Saturday Flashback: Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices

“She’s acting well enough to actually make it look like she believes it.”

Tim: So, you know how, on occasion, if you’re out for an evening in a club or wherever, you hear a song that you’ve never heard before, or might have forgotten, and feel it to be absolutely amazing, and then get remarkably obsessed with it over the next few days?

Tom: I remember, many years ago, having that happen for Special D’s Come With Me. 2004, there.

Tim: Ah, what a track that was, and indeed still is. For me, the most recent example is this, which I played a good few dozen times last weekend, after a FABULOUS night out.

Tom: Well, not only is she belting that out with a lot of power, but she’s acting well enough to actually make it look like she believes it. Or, perhaps, she actually does believe it.

Tim: Hmm, she’d be in quite the minority of her compatriots if she did, given the number of rainbow flags flying that evening, but sure, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt – Europe certainly did, with it actually beating Måns’s winner in the televote.

Tom: Side note: does someone fix a light at 2:09 or something, or is that a miscue? I’m fairly sure the backing singers aren’t meant to suddenly be spotlit like that.

Tim: Huh, yes, that is weird. Musically, mind, we could talk about clichés all day long – that ‘hold off on the main drums until she mentions them in the inspirational lyrics’ is as textbook as they come, and absolutely brilliant – but all in all this is a terrific track (with brilliant staging, dodgy lights aside) and as far as a room full of drunk gays in a club in London was concerned, seemingly the best song to have been performed in the world ever. Until the next one came along, anyway.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Flashback: Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices”

  1. Hi! I’m not sure
    – what part of the lyrics of this song takes enough of a stand for the singer to actually believe in, or pretend to believe in
    and
    – what exactly about it Tim is suggesting (??? may be an error in phrasing or how I’m reading “she’d be in quite the minority of her compatriots if she did [believe]”) a majority of us queer folk wouldn’t/don’t believe? Particularly that the majority of Europe would agree with?
    Nothing in this song, either that I could actually make out in the recording or that was printed in the lyrics I just looked up, seems LGBTQ specific or anything other than basic innocuous, universally relatable but bland stadium anthem fare? Have I missed something? It’s entirely possible I have – despite being bi I have to say I really don’t get queer culture most of the time – but if there’s a deeper meaning here it really is going over my head.

    (Double checked the lyrics one more time before posting just to be absolutely sure I hadn’t missed anything, I am still lost, with an era-appropriate melody and accompaniment this could be a song straight out of Live Aid. My brain is addled.)

    1. Nothing specific, but just referring to the fact that, despite Russia having a overwhelming amount of homophobia, they have a habit of sending songs to Eurovision that promote equality, and say how everyone is important – see also Dina Garipova’s track from 2013. Given that many a Eurovision fan would barely feel safe walking the streets of Moscow, it doesn’t exactly scream sincerity.

      1. ah, okay – that’s definitely context I didn’t have. thanks!

        I would imagine it’s possible that the artists do sincerely believe in a queer-positive message that gets misinterpreted or ignored by the general population of their country – similar to how here in the US many rock and country singers/groups are in reality much more liberal than their working class, middle aged, white fans realize. But because of the censorship laws we’ll probably never know for sure.

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