We’re running up to the 2012 Contest, all entries for Baku have been chosen and it’s time to take a closer look at what we can expect to see and hear at the end of May. I’m reviewing everything in order of draw: I’ll first give my general thoughts on the countries’ choices, then I’ll subject them to the DIMI test and finally I’ll score them, accompagnied by a predicition of how I think they’ll do in Baku. I’ll be tackling them in pairs & on the menu today: Serbia & FYRMacedonia. Let’s kick off semi 2!
1. SERBIA – Nije ljubav stvar
Balkan Ballad meets the soundtrack of Avatar. In the first part we get a beautifully orchestrated fairytale atmosphere which then develops into a theme song to which the Na’vi could well perform some kind of ritual. It’s a nice evolution of sorts but I still can’t shake the feeling it’s somewhat calculated and all the obvious showing of instruments during the song presentation makes me even more suspicious – we get it, you’re all about genuine music. It’s a bit pompous to me I’m sorry to admit. But Željko Joksimović and his warm sounds and presence do make up for it. Although I do get a bit of a Charlotte Perelli vibe here: fans are going crazy over him being back but the rest of Europe might just shrug their shoulders at him. Main thought: keep the theatricality of it all to a minimum please.
Intriguing? It really wants to be, on all levels. A bit too hard if you ask me.
Modern? As far as soundtracks go perhaps.
International? I think it’s geographically limited actually. It simply does not sound pan-European enough.
Personal score: 12/20 – Prediction: Final
FYR MACEDONIA – Crno i belo
Well, I didn’t see thàt coming. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a sucker for Diva’s and Nigella Lawson, nay Kaliopi more than qualifies as one. The way she claims the spotlight is so easy and yet powerful, my little gay heart jumps for joy. She’s a real vocal powerhouse which makes her all the more exciting and that high shriek is flabbergasting. It’s integrated at the exact right moment in the song, right after that electric guitar solo (sigh) which gives it an extra dimension. The song itself has an easily recognizable chorus that you can already sing along to towards the end of the song and while my initial thoughts on the guitar & beat kicking in after that beautiful acoustic intro weren’t all too positive I completely turned around when I saw it gliding back to acoustics in the final bit. Clever, clever. A mini rock opera, this. Just drop the fussing about at the piano at the start, it’s too clumsy.
Daft? Well, she’s cheeky enough.
Intriguing? The composition is.
Modern? I wouldn’t say charts are swarming with songs like this but it doesn’t sound outdated either.
International? Remains to be seen if the language is a barrier but the general idea could persuade enough people to get it to the final.
Personal score: 17/20 – Prediction: Final
Tomorrow: Netherlands & Malta