FYR Macedonia, Daniel Kajmakoski, 3

Today the Wiwi Jury – our panel of -in-house music unprofessionals – touched down in Skopje to review F.Y.R Macedonia’s act Daniel Kajmakoski and his entry “Autumn Leaves”. After taking in the pretty Stone Bridge and visiting the Porta Macedonia, we got serious and listened to ‘Autumn Leaves’. Did we get out a blower to push the leaves away? Read on to find out…

FYR Macedonia’s Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Daniel Kajmakoski with ‘Autumn Leaves’

Angus: Autumn is such a miserable season it isn’t surprising that F.Y.R Macedonia’s song comes across a bit weary. Wallowing doesn’t get you anywhere and totally cripples ‘Autumn Leaves’ as a song. Daniel doesn’t sound like he wants to be singing it and I doubt that’s going to leave people wanting to vote for it in the semi-final.

Score: 4/10

FYR Macedonia, Daniel Kajmakoski, 5Bogdan: While I would have prefered keeping it in the Macedonian language, I prefer the instrumental and the vocal arrangement of the English version. It sounds more “now”. The song itself is one of those curious tracks whose verses are more interesting than the chorus. The latter feels a little lazy and predictable. All in all, not a perfect song, but a strong performance and Daniel’s warm voice and undeniable charm could surprise.

Score: 7.5/10

Chris: Now that I’ve had some time to settle with “Autumn Leaves” instead of “Lisja esenski”, I’m beginning to just about turn a corner with it. I don’t see the song as a real contender – and I still think that it will fail to make it to the final – but there are some nice touches (the violin building towards the end) that make it stand out. Daniel has a strong voice and conveys what emotion the song has well. There lies the biggest issue though: the whole thing doesn’t move me enough. It feels a bit empty.

Score: 5.5/10

Deban: Sounds like a Ryan Tedder penned hit. It’s great for radio, and sounds rather current. However, Eurovision doesn’t give you the chance to rinse your track on air. It’s cut-throat, especially when you’ve only got three minutes to drive punters to their phones. “Autumn Leaves” abandons potential voters. May autumn stay away…

Score: 5/10

Marek: “Autumn Leaves” reminds me of the Portuguese entry. I love both of them, but I know I’m one of only a few people who do. Honestly, there’s no place for them in final. Daniel has a fantastic voice, (of course not as fantastic as Kaliopi), but now that it’s been translated, I feel it’s a totally different song. “Lisja Esenski” would have received a perfect score from me, but “Autumn Leaves” just isn’t as special.

Score: 9/10

Padraig: Once again Macedonia have sent a respectable entry, but I can’t see this surviving the semis. It lacks both the pizazz and the emotional oomph necessary to leave an impact with either voters or jurors. It’s nice and pleasant, and at times almost uplifting. However, just as Christmas overshadows the preceding Autumn months, Daniel is likely to be outshone by his rivals.

Score: 6.5/10

Ramadan: The Macedonians send yet another great entry to Eurovision. This is a very well-produced song and the chorus is strong. I preferred the Macedonian version. It had more vigor and soul. The new version is slower and I’m worried that it will not stand out as a result.

Score: 7/10

Robyn: I much prefer this English language version, mainly because it has punchier production and a fresher sound than “Lisja esenski” did. The song is a little slow to get started, but the chorus has an enjoyably massive feeling to it. But yet it’s still not a stand-out song – very middle table. I suspect that “Autumn Leaves” will be a marginal qualifier in its semi-final.

Score: 6/10

Sami: “Lisja Esenski” was my number one for a long time and I really loved the song. When the English version arrived, I was little disappointed, but I got used to this too. The song is not too memorable and the ending is a bit weird, but I still like the vibe and Daniel’s voice is dreamy. The lyrics are also great and if they can transfer the concept of the video clip to the performance, they might have a chance to qualify.

Score: 10/10

William: This song lulls me into a trance and I haven’t quite worked out of that’s a good thing. The rather insipid opening gives me drugged-up zombie feels, but the chorus saves a bad situation with its soul and drive. Daniel’s voice soars throughout, but most especially in that chorus. But by the end I struggle to remember what’s just happened. This is a lovely song, but something is missing.

Score: 6/10

Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores. 

Anthony: 6.5/10

Denise: 6.5/10

Francheska: 9/10

Josh: 6/10

Judit: 4/10

Kristin: 9.5/10

Liam: 5/10

Luis: 8/10

Mario: 5.5/10

Max: 4/10

Mike: 6/10

Mikhail: 7/10

Patrick: 6.5/10

Renske: 6.5/10

Rezo: 6/10

Sinan: 6.5/10

Sopon: 2.5/10

William C: 4.5/10

Zach: 5.5/10

To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 2.5 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 6.26/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2015 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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TeleRoger
Guest
TeleRoger

Autumn leaves is a nice enough song and FYM seem to vary the style of their entries a great deal
The video is very clever but I can’t imagine it being part of the Vienna staging
I fear the song may get lost in the pack

Britz26
Guest

My FAVORITE!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 < 3 10/10 ofc 😀

Alex
Guest
Alex

The old version was boring. This one is much better. Not sure how I feel about the half-tempo beat after the choruses, but if that’s what to sound modern, I guess that’s what everyone wants. I am totally looking forward to MERJ being on stage during the performance. I also really wonder if this will qualify. It’s one of the most polished, modern-sounding entries this year, and it’s right in the middle of the running order. I thought it was interesting how well that one jury on that Swedish TV show rated it (see the article about Guy Sebastian doing… Read more »

Iberian
Guest
Iberian

Daniel looks great on that bed pic. Nice biceps.

Bronson
Guest
Bronson

Macedonia needs 12 from Serbia and Albania to even have a tiny chance of qualifying. Macedonia has sent an OK entry this year, but we have seen in the past that Macedonia never does that well. Probably going to be the same this year.

Huh
Guest
Huh

It is not my favorite but it seems deserving to be on the top. It makes you want to listen carefully about what the song tries to convey.

Also, you guys surprise me with the photo used for this article. Daniel on bed? o_o

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Well done Wiwi Jury, you have managed to have your Common Linnets moment. This is easily one of the best songs this year. The song is very professionally put together, builds well and Daniel has the amazing voice to deliver it. It goes from subtle and builds all the way through the song. Definitely a qualifier for me and will get onto the left side of the board in the final.
9/10

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Robyn: That, I didn’t know. What he should have done, in keeping the English version, was employ the background vocals the way he did with the Macedonian version, and kept the MUSIC of the Macedonian version. The music was so much better with this song.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Y’all might be interested to learn that the English version of this song is actually the original. It was translated into Macedonian to meet the entry requirements for Skopje Fest.

R
Guest
R

Nah, this song will definitely not qualify. Nice song and all but just not enough.

Francisco
Guest
Francisco

I am not sure about this one, at first, it sounds like the typical cheesy, common, run-of-the-mill Eurovision claptrap but then, it gathers momentum in the crescendo and it becomes quite powerful in the forte, I do think it is not well resolved, though, I can’t put my finger on it, but there seems to be something missing

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

I prefer the newer version and as usual in English the majority on the night will get to understand the lyrics and this song has some of the better lyrics this year. The juries will like this one, it’s well written, but will the public? One of the 8 offerings from Sweden this year. Joacim Persson has been writing and producing songs for the likes of John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Miley Cyrus and many more. It’s not your typical ESC song and it is very now and well produced as you would expect.… Read more »

Otna
Guest
Otna

Disappointed! This song is firmly inside my Top Ten – most beautiful lyrics of the whole contest, closely followed by Norway and Serbia on that front.

Julle
Guest
Julle

Together with Albania, this is my favourite of all the songs this year. It’s touching, the lyrics are beautiful and Daniel sings it passionately. I realize it is not a top contender but I so hope Europe shows it some love in the semi!

Darren
Guest
Darren

I really really like this song! Definitely one of FYR Macedonia’s best ever entries in my opinion. Its catchy, its sung well, its English translation actually uses proper English that makes sense, I really hope FYR Macedonia manages to qualify with this. Its really good. That picture of Daniel you used on the top of the page is kind of attractive, I only noticed how cute he is now, which has made me like it even more! haha 😛 #NotVain Well done Macedonia, I hope you get a good result! Best of luck! 7/10

Leo
Guest
Leo

I like this song but I don’t think it has any chance of reaching the final

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

6.5 seems about right.

poppipo
Guest
poppipo

I prefer this version, but i don’t like that it ends in the wall.

Allen
Guest
Allen

I guess I’m among the very few who thinks this English version sounds better… Anyway, the changes they made on the song are for me great, now it sounds very modern and up to date. This is my favourite ex Yugoslav entry this year and I really want to see it in the final. He is a great singer (and popular in the Balkans) so I’m sure he will sing it great. I just hope staging will be as good as the song itself. Macedonia tends to destroy their songs with sooo amateur staging year after year (2007, 2008 etc).… Read more »

Lijana
Guest
Lijana

i preferred the last version because of the beat. now its just bland because of the only guitar playing

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

8/10 I did not like the first version of this song. It was too upbeat and positive, which made it uninteresting and forgettable for me. As soon as I heard the revamped version, I instantly liked it. This one’s more deep and poignant which matches the message of this song quite well, as well as the Autumn season, which I associate as calm, deep and warm. I born in Autumn, so extra points! This has the opposite effect with Serbia in terms of language switch, while the change from the native language to English was a terrible decision for them,… Read more »

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

The old version was in my top 5. This one barely scrapes 27th with me. I feel like it lost all of its charm after the compositional changes.

5/10

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

6,7/10

I preferred Macedonian and The last 30 seconds in the last version. This version is not amazing enough.