The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we journey to Serbia and take a look at Sanja Ilic and his group Balkanika with their song “Nova deca” (New children). Were we feeling their Balkan sounds? Read on to find out!
Sanja Ilic & Balkanika – “Nova deca”
“Nova deca” reviews
Angus: For a country that has done emotive ethnopop so well in the past, it’s interesting that “Nova Deca” feels as soulless as it does. The performance looks like an exercise in Balkan ballad bingo – old man playing an instrument, young man wailing in a smart black suit, man bashing drums, women singing in pretty long dresses – but despite the right visual notes, the heart of the song isn’t there.
Deban: “New Children” linking a bridge to ageing parents, “Nova Deca” is as predictable as folkpop gets. Balkanika have fused traditional sounds with electronic beats and wheeled in Sanja Ilic to wail a few adlibs. Despite its slow build, this entry has a decent melody. However, this is what Balkanika have been doing for nearly two decades, therefore, this effort isn’t earth-shattering by any means.
Jovana: I have a problem to rate this song. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika are so famous in my country for the work that they do — combining folk music with modern beats — so it is really hard for me to judge them. But my biggest problem is my own taste. I personally do not like that ethno-style of singing that is so dominant in the song. I would have liked it better if those traditional elements were kept for the instrumental background and if the singing were more pop, like in the chorus, which I like. A long story made short, there are parts that I like and parts that I do not like, but I will still support them and I hope they do well in Lisbon.
Kristin: Balkan ethno-pop! Woohoo! No one does that better than Serbia. Fact. “Nova deca” is one of this year’s most memorable songs, though it seems very low-key at first. The melody drags you in and doesn’t let go until the end, and don’t get me started on the wonderful flautist, who truly is the star here. Hvala, Serbia!
Padraig: The studio cut passed me by. But I was completely won over by the live performance. I have no clue what they’re singing about, but their collective vocals stir emotions deep within me. The fusion of modern and traditional works almost seamlessly, and the group nimbly avoids the traps Bosnia & Herzegovina fell into with their similar effort in 2016.
Steinunn: If there is anything I love as much as Balkan ballads it’s Balkan ethno-pop. “Nova Deca” might not be as great as what king Zeljko Joksimovic has given us or as epic as Goran Bregovic’s work, but it sure is helping with satisfying my need for the Balkan fix I so crave every year. All three of the singers are great but it is the ethnic vocals of Danica that stand out by far.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 20 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.50/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!