the first listen. So brilliantly original, I can’t give this song the praise it deserves in one review. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Prediction: If this doesn’t qualify, I’m cancelling all men. No, but I would be absolutely gutted to see this miss out on the final. I just don’t know if it’ll be a little too left-field for juries- Conan Osiris was a wake up call for me in 2019, sometimes people need to hear a song a few times to really understand it. Then again, the English sections will help, as will the staging if it helps illustrate the message without being preachy or moralistic. The backing vocalists are incredible, as is Manizha’s charisma, and I really think this could connect with a lot of people. It’ll either flop in the semis or come top 10, and I don’t know which way it will go. Still, here’s hoping for a strong performance on Tuesday. Come on, Manizha!

Photo credit: Manizha/ Instagram

7. Ukraine- Shum

8. Malta- Je Me Casse

9. San Marino- Adrenalina

10. North Macedonia- Here I Stand

11. Cyprus- El Diablo

12. Azerbaijan- Mata Hari

13. Netherlands- Birth of a New Age

14. Switzerland- Tout L’univers

15. Moldova- Sugar

16. Iceland- 10 Years

17. Spain- Voy a Quedarme

18. Israel- Set Me Free

19. Czech Republic- Omaga

20. Belgium- The Wrong Place

21. Croatia- Tick-Tock

22. Norway- Fallen Angel

23. Denmark- Øve Os På Hinanden

24. Latvia- The Moon is Rising

25. Sweden- Voices

26. United Kingdom- Embers

27. Romania- Amnesia

28. Ireland- Maps

29. Serbia- Loco Loco

30. Poland- The Ride

31. Greece- Last Dance

32. Australia- Technicolour

33. Germany- I Don’t Feel Hate

34. Albania- Karma

35. Austria- Amen

36. Slovenia- Amen

37. Georgia- You

38. Estonia- The Lucky One

39. Portugal- Love is on my Side

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