The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — have come together to review a Eurovision legend who has performed at the contest twice and written many more songs for Serbia, as well as countries such as Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ladies and gentleman, Željko Joksimovic with the ballad “Nije Ljubav Stvar”.
To Eurofans everywhere, “Lane Moje” — Serbia and Montenegro’s Eurovision entry in 2004 — is a modern classic in the contest’s history. Željko Joksimovic followed up in 2012 with the equally authentic “Nije Ljubav Stvar”, this time representing the now independent Serbia. On his first attempt Željko narrowly missed out on victory with a second place finish, however his second attempt kept him inside the top three in third place.
The song speaks of being in love with someone but knowing the relationship isn’t working, and having to let go. With lyrics translating to “I wish you the best, this love is just my shipwreck”, it’s a heartbreaker that touched many fans across the continent. Are the Wiwi Jury crying with it, or have they turned off already? Let’s see.
Željko Joksimovic – “Nije Ljubav Stvar”
“Nije Ljubav Stvar” reviews
William: Zeljko Joksimovic isn’t afraid to let his music speak for itself, or to take a backseat and let his instrumentalists shine. Just as he did in 2004, he brought his Jesus lookalike friend to Eurovision, and he worked his wooden flute throughout the song. It all harked back to the days when ESC contestants performed with a live orchestra, rather than an electronic backing. As for the song, it builds gradually, but captures your attention instantly. I like the pace, and I love how Zeljko gave us face! Perhaps Serbia’s strongest entry since 2007’s “Molitva”.
Angus: “Nije ljubav stvar” is a really beautiful thing. From the interplay between the string players, the solemn opening over the piano, or Zeljko’s own command of the stage there is a real magic in the performance. It shows that when the ingredients of regional ballad come together on stage, you can get exceptional results. It has progression, dynamism and makes real use of the vast stage on offer in Azerbaijan.
Bernardo: Željko Joksimovic will go down as a Eurovision institution that helped showcase the best of his regional musical culture to the entire world. “Nije Ljuvan Stvar” is the crown jewel of his career. The strings arrangement and the melody takes you on a journey you hope will never end. Unfortunately Eurovision has a three-minute per song rule.
Deban: A classic ballad that warms the heart, “Nije Ljubav Stvar” is a feast for the ears. Lyrically poetic and beautifully arranged, this is a song that builds into an incredible climax. Željko Joksimovic’s strength as a singer-songwriter really comes to form; even the instrumental bridge tugs on your heart strings. Seven years on, listening to this song evokes the same feelings I felt in 2012. This Serbian entry has gone on to become one of my most played all-time classics.
Oliver: Željko Joksimovic has given us a quality entry every time he involves himself with the Eurovision Song Contest — regardless of which country he is working for. While a Eurovision victory has escaped his clutches, his songs still live on in the hearts of Euro-fans around the globe. The year 2012 may have been the year of Loreen, but “Nije Ljubav Stvar” is a quintessential example of what Joksimovic does best. The orchestral musicality of this entry is one which still amazes me seven years after it graced the stage and the back-bending violin solo during the bridge gives me goosebumps every time.
Barnabas: Loreen might have won by a landslide in Baku, but that doesn’t take anything from the fact that Zeljko’s second Eurovision entry is the most beautiful song that has ever graced the Eurovision stage. The emotions and sadness expressed through the music pierce through the heart of the listener, breaking it to pieces, as Zeljko’s vocal mastery breaks through the barriers of language and culture, giving me goosebumps every time I listen to it. Thank you for competing twice, maestro!
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 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 4 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.7/10
If you've never had a song by Zeljko Joksimovic as your Eurovision winner than you might need to reconsider your life choices
— ?? TIMCADE ?? #ROTTERDAM2020 (@CalmAfterTheTim) February 11, 2019
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