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Throwback Thursday: Walters & Kazha – “The War Is Not Over”

Oh, man, I can’t believe that this song was performed almost 19 years ago (back in 2005)! At that time I was only 9 years old and I still remember this entry. Do you also remember these cute guys from Latvia?

It was the 50th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Kiev (Ukraine) following Ruslana’s win back in 2004 in Istanbul (Turkey) with her glorious “Wild Dances”. 

Meantime, the winner of ESC 2005 was Greece with the song “My Number One” performed by Helena Paparizou, the duo Walters & Kazha ending up on the 5th position with their charming ballad-like song, which was a good result for Latvia at that time, but definitely not the best, as just 3 years before Latvia won Eurovision in 2002 with the song «I wanna» by Marie N and took the 3rd place in the final of 2000 with Brainstorm’s «My Star». However, the next strong result for Latvia came only 10 years (!!!) after Walters & Kazha and it was the spectacular Aminata with her «Love Injected» . You may call me crazy, but I still love «TheWar Is Not Over» so much more than «Love Injected» (such an unconditional love at first sight).

What was so special for me in «The War Is Not Over»? I honestly still don’t understand why I keep remembering this song, but as I’m listening to it now, I realize that I like it a lot and nothing changed for me since 2005 regarding this Latvian entry. I guess I like this song so much, as it’s very simple, but memorable. The lyrics are beautifil and they really make sense. The vocal performance was really good too. The guys are so natural, they didn’t even need any light-show or dancers behind to catch the audience’s attention. They were performing and people were simply enjoying it. I also find it nice and so «human» that the duo was using the sign language in the chorus of the song. The combination of all these things is what made this entry amazing.

Last October, one of the singers – Valters Fridenbergs – passed away, which is hard to believe, as he was only 30 years old. He had been fighting against cancer for two years, but he couldn’t win the fight. Outside Eurovision, he performed with the music ensemble «Dzeguzīte» and with Tumsa.

What our other editors had to say:

Timothy

The War is Not over?, it may be not but this song certainly makes you believe that one day that it will all be over soon and that we can all live in peace and harmony.

As for the performance, I really like the staging that they did and the fact that they did sign language and made everyone feel included makes my heart fill with joy. Even though Valters has unfortunately passed away earlier this year, his Eurovision performance will be one of his lasting legacies.

Alesia

I don’t want to waste you time with a whole bunch of words I’m sure you’d pick up as BS. You wouldn’t be wrong in your assessment, because there isn’t much to say about this entry. But for the sake of this mini-review I’ll share a few and try to spare the BS as much as I can.

I found myself continuously looking at the title that listed 2005 as the date for this entry because it was dated even for 2005. I could approach this entry with a positive lens IF it was from 1995. It isn’t… 

The styling is BAD

The vocal is BAD

The lyrics are BAD

This entry is a ThrWOAHback that can stay comfortably in 1985 as far as I am concerned.

Nathan  Picot

First of all RIP.

Now I can comment on the song. I don’t like it. It’s not my cup of tea at all, not now , not ever. These whispy ballads that try and be all accessible because they have no actual substance urk me. I actually became jealous of those who were deaf because they didn’t have to put up with a vocal so pitchy. The fact that this is one of Latvia’s best results in their history is just a mystery to me. I just can’t stand this type of music. What’s worse is that there was nothing going on. I can barely get through ballads at the best of times. But to sit through a ballad with those vocals and with nothing going on on stage apart from the sign language is one of the biggest gripes I have with the contest. The fact that it was backed by that awful R&B backing that was so prevalent in the 00s that I couldn’t stand then let alone now drags this song to new lows in my opinion.

In summary, I loathe it. Absolutely loathe it.

Luke

Ok, so 2005 is one year that I experienced and then just haven’t ever revisited. There were only a small handful of songs I liked…and this isn’t one of them. I had to listen to this again, since I don’t remember it whatsoever. For the first minute I was wishing that the song would pick up and go somewhere…then it did and I wish that it would be “put back down” again. Their harmonics are absolutely woeful and I found myself cringing throughout. It feels very dated, even for 2005, it’s just embarrassing to watch and I hope I never have to again!

For this throwback, I would’ve only had to go back to 2016 to find an absolute gem. Justs’ Heartbeat was wonderfully stand out and his voice gives me chills. For a real throwback, I would’ve gone all the way to 2000. I shouldn’t even have to tell you, that’s Brainstorm’s My Star. It was such a cute song, and I’m so happy that Latvia did so well with it!

So to summarise…The Way Is Not Over is definitely not Latvia’s best entry for me, and I’d rather forget that it ever happened.

Nathan Waddell

The War Is Not Over is the second best Latvian entry to date – because obviously Love Injected is first. The fact it is still essentially relevant so many years on tells you that the story they told with their music touches as many today as it did in 2005 when they came 5th. This entry is in fact one of the reasons I became such a huge Eurovision fan, as necessary storytelling moments like this weren’t being reflected in contemporary pop music so often in the mid 2000s compared to now in the late 2010s. I think it helps if I tell you my favourite song of all time is Where Is the Love? by the Black Eyed Peas – this is a similarly motivating song and really pulls at the heartstrings for me.

Let’s all listen to «The War Is Not Over» again and send our prayers to Valters Fridenberg’s family.

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