Slovakia is awfully like San Marino when it comes to Eurovision management and planning. Neither have entered good songs since they debuted (well maybe Slovakia was good many years ago when it first entered, but that's history). It seems that in the case of both countries that trend is not going to be changed this year either.
This year after much huming and hawing about whether they would even go to Baku, Slovakia announced that Max Jason Mai was to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest, with his song Don't Close Your Eyes. This is a rock song. In my opinion as a rock song it falls very short in terms of quality of song. It's a fairly dull song with little to interest the listener. The overall song appears to be anthemic but it does not build at all from the start of the song to the end. The verses don't do anything to lift the song up a gear and the general thrust of the song is not upward, it just slides sideways.
Having said all of that the song does lack any stiff competition against it. This is an interesting trend in the contest this year. Rock songs did frequently appear in the national finals but this year they just could seem to cleanly break out of the national finals. Other than Switzerland (who I suspect have only a slim chance of making the final) there are no other rock songs in the competition this year. Which is a real shame as, though I am not a rock fan I do like the odd rock song just to add to the diversity. I also don't mind listening to a rock song, even though they would not feature majorly on my MP3 player.
Slovakia have a great position in the running order this year and this is what I suspect might just drag Slovakia into the final with. In the past Slovakia have lacked a good number of neighbours to push them into the finals. But the juries do tend to vote for something that is vocally strong and this can come in the form of a rock song. So it boils down to whether the vocal performance is good. We haven't seen Mai perform live before with this song so it shall be interesting.
Verdict: I'm in two minds about this song. On one hand I want a rock song in the final, on the other I think that it is only an ok rock song. The grading was difficult to come up with.