This morning the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — scaled the Flame Towers in Baku and looked out to the Crystal Hall Arena. Ah, memories. After taking some selfies we reviewed Elnur Huseynov and his Eurovision 2015 song “Hour of the Wolf”. Did his passion make us growl with pleasure? Or were we left snarling? Read on to find out…

Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Elnur Hüseynov with “Hour of the Wolf”

William: The search for love and fulfillment defines the human experience. It’s also what drives “Hour of the Wolf”. Over the course of three minutes Elnur uses his smokey vocals and rather impressive register to tell the story of his personal reckoning with loneliness and hurt. In the video, momentary glimpses of women from his past remind us that relationships may die, but their ghosts live on. Meditative and moving, grand yet intimate, this song is more poetry than pop: “I once met peace, he said that he, Soon would have the answers to this hurt, And my mind was made up, I would never give up.” Beware of wolves. If Elnur is any indicator, they’ll take a bite out of your heart.

Score: 10/10

Robyn: Earlier in the year I’d heard rumours that Azerbaijan had given up on Eurovision, but it turns out they’re still bringing their A-game. This is easily the best Azeri/Scandinavian collaboration since their 2011 win. The song is laden with hooks and great melodies, and Elnur brings his Voice-winning talents. It’s an emotional journey in the best possible way. If they can replicate that gospel choir sound, this is going to be massive on stage. Oh, and a key change? Lay it on me.

Score: 8/10

Kristin: Historical event happening for me here: I am absolutely head over heels in love with the Azeri entry! The melody is amazing, the chorus is nothing short of a masterpiece and Elnur’s voice sends shivers of satisfaction down my spine. This is without question top-three material. Thank you Azerbaijan for stepping up your game, and thank you, Elnur, for dumping the dentist with the lion mane and the shrieking voice. You don’t need a sidekick anyway.

Score: 10/10

Deban: Elnur ditches Samir and arms himself with a five-star composition, maintaining Azerbaijan’s ongoing committment to quality. “Hour of the Wolf” is the most appropriate metaphor for the tortured emotions that one experiences in relationships. Hüseynov soars beautifully on this ballad, and employs complimentary backing vocals which actually add to the performance rather than distracting from it. The lyrics are poetry, the instrumentation is considered and the pauses are brilliantly timed. But ultimately Hüseynov’s vocals drive it all.

Score:8/10

Live: Elnur Hüseynov at Eurovision in Concert

Angus: Elnur’s voice is gorgeous and nothing can take away his vocal abilities. “Hour of the Wolf”, however, falls flat. It lacks the punch of past Azeri entries and most closely resembles “Start a Fire” in its emphasis on steadily building to a climax. This doesn’t stand out from the crowd and Azerbaijan will have to fight hard to make it out of its semi-final again.

Score: 3/10

Bogdan: “Hour of the Wolf” is a very good song in the studio version, but the live performances that I’ve heard so far are disappointing. Elnur’s vocal gymnastics tend to hurt the song. He’s no longer competing in the Voice of Turkey and he should let the song shine, not his voice, by dropping the unnecessary melismata. Also, he should keep his eyes open when he sings, otherwise he’ll lose the audience and important points in the process. Case in point…

Score: 8/10

Elnur Hüseynov: Live at the Gala Concert Moscow

Chris: Try as I might, I just can’t get excited by “Hour of the Wolf”. It’s an enjoyable enough three minutes when it’s on, but it’s also incredibly forgettable. Judging by his live performances, Elnur seems to know this and has been trying a whole host of vocal tricks to beef it up, with so-so results. He’s going to have to try and find more solid ground when he gets to Vienna. I see Azerbaijan struggling to make the top ten once again, particularly with other male solo acts drawing the attention.

Score: 6/10

Max: I’ve never been a big fan of the Azerbaijani contributions to Eurovision: Even Elnur’s first attempt in 2008 was a big no-no for me. But finally, after eight years, the self-confessed Land of Fire is one of my faves. The gospel elements of the chorus compliment a lyrically strong tune that has all the power needed to light up a European microstate! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we return to Baku in 2016 thanks to this haunting ballad filled with passion, sorrow and a whole lot of soul.

Score: 9.5/10

Interview: Elnur Hüseynov at Eurovision Pre-Party Riga

Denise: OMG! I’m so in love with this song. I didn’t have high hopes as I absolutely detested his 2008 entry. Hearing this song for the first time made me Google him to see if this is the same Elnur as back then. The song is simply amazing and we all know Elnur has a great voice. The choir adds something special. I am a little worried about making five backing singers sound like a choir on stage, but hey, it’s Azerbaijan. They know how to make magic.

Score: 10/10

Azerbaijan, Elnur Huseynov, 7Padraig: After years of OTT decadence, the Azeris decided to tone things down in Copenhagen. Alas, they turned the dial a tad too far and sent us all to sleep. Oh well, at least they seem to have learnt from their mistake. “Hour of the Wolf” is free from the kitchen sink approach of previous Land of Fire entries, but at the same time you can’t call it boring. Elnur’s vocals are awesome. You really need to hear them live – I have and was blown away. The song itself is equally stunning. Safe to say the Azeri machine is back on track.

Score: 8/10

 

Our first reaction (15 March)

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

Anthony: 8.5/10

Francheska: 10/10

Josh: 7.5/10

Judit: 7.5/10

Liam: 9.5/10

Luis: 8.5/10

Marek: 8/10

Mario: 9/10

Mike: 10/10

Mikhail: 6/10

Patrick: 9/10

Ramadan: 9/10

Renske: 9/10

Rezo: 7.5/10

Sami: 10/10

Sinan: 7/10

Sopon: 6.5/10

William C: 6/10

Zach: 7/10

To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 8.26/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2015 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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TeleRoger
Guest
TeleRoger

Wow wow
The hour of the wolf could well mean it’s the hour to book flights to Baku for 2016!
Love the song
Got it all and the key change too!!!
I can def see this in the top 5

Katerine
Guest
Katerine

Hour of the wolf – beautiful song. It deserve 1st place on ESC 2015!

trackback

[…] only achilles heel though might be, as Bogdan from Wiwibloggs observes, a tendency to go the full Mariah in his live […]

Dard
Guest
Dard

Awesome song. And there is no way make her would be better. Because she’s perfect.

Dex
Guest
Dex

Elnur is so powerful singer. His voice is one of a kind. I’ve heard “Hour of the wolf” many times and i fell in love with this composition.

Francisco
Guest
Francisco

It has a beautiful opening, and the piano plays very well with his voice, which is pretty amazing. However, although the song is very inspiring, the lyrics make little sense. Still,a beautiful piece.

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

I may be a bit biased because I loved, loved, loved “Day After Day,” but I really like this. Elnur has a fantastic voice, and it sounds like something I could hear on pop or even alt-rock radio and enjoy.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I haven’t finished evaluating the videos yet (I have only the automatic finalists left to watch again), but given my scores, it’s going to be a toss-up for Elnur to qualify on my 3rd and final scorecard.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I understand why people like this song- but I simply don’t. It just doesn’t do anything for me. IMO, it’s probably one of the weakest Azeri entries, and is in my bottom 10 of this year.
I imagine it will qualify, simply because it’s Azerbaijan, then place somewhere between 10-15 in the final. If any other country sent this song, I don’t think people would hype it up as much.
I’m sorry, but for me, the song is just bland and boring, and I can’t see it placing any higher than maybe 7th or 8th.

Racal
Guest
Racal

@Bronson: Maybe ESCaddict should read the news about the Land of Cheaters… Euh, Land of Fire (sorry, my fingers slipped on my keyboard). 😉

Bronson
Guest
Bronson

‘Yes, the corruption & vote rigging stories go around & around. Nothing is proven.’

@ESCaddict That’s like saying ‘everyone knows aliens exist but the government hasn’t announced anything.’ Everyone knows Azerbaijan’s participation is corrupt and they buy votes, but it hasn’t been brought to light because of a possible bribe or pay off, or because Azerbaijan throws money at this contest and the EBU wouldn’t want to lose it.

Bronson
Guest
Bronson

‘Yes, the corruption & vote rigging stories go around & around. Nothing is proven.’

@ESCaddict That’s like saying ‘everyone knows aliens exist but the government hasn’t announced anything.’ Everyone knows Azerbaijan’s participation is corrupt, but it hasn’t been brought to light because of a possible bribe or pay off, or because Azerbaijan throws money at this contest and the EBU wouldn’t want to lose it.

Huh
Guest
Huh

@ct in relation to your #4, it could be the reason why they revealed their song a little bit late this year so they won’t get early bad reviews that any common people will think about in the long run. And since they get good Swedish composers most of the time every year, I always though the contest should be about the acknowledgement of the best composers and their methods of composing songs too, like what others have said here. Because c’mon, the Swedes are always good every year. But I think it needs control the same way how many… Read more »

richard yudistira
Guest
richard yudistira

Yes, this is the best Azerbaijan entry ever!! I feel the emotion and it’s so poetry.. Another top 10 or top 5 for Azerbaijan 😀

For Indonesian fans, could we keep in touch? just email me [email protected]

Lovely Elhaida!
Guest
Lovely Elhaida!

I will never understand the hype for this song. 😀 2/10

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

I feel so sorry for those who find Hour of the Wolf boring or empty. You are missing out on so much. This song is so brilliant. The lyrics mean so much to me. And Elnur’s vocal bring the meaning to life & move me emotionally. This is easily my favourite song this year. 10 out of 10. Now to some of the other comments…. Who cares that there were Swedish composers involved? A country should submit the best song they can. They shouldn’t send local crap if it is crap. There are countries doing that this year & it… Read more »

fikri
Guest
fikri

*shakes head at angus 3/10*

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

To start off with, I am a huge fan of Elnur and was delighted with him being selected to represent Azerbaijan. His voice is incredible. When I heard the song, I was a bit disappointed. It was too subtle and did not give his voice a lot to do. The more I have heard it and especially, in the live performances, it is growing on me. He is improvising and I am excited to see how it all comes about on the night. Baku anyone?
9.5/10

WTF
Guest
WTF

My favorite “Azeri” entry until now, should do pretty well…

Alison
Guest
Alison

I like the song but his live vocals have been a bit off. It seems like he’s improvising in different places but it doesn’t always work, a pretty dangerous tactic – he should stick to how it’s sung in the video!

Bronson
Guest
Bronson

IMO the song is easily forgettable, just like their try in 2014. They’ll obviously buy votes from the jury and televoters alike, so they’ll still get Top 10 which is undeserved.

Per
Guest

Bavarson: Russia are NOT gonna win. They should not BE in esc. I hope they never ever be in esc again

Iberian
Guest
Iberian

Awful. I hope it doesn’t even get to the final.

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

Yawa Azerbaycan!

Mario
Guest
Mario

Ok i checked…{Appreciated Debban <3 }

33 countries so far have been rated by the WiWi Juries..

Azerbaijan's is really very much high on 2nd place! Wow..
Belgium's song is the winner so far & we will see if it drops from the #1 top spot..

We have left just only 7 more countries' songs to get rated…These seven are..
~ Armenia
~ Estonia
~ Italy
~ Norway
~ Slovenia
~ Spain
~ Sweden

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

All bland, all a bit meh. The key change is weird in that certain part of the song. Boring. Soulless. Overly Dramatic. Azerbaijan is a huge disappointment for me. What a shame. 3/10.

Mario
Guest
Mario

Oh thank you Deban.. 🙂

Deban
Guest
Deban

@Mario, go to the landing page. It’s all there. Hope you’re enjoying our reviews:-)

Deban
Guest
Deban

@Mario, go to the landing page.

bavarson
Guest
bavarson

Here is my prediction for final of ESC 2015:
1. Russia 230
2. Sweden 205
3. Poland 186
4. Norway 171
5. Azerbaijan 158
6. Spain 145
7. Australia 133
8. Estonia 121
9. Italy 109
10. Greece 97
11. Slovenia 85
12. Albania 80
13. Iceland 75
14. Serbia 70
15. Israel 65
16. Denmark 60
17. Romania 55
18. United Kingdom 50
19. Germany 45
20. Netherlands 40
21. Belarus 35
22. Georgia 30
23. Ireland 25
24. Austria 20
25. Lithuania 15
26. Armenia 10
27. France 5

Mar
Guest
Mar

This is the most emotionally resonant ballad of the year, and I love it, but I agree Elnur should tone down the vocal gymnastics a bit. Top ten finish for sure.

Dar
Guest
Dar

i have never liked any azeri enteries and i especially hated running scared , worst eurovision ever in my opinion .. however i love hour of the wolf.. its my favourite entry this year and i listen to it the most of all the 2015 enteries

ct
Guest
ct

I agree 100% with Angus and Racal. Let me count the reasons why this song will struggle to get to the final:

1) Very few friends in the semi (Latvia and Lithuania are the only other ex-soviets) – they can only rely on Malta and San Marino thanks to the “methods” that Racal describes
2) An empty and artificial ballad straight out of the swedish factory like the one they crashed with last year
3) A very grating performer with zero stage charisma
4) A semi full of ballads for the juries to vote for (Ireland, Montenegro, Norway, Czech republic, Latvia, Cyprus, Poland)

Mario
Guest
Mario

Unfortunate the fact that Azerbaijan always sends songs that are written/composed by foreign NON azerbaijani producers…Thats not cool in my book..
At least 4 once finally they should try to have real azeris to make their own songs 4 EuroVision..
I almost like all of Azerbaijan’s songs in EuroVision & most of them are diamonds fantastic….But almost all of them really truly belong to scandinavian producers & im turned off with this fact..

Yes…Eugene is right in his remark that we justifiably question if these songs are from Azerbaijan & not from scandinavic Sweden really..

Otna
Guest
Otna

This song is so average. It’s not bad at all but that score is so high… Thank god it didn’t surpass Loic…

Mario
Guest
Mario

@ Hey dear Robyn 🙂
How many countries have left now until we are over with the evaluating/rating of all the 40 songs..?
Im wondering now about that…I guess that it must be less than 10 songs 4 sure..

EurovisionFan
Guest
EurovisionFan

I agree with the most comments here. This song (by unknown Swedish composers) is not good
I don’t belive in this song at all

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

It good, polished, but not great.

7/10

Mario
Guest
Mario

Elnur objectively is very hot man…
I really do not justify all these ones that do not find him really attractive..
I might disliked him previously but i never thought that this babe is not attractive…He is from the hottest male participants thats 4 sure..

He has really good voice too..

Damon
Guest
Damon

I think this song is the badest song from Azerbaijan. Like last year I don’t think it is a good song for Eurovision

Manne
Guest

This song are not gonna win. Its so boooooooring.Azerbajdjan should not be in esc anymore. 0/10

This is my opinion (TIMO)
Guest
This is my opinion (TIMO)

one word… WINNER

lawl
Guest
lawl

Angus was drunk

Adam
Guest
Adam

Completely agree with Angus and Chris, this song sounded good at first but the more I listen to it the more boring and flat it sounds, plus I didn’t really like his live performances. However I disagree with them about him making the final and succeeding, I really have no doubt this will be somewhere in the top 3 for the second semi final and top 7 for the grand final because so many people like his song

Mark
Guest
Mark

This song is so forgettable. I have listened to it 20 times and I can’t sing it after 2 minutes…

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Correction: 6.5/10! LOL! Sorry!

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Agree with Chris: this song rings hollow for me, and I find it somewhat boring, despite his voice. It barely makes my top 20. 6.5/20. As for a win, guys? Only if the top contenders (Sweden, Italy, Estonia, etc) bomb, which I doubt.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

I think the last of the 8 songs this year with a Swedish connection, and that puts me off it straight away, but it is one the two that are decent, (the other being Russia.) The real genius in a song contest is in the songwriting of course. The songwriters are the forgotten heroes. The only thing that will be from Azerbaijan is the singer perhaps? Elnur has done it before in 2008, so he knows what to expect and the staging will be the best money can buy so it will be special no doubt. It’s a strong song… Read more »

Amerivision
Guest
Amerivision

Sorry but I agree with Angus! It’s overrated!!!

Huh
Guest
Huh

Wait, I also like this song too. Good luck to Elnur, I guess.