Three-Minute Throwdown: San Marino 2020 Edition

After an involved process throughout the weekdays, San Marino’s broadcaster RTV announced that 2011 representative Senhit (performed “Stand By” under name Senit) would return to represent the microstate in Rotterdam this year. On Senhit’s website, an online vote is being held until Sunday at midnight (going into Monday). The songs, “Freaky!” and “Obsessed”, can be previewed there (and are not legally available outside of the linked page).

As with other articles in the Three-Minute Throwdown series, the songs will be listened to and analyzed in one take. Stopping to write down notes is ok; backtracking is not. Without further ado, let us begin the final throwdown!


E minor. Starts with a swelling combination of sounds and away from tonic. Bm Em Cmaj7 D. Very funky bass groove complemented by the funk guitar. Very funky between the synth hits; offbeat rhythms in the percussion, bass, and guitar sections; brass; and sliding string section (from the original attack note, the frequency is decreasing). Pitched speech (around A4) in the bridge rap which is echoed by the backing vocalists. This can definitely start a huge party in the Euroclub and other fan-friendly venues. For what San Marino’s reputation in Eurovision is (with Serhat and Valentina), this is on point.


D major. Starts with a G chord, sounds like an organ of sorts but synthesized. 12/8 groove, much more synth-pop. Intro, verse all focus on a G-Bm-A-A chord progression, which is similar to what “Teenage Dream” did to its Bb major key. This is the more modern-sounding song of the two, and the production is more in-your-face than similar tracks from Agnes (Carlsson, Melodifestivalen 2009 competitor and Eurovision 2013 interval act. Song “Nothing Can Compare”) and PVRIS (“Winter”), though perhaps with more bubbly synth elements like George Maple’s “Hero“. There is a note repeater in the bass synth part making the bass repeat just like in the latter two songs mentioned. Mostly pentatonic melody. This may appeal more to those hoping that synth-pop could be afforded a legitimate chance on the Eurovision stage.

Of these two approaches, which do you most want San Marino to follow this year? Results will likely be announced on Monday.

Edited 8 March. The author meant that the rhythm section in “Freaky!” played off the beat and not on the downbeats (or on the beat). To clarify as an antonym for on the beat, the word “upbeat” has been replaced with “offbeat”, not to be confused with the general meaning of “unconventional” or “odd”. English is a weird language.

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