The Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—turns its eye toward Baku today to review Sabina Babayeva’s ESC 2012 entry. We’ve had the luck to interview her in London, and to hear her perform live in Amsterdam, so our opinions are seriously informed. When the music died did we cry? Or did we say “hallelujah”? Read on to find out…
Wiwi: We need to talk about Sabina. This beauty from Baku has the most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen, and she knows how to work her angles, as shown in this super glossy music video. Let’s hope she doesn’t have to hold a microphone at Eurovision: she uses her hands so much I’m afraid she might throw the mic at a jury member by accident! Eurovision is supposed to be about the song. But I can’t help thinking that her beauty and poise will score her a few more points than this song deserves.
Which leads me to my main point: Sabina is amazing, but her song “When the Music Dies” is not. Jazz doesn’t appeal to me, it doesn’t move me, and I just can’t get into it. She interprets the music beautifully—just look at the pain on her face! But I rather hear a good song sung poorly than a bad song sung well.
Vebooboo: She’s pretty and she has a good voice, but this song never goes anywhere and just let’s the music die. There may be a standing ovation in the Crystal Hall when Sabina takes to the stage, but I have a feeling all of those people will be from Azerbaijan! Baku, we love you. But we won’t be seeing you again in 2013.
Meows Kitty: She has the voice of Christina Aguilera, and the song is well-produced and sounds very professional. But it’s also quite dull and literally put me to sleep. Some people say the song ‘grows’ on them, but I don’t really want to hear it for a second time to find out. Despite all that I think it may place quite well in the competition due to its commercial appeal and the usual voting tactics employed by the former Soviet Republics.
Deban: Great song, strong vocals and clarity of lyrics. Nevertheless, this is by no means a winning entry. It lacks the Cypriot punch, or the Irish gusto. Even in a sea of ballads, Albania’s Rona Nishliu is far more memorable, and showcases greater vocal range.
However, this is one of the most radio-friendly entries in this years’ selection, and certainly one that has great cross-over potential. What lets it down is that it isn’t strong enough to be a debut. This is the sort of pop number you put out as the third single from your fourth album. Your established fanbase would buy into it, but this won’t win any new fans.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5/10