The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we head to Montenegro where we listen to Balkan balladeer Vanja Radovanovic and his song “Inje” (Frost). Did it give us chills? Read on to find out!
Vanja Radovanovic with “Inje”
Anthony: Back to basics for Montenegro with their tried and tested formula — a good old vintage Balkan ballad sung entirely in Montenegrin. While it resulted in two consecutive qualifiers, there’s no guarantee it’ll be third time lucky for Vanja. “Inje” lacks depth and ends up sounding a tad repetitive to even be considered in the same league as “Moj Svijet” and “Adio”.
Bogdan: Eurovision would not be complete without the staple Balkan ballad. However, as Balkan ballads go, “Inje” is too formulaic, reductive and forgettable, despite Vanja’s competent singing. While certainly pleasant when listening to it, “Inje” is nothing to write home about, like “Lane Moje” was 14 years ago. Others have done it better before, and sadly “Inje” brings nothing fresh to the table.
Jovana: I see “Inje” as Montenegro’s attempt to repeat their biggest Eurovision success so far by sending an entry similar to their most successful one – “Adio”. That is this song’s biggest strength and at the same time biggest flaw. There is certainly a quality here, but it sounds just too much like other Balkan-style ballads we have had a chance to hear at this festival. Plus, Vanja is quite a new face, while Zeljko Joksimovic and Knez are big stars and at least that attracted the fans from former Yugoslavia to vote for them. I do not know what to expect. It could do really well or not well at all.
Luis: Montenegro’s entry is a perfectly formulaic Balkan ballad. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, and it doesn’t quite reach any new heights. While “Inje” tries to be dramatic and transcendent, in the end, it happens to be a bit troubadour-esque. The big problem is that it’s not even pretentious enough to hate it: you just look past it and play the next song in the playlist.
Sebastian: The revamp of “Inje” transformed an absolute no-hoper to a potential qualifier if Montenegro’s cards fall right. Previously monotonous and forgettable, the backing track now takes the listener on an aural journey. If they can match staging to Montenegro’s 2014 levels, this might just cross the line to a grand-final return.
William: Simple, sweet and dramatic, “Inje” would absolutely slay a Balkan ballad contest. Sadly, when it comes to Balkan ballads at Eurovision, we’ve heard this all before and we’ve heard it done better. This feels like a pastiche of Zeljko Joksimovic, Knez and that group from Croatia that sang “Misery”. It’s too formulaic and ultimately too forgettable. Nice bridge though!
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 1 and a high of 7.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.19/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
I like it. Solid, dependable, classic. Perhaps not quite up there with the greatest balkan ballads but still good.
No idea how it will do,will also depend on staging. In my top 15.
These comments are breaking my heart and I will likely get some heat for this, but I LOVE this song. Maybe it’s because I’m not familiar with Balkan Ballads and I’ve only very loosely followed Eurovision until this year (I’m Canadian – the contest just doesn’t get much buzz here), so my perceptions might be fresher than those who’ve followed Eurovision for a long time. Because of that, I have nothing to really compare this song to other than the current entries; there is nothing, absolutely nothing, about Inje that I don’t like. The instrumentation can not be faulted, the… Read more »
Had a quick listen to Adio and Moj Svijet – I will acknowledge that Moj Svijet has a more polished sound, both vocally and musically, and I understand the appeal of Adio, but I don’t love Inje any less! And this may roll some eyes, but Adio is my least favourite of the three (I do really love some of the instrumentation however and I enjoy the intro prior to the vocals). Moj Svijet and Inje are very comparable and well suited for my personal tastes despite having very different emotional vibes. I just wanted to know what everyone was… Read more »
Well, there are several songs you should give a listen to if you like this style… in no particular order:
Zeljko Joksimovic “Nije Ljubav Stvar”
Zeljko Joksimovic “Lane Moje”
Jelena Tomaševi? “Oro”
Marija Serifovic “Molitva”
Hari Mata Hari “Lejla”
And maybe also:
Regina “Bistra Voda”
No Name “Zauvijek Moja”
Maya Sar “Korake Ti Znam”
Hm. Jelena’s name came out a little garbled. It’s Jelena Tomasevic. I copy-pasted it and I guess the local lettering didn’t travel well!
Thanks for the share!
Actually, it was ‘Molitva’ that introduced me to Eurovision a couple years ago. It was just a random recommend on YouTube – I’m so glad I clicked! Really love that song…
I think I’m just going to have to set up a Eurovision Balkan Ballad Playlist now 😀
(Asides from ‘Molitva’, I’m really liking ‘Nije Ljubav Stvar’ and ‘Zauvijek Moja’ upon first listen.)
He’s so sweet? Daddy of the year?
“Inje” is a nice and artsy Balkan Ballad. I’m not a fan of Balkan Ballads. I just can’t connect to this song despite Vanja’s vocal and performing abilities (the Israel calling performance was actually pretty good) but still this is a huge no-no for me. I don’t expect this to qualify but if it did, well kudos to Vanja. But still this song is so uninspiring and boring. And there have been better Balkan Ballads so… 2. Italy 6. Poland 10. FYR Macedonia 13. Azerbaijan 16. The Netherlands 18. Lithuania 22. Denmark 24. Serbia 26. United Kingdom 30. Slovenia 31.… Read more »
This doesn’t come close to Moj Svijet. It’s OK, I suppose, much better than some other ballads this year. Despite the terrible quality of the sound, he performed very powerfully and impressively in the NF so I know he can deliver live. I don’t think I would be surprised if he didn’t qualify, but considering he is in a weak semi, there is definitely a strong chance he could go through.
It was pretty a grower for me since I looked up lyrics. There’s some tweak in song structure been made, but would arranger avoid ordinariness in the song without turning it into something grotesque, I believe that would help Inje stay out more.
It’s my no.4. I absolutely love everything about this. The build through the chorus, the power of Vanja’s voice, the instrumentation. The last note is epic. What is really refreshing was that this song was the choice of the Montenegrin people, they could have went in a different direction if they had wanted. Exciting! Am going to stop right there because I know that mine is not the consensus opinion on this song. I just hope that this qualifies so much.
From my least liked songs this year…
It screams NON qualifier…
Better than Adio.
Fast food is not only served by the likes of Sweden and is not necessarily an uptempo dance tune. For me, fast food music can also come in a form of yet another balkanic ballad doing everything that is expected from it melodically and in performative terms. This might well be made in a computer and name it ‘authentic folk’. 4,5/10
This will do much better than expected. The type of song that takes you by surprise in an intimate staging with nice camera angles. It’s placed in the weaker semifinal. Borderline qualifier at this point.
My prediction after rehearsals: a la final.
I’ve never been a fan of Balkan Ballads tbh, but “Inje” is plan boring. There are good examples Montenegro could have followed, like they, themselves, did back in 2014 with “Moj Svet” or in 2015 with “Adio”. They are sticking to the same formula this year, but “Inje” isn’t nothing compared to those beautiful songs. I don’t really see Montenegro qualifying, more like a 15th-18th placing in its SF. Montenegro is my 41st: 11. Italy (7.25) 13. Lithuania (7) 14. Denmark (7) 15. FYR Macedonia (7) 18. Poland (7) 21. Armenia (6.75) 23. Slovenia (6.5) 24. Ireland (6.5) 26. Croatia… Read more »
It’s a shame it won’t qualify.
-Gave me goosebumps.
-His voice is slightly similar to Sergej’s Cetkovic’s, but less mature.
-Back to Balkan ballads.
-One of my favorites, but it won’t go to the finals. Sadly.
After two disastrous years in a row (because honestly, those two songs were HORRIBLE, equally horrible), going back to a Balkan ballad was a breath of fresh winter air for me. I know this song doesn’t have much of a chance, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites.
Montenegro only ever qualified with Balkan ballads… so don’t rule them out.
He performs well live, is in a semi final that is wide open with most of the favourites fighting two days earlier, with some regional friends, and the song is actually quite good. I’d expect this to qualify in 9th or 10th place.
Is it only me or is he extremely sexy?
Absolutely not. ??
I find him very good looking too.
Being half-Serbian, I listen to this kind of music quite often, and I’m simply unable to hate Balkan ballads for the most part. That’s why I probably like this more than most people. And yet, I don’t care about it too much They did a pretty good job with the revamp, I though, and added a by more substance and richer instrumentation, especially in the first verse, which used to be a snoozefest. They still keep the strings and the percussion in the chorus, which I think is the strongest part, and it has a pretty nice melody. The lyrics… Read more »
I find ridiculous this trend when people give final marks that don’t match what they have spend 10 minutes talking about. Like this is so bad, and this and that doesn’t work and then he gives 6.5, while you would expect 4,5. or they say it is a great song and the give 5,5 when you expect 7,5. I mean seriously?! Don’t try to cover up or justify, stick to the same line the whole time, don’t be afraid to like or not like smth.
and stop using strong dramatic adjectives… bring the range to a reasonable distance.
WATCH THIS :
“William: Simple, sweet and dramatic, “Inje” would absolutely slay a Balkan ballad contest.
If you just didn’t put that sentence in your comment, (try reading it without it), that score would have been very appropriate.
And then look at Luis who gave 5,5/10. Honey a 3,5 is a generous for that comment.
Bogdan perfect example of staying on the point the whole time. His score matches his words and doesn’t try to soften his dislike.
Good point Philip, and it has to do with the same point I was talking below with Sabrina. Not only that the ratings are subjective (which it should be), but the meaning behind each rating is way arbitrary too. For “tough” critics, giving a 6 is a great thing, for mild ones, it’s horrible. Unless the meaning behind the rating is standardized, these problems will happen.
To be honest, I’ve heard better songs than this, but it’s still beautiful and they did a good revamp. I’m a huge fan of balkan ballads and they are sth different in the contest. I like when there are such entries. In this case, we have a song full of emotion with a beautiful melody and voice.
OGAE Albania voted:
1 point to Germany
2 points to Sweden
3 points to Belgium
4 points to Australia
5 points to Denmark
6 points to Norway
7 points to Greece
8 points to Bulgaria
10 points to Italy
AND 12 POINTS TO ISRAEL!
That’s 5 out of 5. Is Netta unstoppable ir what, it’s pretty possible she beats Francesco in terms of pre-contest hype. But, to be fair, only 8 people voted on this one.
OFF TOPIC 🙂 INFE 2018 POLL = International Network of Fanclubs of EUROVISION. INFE Malta is the next club to vote in the INFE Poll 2018, giving one participating Eurovision 2018 country their first set of 12 points in this year’s INFE Poll. Any guesses as to which country it could be? In total, members from all 24 clubs will be casting their votes and deciding their favourite entries in the second annual INFE Poll, with the final outcome of the results set to be unveiled on the 22 April. Votes from INFE Malta 1 point goes to San Marino… Read more »
OGAE Poll 2018:
Current top 6 of the OGAE POLL 2018
1. ISRAEL 60
2. FRANCE 28
3. AUSTRALIA 22
4. FINLAND 21
5. SWEDEN 19
6. CYPRUS 18
7. ITALY & DENMARK both 17
9. CZECH REPUBLIC & BELGIUM & BULGARIA all with 16
Next to vote for today are – IRELAND & ITALY 🙂
8/10 This is one of my guilty pleasures for the year. I love this balkan ballad. It has a nice orchestral build and feel; and his voice delivers a lot of power. First time I listened to the studio cut: I got goosebumps. Being in the second semi; it could slip through.
It is good to learn that I am not alone in supporting MNE this year. ‘Inje’ is a gentle balkan ballad with an interesting orchestration and a fine vocalist. In an average year like 2018 that is enough to get into my top 10.
Okay, well…. This is yet another song I totally like eventhough I shouldn’t. Yes, nobody thinks that Montenegro has a Chance… Yes, probably that’s true. But I don’t care, I really like ”Inje”. I probably have a thing for Balkan ballads, because they usually always grow on me. And the lyrics seem to be beautiful… I can’t find any particular reason for me to like it, but I do. And I definitly want to see Montenegro in the final this year…(Probably won’t happen, but who knows?)
My 5th in semi 2 (I’m not kidding!)
Oh, Balkan ballads… Adieu, Moj Svijet and my lovely ZELJKO <3 When I heard "Inje" for the first time, I thought: "Nice like all of them – but nothing more". However, it grew on me a lot. And I expect this process to proceed! By the way – beautiful lyrics, which sound perfect in Montenegrin.
*It was “Adio”, of course. Too much French xD
I think Montenegro has a good chance to qualify if they do the staging right
Is Greece going to be too late in the wiwi jury order?
Does that mean this afternoon or tomorrow, as it’s Saturday, or it means in a course of one weak? 🙂 Sorry if I am being annoying by being nitpicky.
OMG, it’s already Sunday! Scratch that – so does it mean today or during one weak? 🙂
* week – I hate typos. 🙁
The second most boring song in the whole contest, after Armenia. I think all these guys are trying to pull a Amar Pelos Dois or Lane Moje, but these were very special songs which touched the deepest corners of our hearts. For me this is just male ballad done wrong. 2/10
It’s nice when you listen to it, but once it’s over I forget it. It’s also the typical Balkan Ballad and while Montenegro has done well with them in the past, I just see nothing new going on here. In the end I suspect it will fail to advance but kudos to them for going cultural atleast and the song does have its merits when you listen to it. Shame you forget those merits when the song is over. But not the worst song in the contest this year. 5/10
I cannot wait for it to qualify just to prove you all wrong 🙂
Montenegro – Vanja Radovanovic: “Inje” Keys: F-sharp minor, G minor Time Sigs: 4/4 Song structure: Verse 1 – Verse 2 – Pre-Chorus – Chorus – Extension – Bridge [+ Key Change] – Reprise – Coda Harmony: Traditional chords, with classical development reminiscent of The Romantics. Modulation before the Reprise. Influences: Traditional Balkan Ballads, Classical Music (Romantic Period) Music comments: When I first heard this music, with its five-note Scalic melodies and “romantic” piano harmonies, I thought I was listening to a re-arrangement of Chopin. But actually, this is Montenegro’s “Balkan Ballad” entry. It is surprisingly slow-paced, even for a ballad,… Read more »
Hey 🙂 When you said, almost the opposite, I expected a 2/10 review or something like that. I am glad it’s not that bad. I said my praise of the song in my own review, so let me now just praise your dedication for analyzing each song. Interestingly, you find the lyrics depressing (which they to a degree, indeed are), but I really see the hopefulness in it all. It’s not a black hole of bleak as, let’s say, Ni sunca ni meseca from Beovizija. As a comparison with Adio and Moj Svijet goes, I roughly love them all in… Read more »
Thanks Colin. I do appreciate what the songwriter has tried to do with this song – there is good romanticism and nice scalic melodies. But part of the problem with it is the comparison with “Adio” and “Moj Svijet”. When I first heard “Moj Svijet” in 2014, I smiled and cried at the same time. With “Adio”, I got a “wow” factor – that is a great song. But with “Inje”, I kept waiting for that emotional impact that never really happened. Despite the beautiful music, “Inje” song feels cold and lifeless, and I honestly think this is the fault… Read more »
Big song, big entry, big disappointment
This entry is very BY the BBB (Balkan ballad books) and This is nowhere near the power of Adio or Nije Lubav Stvar, but thats because they Where masterpieces, and This is just an ok entry. His voice is golden and the song is fine, but I can see it qualifying, giving His 16th spot in the RO, and His live capabilities. Don’t rule Montenegro out yet, Nobody really loved Adio Before the rehearsals.
Very good entry from Montenegro. I know it’s a classic Balkan ballad, but it does a very good job for what it is. The arrangement (in the final version) is done brilliantly and I love the way how the gentle piano entry seamlessly blends into the symphonic chorus. I’d actually love to listen to a full-instrumental version. It’s poetic, it’s heartfelt – what’s not to like. If you do something that has already been done before, you should do it well – and Montenegro definitely does. My personal ranking: 8.5/10 (12th overall) My prediction: 6-10 in the second semi final,… Read more »
There’s a user on Youtube uploading the instrumental versions of the Eurovision’s songs. You can find Montenegro’s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWk9DEe97EQ
Thanks! It’s more of a karaoke version, but it still sounds great.
Yeah, more like that. But I found them helpful to notice some things that sometimes get hidden behind the voices. I wish he could remove also the backing vocals, but I think he’s trying his best.
So quick question, how do you guys determine the reviewing order of these songs? Are they just randomly chosen, or not?
It’s a respectable entry, a well executed traditional balkan ballad. Vanja’s vocals and the song’s instrumental aren’t exactly remarkable, but they’re definitely competent. I understand that the use of backing vocals follows what we would normally expect from an act like this, but they disturb me a little bit, especially on that “haaaaahhhh” part. The lyrics are poetic and fit all the drama going on. Though, when reading the translation, I was surprised to find the verse “Me and my life are like a dog and a cat / my heart is its most expensive toy” that doesn’t match the… Read more »
(sorry, I need some sleep)
In the bridge verse – ”Life and I are like a cat a dog” – the ”life” is referring to the life in general, the world, the universe. It’s not about his particular existence.
I appreciate the review. Even though it’s one of my favorite songs this year, I like hear different opinions. Actually, might sound strange, but I am pleasantly surprised by the Wiwibloggs review of 5.19. As (unfortunately) this song is often low on You Tube lists, I was expecting a ‘negative’ review. As 5.00 is an exact median, this is still a ‘positive’ review in a way.
It sure makes more sense without the “my”. But I still think it’s a lightweight image when compared to the rest of the lyrics. And maybe that’s a cultural thing, because the opposition between dogs and cats here is treated more like a joke. Well, I gave it a 5, but for me this is an average grade, not exactly a bad one. I realize that some people may think I’m very mean to a song when I give it less than a 7, but that’s not the case. Like we talked before, there are very few songs this year… Read more »
In the countries of Ex-Yu, dog and cat are often just used as a default opposition. I can be in a funny way, but it can also be very serious, depending on the context. For me, it’s obvious that a 5/10 is an average, median or mixed review. I gave that to UK and Slovenia, two entries I am fine with, but ultimately indifferent for. Some people are just inflating everything, I guess, so 7/10 means ‘meh’ to them. Others are really tough with ratings and 6/10 mean ‘quite good’. That’s actually the interesting thing about the ratings – not… Read more »
Here we talk about dogs and cats when people fight a lot. Most of the times used to make fun of those people or to express some disdain with the continuous fight between them. So yeah, it’s a small difference, but it explains why we felt different things about this part of the lyrics. I try to use a similar scale to yours when rating a song. I just don’t know if 6 would mean OK. I usually like those I give from 6 to 7, I just don’t like them as much as those from 7 to 8. I… Read more »
MONTENEGRO – Each year, there is a song which I totally fall for even though it’s not considered to be a strong contender by the majority. This year, it’s definitely Montenegro! Inje (Frost) is an extremely beautiful song about a hidden love and it oozes romanticism and nostalgia. It’s about a man who hides his love, acting like he is okay, even though it tares him apart. The song manages to balance depth of sadness with hopefulness in a way that despite some of it’s sad lyrics, it doesn’t turn out depressing. This story might get a happy ending if… Read more »
I like the video, there’s something imposing about it. But I guess this is the kind of entry that will bring that Eurovision’s institution: the interpretative dancer.
I suspect it could. 🙂 It would be lovely if the performance fits the mood video was setting. The ‘revamp’ (read: clearer version) is better than the one from Montevizija, but that’s mostly due to less than stellar recording they have sent online.
Hi Colin. Okay, wow. I didn’t see this coming. We have almost exact opposite opinions about this song! 😀 I will post the full review once my computer gets switched on. But basically, it reminds me of a microcosm of an opera’s first act. There are plenty of operas out there that have an overly long “Act I”, which can last over an hour. These are mostly just whining exposition and build-up until they get to the final aria. This is how I feel about this song… exposition and whiny build-up for 2 minutes, before finally the full beautiful melody… Read more »
Hi, Purple Mask, always nice hearing from you! Yeah, I know this comes as a shocker, as this song is constantly overlooked on lists, but I really love it! I get where you are getting from, but I enjoy every second from start to finish. There is plenty of drama and depth IMHO. And yeah, Vanja is very good looking as well. I am looking forward to your review too. 🙂
Thank you!!! Someone else who gets the subtlety of this song. Currently this is in my top 5 also a 9.5.
(Although I suspect my top 5, or most of it is pretty much in everyone else’s bottom 5).
Thanks for your comment, Magpie. 🙂 Don’t doubt your taste if you actually feel that way. B-)
Pleasant to listen to but forgettable and not captivating enough. Definitely not as strong as Balkan ballads of the past and it will struggle to advance.
2)SLO 6.58 3)SRB 6.50 4)POL 6.36
5)MLT 6.31 6)DEN 6.17 7)MDA 6.08
8)NOR 5.44 9)MNE 5.19
2)MLT 8.13 3)DEN 8.00
4)SRB 8.00 5)SLO 8.00 6)MDA 7.75
7)POL 7.63 8)NOR 7.38 9)MNE 6.31
2)SLO 14.58 3)SRB 14.50 4)MLT 14.44 5)DEN 14.17 6)POL 13.99 7)MDA 13.83
8)NOR 12.82 9)MNE 11.50
It’s an ok song but I wouldn’t listen to it ever. This is probably the weakest Balkan ballad though the revamp has saved it a little bit. Compared to the previous efforts of Montenegro in this genre this seems very lacklustre and uneventful. It needs something to make it seem better but there isn’t. Also this was my least favorite of the songs competing in the NF.
I agree with most of the comments, Inje, while nice, it’s just not remarkable enough to impress. It does nothing new or even interesting with the Balkan Ballad trope, and just ends up sounding anonymous. It may have potential for a grandiose live (and they should throw all into it like Sergej’s and Knez’s), but I don’t see this causing any impact.