Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Azerbaijan. We stopped by the Baku Crystal Hall and remembered Eurovision 2012. While we were there, we discussed Samra‘s song “Miracle”. Did we believe in the miracle? Read on to find out!
Samra – “Miracle”
Anthony: Recent results from Dilara and Elnur suggests Europe are getting bored of ballads. So the broadcaster must have listened and unleashed a well-produced pop song. A moody intro starts things off before the chorus instantly grabs your attention and leaves you wanting more, which Samra does exactly that. Azerbaijan’s top 10 hopes rests on Samra’s live performance on the night. And it’s a massive step up from her journey on Ses Azerbaycan.
Sami: Azerbaijan is back in the game, after doing quite badly in the results for past two year. “Miracle” is a perfect pop song, with catchy hook. It’s not giving us anything new and is far from being unique, but it still is a nice change to all the female ballads we have this year. Based on her previous live performances, she still needs couple more singing lessons before the contest, but Azerbaijan shouldn’t have any trouble at reaching the final with this.
Angus: Azerbaijan are back on their A-game! Samra has a big voice and in “Miracle” a deceptively big song. People can write this off as out of touch, but the fact is the chorus gets stuck in your head. Paired with killer staging, that is all Azerbaijan needs to soar up the scoreboard. This formula nearly won it for them in 2013 with Farid, and with “Miracle”, Samra looks set to overturn the poor results of the past two years.
Bogdan: When I first heard this song, I thought it was a Jennifer Lopez track from the previous decade. Therein lies Azerbaijan’s strength and weakness this year. Samra is a good and charismatic singer and “Miracle” has a memorable and catchy chorus, but otherwise the song is not current enough to obliterate its competition. It all depends on the staging, and Azerbaijan could surprise there.
Deban: Samra’s vocals can power up a lighthouse! She is smouldering on camera, and confident in her abilities as a performer. Kudos to AzTV for their wise internal selection choice. “Miracle” is one of 2016’s stronger entries. It has a brilliant radio finish, and a music video you’d love to have on repeat. The message in it is turbo-packed with enough currency to minister to a broad demographic. “Miracle” is an anthem of strength that sports a catchy chorus.
George: This is just a typical Swedish pop song. It struggles to reach G:son level, but of course fails. It’s upbeat and well-written, but unfortunately, it does nothing for me. I doubt her live vocals will be as good as the studio version. So, in my opinion, only a miracle can take Azerbaijan back to the top 10 this year.
Denise: I love the start of the song. The beat sounds really modern. Semra (or Samra? Haha) sings good in the studio version, but after seeing her live performances in The Voice, I’m really afraid for what it will sound like in Stockholm, but I bet it will sound good in the end with lots of backings.
Forrest: This year Azerbaijan is breaking their long string of ballads and going for something different. It’s a shame that “something different” in this instance is just a standard piece of Swedish pop. “Miracle” is a well-produced, upbeat, and catchy thee minutes. The hook is effective, if not a tad irritating after a few listens. I can’t help but think that the writers got bored halfway through and just decided to loop “Mira-mira-miracle” for the remaining 90 seconds. “Miracle” is a decent pop number but, in the end, is remarkably vapid.
Josh: Samra is one fierce lady! I’m thrilled that Azerbaijan have gone back to their original Eurovision roots by going for modern, radio-friendly pop. One can’t help but compare “Miracle” to “Drip Drop” from Azerbaijan in 2010, but it’s a great comparison. Azerbaijan have been unlucky the past couple of years, but this should definitely get them back in the top 10 at a minimum!
Padraig: “Miracle” is a well-crafted pop song sung well, yet it all feels a bit soulless. Samra belts it out, but she shows no vulnerability. The relationship is over and needs a miracle if it’s to be saved. However, the miracle in question could be just about anything. The focus on powerhouse vocals rather than emotion dilutes the message significantly. “Miracle” works fine as a standalone track, but pales when put alongside the likes “Goodbye (Shelter)” or “I Stand”.
Robyn: I’m being cautious here. The studio version sounds terrific, but going by videos of Samra on The Voice, her live vocals aren’t as strong. As Poland’s national final showed us, a great studio version doesn’t necessarily equal a great live performance. “Miracle” is a really good upbeat pop song, but Azerbaijan will need to ensure the Eurovision performance sounds as good as the studio version or it just won’t work.
William: When singing about female emancipation, you’ve got to have sass and self-confidence. Samra has these attributes in spades. Her voice blends soul and pop perfectly, and her self-assured performances have managed to mix anger, sex appeal and optimism. The song features one of the best hooks of the year, supported by top-notch production.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 9.5/10
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 3.5 and a high of 10.