The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we take a look at Slovenia, where Ana Soklič has “Amen”. Did it make us want to shout hallelujah? Read on to find out!
Ana Soklič – “Amen”
Julian: Oh Lord, what a voice. We already knew Ana’s big voice and her range but “Amen” definitely shows her voice at the next level! Beginning slowly, Ana had me with her first note singing. Going on, the song builds beautifully into a big chorus and a gospel choir supports her, elevating the song even more. While there a people who see “Amen” as a typical ballad — which it actually is — I would not underestimate Ana to convince listeners at home and in the jury to vote Slovenia into the final!
Luis: Ana Soklic’s abilities are out of the question. What is yet to be settled is whether this entry is a beautiful showcase for them or mere vocal masturbation. Musically, the instrumentation is grand albeit a bit empty. “Amen” follows a risky path: a message that’s so explicit will have its followers, but also its detractors. Religious imagery is a delicate topic, many will interpret this as a sermon, and it’s not certain this is what the audience wants on Eurovision night.
Deban: In a modern world where “El Diablo” is AMAZING and Jesus is not, we really have to take some of these criticisms with a pinch of salt. Although “Amen” isn’t my track of choice, it underpins the faith of millions of listeners across the continent and fully represents the singer. I would’ve preferred this entry to read more ‘inclusive’. However, it would be a major oversight to ignore the strength of Ana Soklic’s voice. From her deep register to her mezzo-soprano highs, this Slovenian singer is a master vocalist. When the choir of voices join her, she powers in to build a bigger stage moment and knows when to exercise restraint as the track fades to an end. Not many of her contemporaries have mastered this skill in the way that she has.
Natalie: I have to say, this song grew on me a lot when I did the lyrics analysis of it. Maybe it’s just because Ana Soklic’s vocals are so hard to hate. Or maybe it’s because “Hallelujah!” sounds so good when it’s sung as loudly as possible. It’s a lot deeper than we usually expect a power ballad at Eurovision to be. And it builds – oh Jeez, does it build. Each chorus is more intense than the next, and it’s so exhilarating. But let’s be realistic, it’s still just Inspirational Power Ballad #9999 at Eurovision and, buried in slot number two, its prospects are less than stellar. But I have a lot more respect for this song than I did when I heard it at face value.
Renske: You can be very upfront with Slovenia’s entry this year. Ana perhaps has one of the strongest voices in this year’s contest, but “Amen” simply does not give us anything we haven’t heard from other countries in recent years. The use of a gospel choir at the end of the song gives the song something current, but in a competition with 38 other songs, it will sadly not stand out, especially not for televoters as there are simply other songs using similar themes and lyrics.
Ana Soklič – “Amen” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five 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 2 and a high of 8.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 4.84/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!