Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and paid a visit to the town of Mostar. While trolling over the town’s Old Bridge, we discussed Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala and their song “Ljubav je”. Did we feel the love? Or did the song spark other emotions?
Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala with “Ljubav je”
“Ljubav je” reviews
Mikhail: Oh, that marvellous sound of cello, and the epicness of the drums. The melody of “Ljubav je” is amazing. I fell in love with it after the first listen. At first I didn’t appreciate the rap part, which shook the utopian picture in my mind, but then I started to like it somehow. It brought some spice. Also, I want to note that great scream iiihaaa during the rap, it is amazing.
Angus: “Ljubav je” is just tedious. For three minutes we’re taken on a tour of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s greatest “hits” at Eurovision without anything new being brought to the table. There’s no hook to remember nor standout instrumental to will you into voting when lines open. The rap is the eye-roll icing on the cake.
Anthony: This sounds like as if they tried to create their own version of San Marino’s “Crisalide”: two-thirds ballad before the transition of the final third. The Balkan ballad section becomes familiar territory and it’s something I’m used to at Eurovision. However, the rapping feels random when plonked in towards the end of the song. Sorry Jala, but Bosnia and Herzegovina could do without the rapping section.
Bernardo: This could be an 8 for sure, but the rap part of the song is anti-climactic for me. With a strong Balkan influence, “Ljubav je” is the dream of every Balkan ballad fan. Dalal and Deen carry most of the song with a secure performance. Good harmonies and strong vocals make this a mid-table finisher for me.
Bogdan: By the sounds of it, Bosnia and Herzegovina thought they should mix every musical genre they could think of for their return to Eurovision, and the end result is an indigestible hot mess. I don’t mind rap, but aggressive rap barked in a language I don’t understand, abruptly breaking an otherwise inoffensive pop-rock ballad, is very off-putting, and I expect this will be the reaction of most viewers in May. Despite the fans’ effort to rig our polls, I’m afraid the jig will be up when “Ljubav je” will fail to qualify.
Deban: Fusion is good, but only when it works. Bosnia and Herzegovina mark their return to the contest by showcasing its breadth of musical heritage, and the heavyweights behind it. “Ljubav je” is a song in three parts: instrumental, singing and rap. I’ll take the first two. You can leave Mr Brat at home.
Padraig: I’m still baffled as to why one would recruit Disco Deen to perform a Balkan ballad, but at this stage I’m willing to suspend my disbelief. The track starts promisingly, with the drums and cello creating a great sense of drama and place. Deen and Dalal keep the momentum going… initially. By the halfway point the song begins to lag, with Jala’s arrival saving it from entering monotony. However, as an overall package it feels like they’ve thrown too many elements into the pot. As individual segments, everything works well. But together they lack cohesion. Given Bosnia & Herzegovina’s track record, I’d expect this to qualify and then suffer a similar fate to Armenia’s Genealogy in the final.
Robyn: There’s something unexpectedly compelling about “Ljubav je”. It’s not until Jala bursts in with his obnoxious rap that the song really feels like it’s found its place. Having said that, I can’t quite see this song having much appeal outside the Balkans. The combination of Balkan ballad and a sudden rap is going to be a lot to take in even for Bosnian speakers, let alone those who don’t understand the language.
Steinunn: I’m so glad to have Bosnia and Herzegovina back. They always bring something interesting to the Eurovision table. I have a serious thing for dramatic songs sung in one of the Balkan languages — you could call it a fetish. Since there is no real Balkan ballad this year (Macedonia’s entry is debatable), Bosnia and Herzegovina sure give me this year’s Balkan fetish fix. I find the mix of different type of music styles and musicians very interesting — I mean, who would have thought a melancholic love song, a cello and Balkan hip-hop would be such a good mix? You could maybe describe the song as a bit unusual, but there’s something about it that appeals to me.
William: It may have four letters, but EDIT is not a dirty word. And it would have done wonders for this number, which starts off beautifully but goes off the rails when Jala decides to crash the party. Dean and Dalal, master vocalists who harmonise beautifully, could have easily added the discord the songwriters sought. They don’t need a fast-talking urban musician to do that for them. If I had my way I’d highlight Jalal and press delete.
Zakaria: C’mon, why is everybody complaining about the rap section? I usually don’t like rap but for this one, I believe it fits really well! The fusion of pop, rap, classical and Balkan ethnic sounds makes the song very remarkable among all the very corny pop/dance songs we have this year. All they need are strong vocals, a creative stage presentation and this is going straight to the final!
Kristin: Some people have completely demolished this entry, but others, like myself have taken quite a shine to it. It’s a weird song. It starts off as the oh-so-lovely and powerful Balkan ballad, but all of a sudden, a rapper appears out of nowhere! Wuut?? But somehow, I find it appealing. There’s just something about this classical Balkan/rap fusion. Don’t know how Europe will react to this, but I’m totally on board. Welcome back, Bosnia and Deen — please don’t leave us again.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 6.5/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.5.