Over the weekend the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — journeyed to Montenegro to examine the 1,200 species and varieties of freshwater algae that have been identified along the Balkan country’s stunning coastline. After we took off our wet suits, we sat down to review Knez and his Eurovision 2015 song “Adio”. Did the Zeljko Joksimovic-composed track leave us with a major case of Balkan Ballad Fetish? Read on to find out…
Montenegro’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Knez with “Adio”
Padraig: I’ve never been a Balkan ballad boy. While everyone else fawns I think WTF! And if Zeljko or Sergej can’t convert me, Knez sure as hell won’t… or so I thought. On repeat listens “Adio” has actually grown on me. But that’s the problem with Eurovision, most people only get to hear a song once. It’s a cut-throat game, and I have to go with my first impression. Sorry Knez.
Angus: Fans act as if Zeljko Joksimovic translates as “automatic qualification”. Newsflash: it doesn’t. “Adio” is nothing special and feels very much a pastiche of Zeljko’s past work rather than the song to take Montenegro to the Grand Final two years in a row.
Anthony: Sergej Cetkovic got Montenegro into the final last year, so expectations are high. Composed by former Eurovision participant Zeljko Joksimovic, the main feature of “Adio” is the heavy Balkan influence, which is what I’d expect. However, this ends up becoming one of his slightly weaker efforts, especially as a ballad compared to last year’s Eurovision entry “Moj Svijet”. Not a bad entry overall, but Zeljko’s previous tracks stand out more strongly.
Bogdan: It’s difficult to review decent Balkan ballads when you live on the edge of the Balkans and you are tired of them. Yes, “Adio” is pretty good, but I would have preferred something else. This is the same old reheated soup — even if it’s cooked by chef Zeljko. And the folky beats towards the end seem to have been sprinkled in just because they realized there are too many ballads this year. Sorry, Montenegro, but I’m not buying it. I’m full.
Chris: Ehhhhh. Look, I love me a good Zeljko ballad and I think that this will probably be staged accordingly as any Zeljko number – but it’s pretty clear that he’s not exactly sent his best work this year. The mid-tempo sections feel incredibly forced and come off as almost fake. They just don’t belong in this type of song. You end up conflicted as to what you want to take from this song and I think that this will only harm Montenegro’s chances after their breakthrough last year.
Deban: Magical folklore driven by a spectacularly scenic music video, “Adio” has a quality mark boldly stamped on it. Its prime vocalist Knez delivers a compelling performance. With the right staging, this could be Montenegro’s best effort to date.
Mike: Montenegro know what they like to offer the Eurovision Song Contest: boring Balkan ballads. It was a true miracle for me seeing Sergej qualify for the final last year and I really do not understand why they thought they could just send the same song one year later. I am in the mood to send NASA an e-mail asking for them to get Who See back from space.
Robyn: There’s something very intriguing about this song. It has a great melody and Knez brings a certain gravitas to the performance. I’m thinking it might be the sort of song that really comes alive on stage. And I hope that the five women from the music video also make it to Vienna – they have a bit of the classic Montenegro weirdness without being too weird.
William: I really appreciate the 30-second instrumental opening: It means I only have to endure 2:30 more of the song. Knez is a fantastic singer and this melody is fine — but you need to be more than fine to succeed at Eurovision. If they wanted to send Sergej again they simply should have asked rather than re-packaging him as Knez. But props to the video director: This could be re-used as an advertisement for Montenegrin National Tourism.
William C: I love some Balkan ballads, and I hate some Balkan ballads. This is on the hate side. The instrumental opening is nice and peaceful, but then Knez enters and everything goes pear-shaped. Different parts of the song could make songs in their own right, but together it’s a big mess. It is similar to Israel in that sense, but at least that is entertaining.
Twenty-nine jurors review each song, but we only have space for ten written reviews. The remaining 19 scores are listed below.
To reduce potential bias, the lowest and highest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average. We have removed a low of 1.5 and a high of 10.