Wiwi Jury: FYR Macedonia’s Daniel Kajmakoski with “Autumn Leaves”

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.