Last night the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — flew to Belgrade and visited the river island Ada Ciganlija. After enjoying drinks on the sunny beach, we pulled up some deckchairs and reviewed Serbia’s Eurovision 2015 act Bojana Stamenov. Did “Beauty Never Lies” inspire us to celebrate? Or did we find little to love? Read on to find out…
Serbia’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Bojana Stamenov with ‘Beauty Never Lies’
William: Continuing Conchita’s theme of inclusivity and perseverance, Bojana brings us a feel-good anthem filled with soul and ethnic edge. You can’t fault her voice, nor can you help but get goosebumps at 2:00 when she cranks it up. This is already on loop in my house.
Deban: Bojana Stamenov, who reminds me of Beth Ditto, is a welcome addition to the 60th anniversary edition. She brings a positive message to the contest. The original — the Serbian language “Ceo svet je moj” — had a great melody. “Beauty Never Lies” takes that melody and gives it universality through language. It’s powerful, emotional, infectious and uplifting. This song could be tweaked better, but even as it is now, it remains a strong effort.
Francheska: This is simply perfection! The use of percussion and backing vocals is so cool, Bojana’s voice is so powerful, and this is such a great self-love song! I love songs that are all about celebrating beauty for oneself, and not because it’s a specific standard or for someone else (*cough “All About that Base” cough*). The genre change at the end is so cool as well, and I am just completely in love. The music video is cool and supportive, and I’m simply in awe of this beautiful entry! I wish it were in Serbian, as it is such a lovely language, but I’m totally ok with this in English! Bojana just became my queen for Eurovision this year!
Angus: The bridge in “Beauty Never Lies” feels like desperate CPR to resuscitate an otherwise dead song. The energy flatlines until the ’90s beats crash into life, and as impressive as Bojana’s vocal gymnastics are, it feels like very much a case of too little, too late.
Robyn: “Beauty Never Lies” is like a mix of the diversity message of “Rise Like a Phoenix”, the booty-appreciation anthem “All About that Bass” and a modern EDM banger. It mostly works, though sometimes it feels a bit too serious, like there’s not much fun in the business of honest beauty, and I find myself struggling to connect with the song. But Bojana has an almighty voice and will surely prove to be an amazing young diva on stage.
Padraig: This year’s contest is in dire need of a feel-good, sasstastic, dance anthem. Sadly this isn’t it. The track feels like a manipulative effort to zone in on the Eurovision spirit of diversity and acceptance – she’s different, so are you, vote for her song…. NO! Cheap and cheesy, pass the barf-bag. Caveat: I’ll probably end up dancing to this come May, but only for want of something better.
Bogdan: I don’t mind the language change for once, because of the universal message. Bojana is a great singer, but the song, especially the dance part, is dated and could have used a more modern approach. However, in a year with so many ballads, it will help Bojana stand out and this might get Serbia back to the final. I have to admit though that I tend to skip it when it comes on. It’s just not my style of music.
First impression of “Ceo svet je moj”
Chris: I’m a sucker for a big diva no matter what (hey, Esma!), which is probably why I’m still enjoying “Beauty Never Lies”. I definitely preferred “Ceo svet je moj”, but I think what’s important is that the majority of Europe will only ever have heard “Beauty Never Lies” for the first time in the semi-finals. Without the comparison to make, I still think that “Beauty Never Lies” works as a song in its own right and that Bojana’s live performance will really push the song further too. It’s a bit contrived, but I still see it succeeding.
Sinan: OH MY GOODNESS! What an amazing song from Serbia! I think the Serbian language for this song was better, but I generally don’t care about the text. Regardless, it slays in English too. There is so much power in this song, and I think Bojana will deliver a great live performance in Vienna. I just love it.
Luis: If there was a definition for “wasting a great voice with a crappy song” in the dictionary, Bojana Stamenov’s face would appear as the first entry. To begin with, ditching Serbian for English was a bad decision. It is not always necessary to make Europe understand the lyrics, especially if your lyrics aren’t absolutely amazing or don’t make sense (hey there, Tijana). I’m afraid “Beauty Never Lies” will not put Serbia back on the Eurovision Olympus, even though Bojana’s vocals deserve it.
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores.
William C: 1/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 1 and a high of 10.