Remember Eurovision 2015, when Russia came second? Polina Gagarina really did give Måns Zelmerlöw a run for his money with her popular ballad “A Million Voices”.
Finally, she has released her international album “9”. This 12-track album is split, in two halves. The first six tracks are completely in Russian, whilst the six remaining tracks are in English.
Now, anyone would think that the first six tracks were the original songs and then the next six tracks were the songs translated into English; but instead, all twelve tracks are original.
Initially, this album had an instant grat single, which can be heard below. In English, it means “Dance with Me”. This song was an obvious choice as the lead single because it’s upbeat and powerful. It really sets the tone of the first six tracks. It’s definitely the best song on the entire album, which slightly disappoints to the extent of wondering which track would be the follow-up single because this one is just too good.
Listen to Polina Gagarina’s first single from this album here:
The album soon disappeared off the UK iTunes on the day of release but returned with a whole new album cover a day later. There must have been an album artwork change last minute. This new album cover is much more striking and definitely reflects the album much better.
The first six songs are extremely strong and powerful. The first track, which is “Intro” in English, introduces the album nicely. The audible spray paint noise is not something you would expect to hear, and it really attunes the listeners right in. Unfortunately, the seventh track on the album, titled “Intro” is noticeably different. It changes the vibe of the album, but more on that later.
— Polina Gagarina (@Gagaraofficial) September 8, 2016
There are a few tracks that come up just short of becoming the next singles off this album. They’re so strong and interesting, it’s clear where Polina Gagarina’s heart lies, she loves her Russian language songs and that really shows. The second track on the album means “I’ll Become the Sun” in English; it is funky and upbeat. It’s rhythmically great and definitely powerful. The fifth song in English means “High”, and it’s a total ballad of a song, quite similar to her Eurovision song “A Million Voices”, it could so be entered into the contest, fully emotional and soulful.
However, it’s the second featured track on the album that really stands out. In English it means “The World Is Not Enough”, this song literally gives me chills. Totally reminding me of Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger’s duet “Let Me Go”, this song is amazing! At a certain point it nearly loses the listener; however, it draws us right back in with the rap from the featured performer. It fits so perfectly.
Unfortunately, track four, which features Ifeyopa doesn’t quite hit the mark compared to the other Russian songs. It pretty much fits in with the English language songs on the album due to it being more gentle. The song in English means “Do Not Let Go”; it leads perfectly from the instant grat single’s quite disjointed ending. Much more of a chilled out song, quite up-tempo yet with powerful ballad vocals.
Watch a live performance of track nine “Forbidden Love” here:
As previously mentioned, the English language songs don’t correlate well with the Russian songs. “Hands Off” is probably the best out of the six, with strong starting vocals which lead into a more pop-like feel. However, still consistent with the futuristic experimental sound coming from these English tracks.
“Intro” feels more like an outro to the Russian songs; “Plastic” had potential and lyrically similar to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” and yet no cheese no catchy lyrics, but definitely something new; “Forbidden Love” was upbeat and followed on nicely from “Plastic”, yet her voice didn’t really suit the verses; “Free” was totally freeing, heading more towards pop music yet drawing 80’s and 90’s inspiration, is that Polina Gagarina singing or Annie Lennox? No one’s denying her strong vocal ability, and yet it’s somewhat lacking on the English language songs.
The final song of the album “Day (Cvpellv Edit)” was extremely slow, which kind of fitted. It was a great way to say goodbye to the album. Totally soulful which lead into a more upbeat ending, yet Polina Gagarina continued singing at the same pace as before making it all seem out of time and totally slow.
The English tracks weren’t what we were expecting at all. Polina Gagarina has this massive powerful voice and we all saw it during the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, and yet she’s chosen a totally different route for her English songs. Where is the fire we saw in “A Million Voices” on that Eurovision stage in Vienna, Austria?
Well, clearly she used that fire for her Russian tracks. Nearly every one of those first six tracks are powerful, strong and vocally amazing.
This album feels like two EPs put together. It could be showing two different sides of Polina Gagarina. Or maybe she’s trying to find her sound in English language songs, even though she’s already found her sound in her Russian language songs.
Whatever she’s up to. “9” is surely not going to be her last album. This is a whole new start for Polina Gagarina. What do you think of the album? Tweet us your thoughts @CelebMix.
(NOTE: We haven’t included the Russian song titles because our website doesn’t accept Russian words).