Today the Wiwi Jury—our international panel of music un-professionals—traveled to Belgarde where we spray painted the streets with graffiti and reviewed Zeljko Joksimovic’s 2012 Eurovision entry, “Nije ljubav stvar.” That means “Love is not a thing.” Was this song our thing? Read on to find out.
Wiwi: As you can see from his first rehearsal at Eurovision 2012, Zeljko Joksimovic is a brave man. He isn’t afraid to let his music speak for itself, or to take a back seat and let his instrumentalists shine. Just as he did in 2004, he’s brought his Jesus look-a-like friend to Eurovision, and he works his wooden flute throughout the song. It all harks back to the days when ESC contestants performed with a live orchestra, rather than an electronic backing. As for the song, it builds gradually, but captures your attention instantly. I like the pace, and I love how Zeljko is giving me face! This is Serbia’s strongest entry since 2007’s “Molitva” for sure.
Vebooboo: Serbia, I don’t love your gay-bashing population, but I sure do love your Eurovision entries. From the first second this song just captures my attention with its melody. This is just so pleasant to listen to, and stands out as one of my favourite slow songs of the year by far. I’m hoping for a Top 10 place for this one.
Meows Kitty: It’s a very soppy love song, but for some reason I’m not grossed out by it. I like the instrumental arrangements of this piece and there is enough progression throughout the song to hold the listeners’ attention. Zeljko Joksimovic is a veteran in the competition so will no doubt receive a lot of votes from the public due to his established popularity. But the performance and the song merit a place in the finals on their own.
Deban: If there’s one thing that Zeljko Joksimovic does best, it is composing beautiful ballads with strong elements of folk instrumentation. He is responsible for many of the high placing entries we’ve seen from former Yugoslav Republics. In 2004, he composed and sung “Lana Moje,” which came second. In 2006, he penned and arranged “Lejla” for the Bosnia and Herzegovinian act, Hata Mata Hari, which came in third place. And in 2008 he wrote the song “Oro” for the young starlet, Jelena Tomasovic. This song received a phenomenal standing ovation, as a homecoming entry in Belgrade.
With this in mind, and his fluency in six European languages, he composes songs that are traditional, yet cross over seamlessly. This entry already has English, French and Spanish translations. No doubt other languages will follow in due course. The song is completely original in composition. The melody and his vocal delivery are rousing, yet relatable. Zeljko brings first class quality to the table, always. “Nije Ljubav Stvar” is an affirmation of his excellence.
Although I’m strongly in favour of new faces at The ESC, I warmly welcome Zeljko’s return and would love to see him do well in Baku.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.25/10