Today the Wiwi Jury, our international panel of music un-professionals, heads to Skopje to review Kaliopi’s “Crno i Belo.” That means “black and white.” Will our critics’ opinions be as clean cut? Read on to find out.

WATCH:

Wiwi: Kaliopi may sound like a chain smoker, but that only adds to her appeal. The dark, mysterious quality of her voice fits well with her song about a woman trying to make her lover realize how special their bond is. The raspy sound of her voice matches the protagonist’s personal torture. As she pleads in the song: “Open your soul and confess to me/ Now, truly what are we?/ Half of me – inside of you/ And half of you – sleeps inside me/ Come on hug me now/ And raise me to the sky.”

That’s serious, y’all. Which likely explains the sudden shift from soft violins and a piano to an electric guitar and drumming. The rage she feels for her wayward boyfriend—who apparently can’t commit—gives the song drive. It’s like she’s giving trauma rhythm, and setting a woman’s personal breakdown to a beat. Her mix of edginess with classicism, and leather with lace, makes her one of my favorites in Baku. I’m not convinced Europe will embrace her as much as I do, but I’m sure the jury will respect talent when they hear it.

Score: 8/10

Vebooboo: Kaliopi has spunk, and we like that at wiwibloggs.com. She reminds me of last year’s Belarusian entry. The first minute of this song is a bit dreary, but when Kaliopi picks it up, so does my interest. I think she has a decent chance of making the Final, but I ain’t holding my breath–or releasing my funds on betting sites–any time soon!

Score: 5/10

Meows Kitty: Hmm, sounds like someone needs to go get their larynx checked. Apart from the bad vocals that make me want to cough, the song is pretty terrible too. It starts out like all of the other other dreary ballads in this year’s contest, but then turns into very dated 80s rock. This is definitely not going to qualify.

Score: 3/10

Deban: After 14 years of participation, it was decided by the F.Y.R. broadcasters that in order to set the tone for a top finish in Baku they needed to dispatch the Macedonian Madonna to Azerbaijan.

Enter Kaliopi. She is Macedonia’s most awarded artist with a catalogue of a dozen albums and record breaking performances. She’s also helped shape the success of many other local artists as a songwriter. Her success in her homeland is matched in Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Simply put, they couldn’t have found a bigger star.

Her contribution to ESC 2012 is one of my favourites. Her voice is melancholy yet possesses a haunting quality. “Crno i belo” tells the story of a couple struggling to fuse their binary emotions, resulting in the heroine demanding surrender. This story is beautifully laid bare during an a cappella intro. Then it moves seamlessly into heavier rock featuring an electric guitar. Kaliopi’s rendition is masterful. She is clearly in control of the pace and range of the song.

It should come as no surprise. She’s been in the music business for over thirty years! What’s surprising is that she is a representative of the Former Yugoslav Republic. As a country, they have consistently sent weak entries. In 2006, there was a brief shining moment with Elena Risteska’s Ninanajna, but it all went speedily downhill again from there. This time, I’m happy to see them taking the contest seriously.

Score: 7.5/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict:  5.86/10

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Christian
Guest

Lots of drama and passion and authentic.Can’t wait for the live performance.She can sing and the song is very well crafted

Rebeka
Guest
Rebeka

I fell in love with this song after I heard the first rehearsal today. Kaliopi sounds perfect live!

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[…] Read the Wiwi Jury’s review of “Crno i belo” […]

H.K. Dick
Guest

I listened again whilst reading your reviews – and by the end of the song completely forgot what I was listening to.

Completely forgettable.

christina
Guest
christina

Albania has a better ballad for sure.And what’s going?Appart from stealing names from Greek regions now the have also Greek names?What the f*ck is going on with them?

Neil
Guest
Neil

Hmmm. Didn’t do much for me even after reading about the reasons for shifts in moods and beats. My mind drifted quick time, not a good sign, but hey ho, you never know with ESC.

francisco
Guest
francisco

Right…Calliope was the Greek Muse of Epic poetry…I see nothing Epic and certainly no poetry in her performance but i do like her husky-musky voice…the rythms and Harmonics are quite nice too, very worked and well found…Is this a winner? aaaw, who can say?

MoMo
Guest
MoMo

I love this song. Defo my favourite thus far (also because she was so entertaining in her Wiwi interview with Deban)
BUT
*turns to Kaliopi* girl… you gotta check that throat of yours yo! Damn.

Nirgal
Guest

So… Deban actually gave the second highest score to a song?
The end of the world is coming.

Nathan
Guest
Nathan

I really like how the song picks up with the electric guitar as well. It’s not too cheesy which is good. And there are a lot of songs worse than this this year. And it doesn’t quite count as a ballad. And this will stand out apart from the other slow dreary ballads that make me yawn.
But I have to be honest, I really don’t care for this song too much. I’m curious to see what the staging will be like though.

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[…] “Love Unlimited” 12. Belarus: Litesound with “We Are the Heroes” (5.88) 12. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Kaliopi with “Crno i belo” (5.88) 14. France: Anggun with “Echo (You and I)” (5.63) […]