2016 Reviews – FYR Macedonia – Kaliopi – Dona

Once again, we are welcoming Kaliopi to Eurovision, with her last attempt back in 2012, where she took her nation to the finals. This year, she’s back with a song titled Dona (no, not donut), but will this song improve on her previous results at Eurovision?

Her last entry Crno I Belo was a crowd favourite, and was arguably one of FYR Macedonia’s best entries in recent years, so what I’m getting at here is that the standards are high. What Kaliopi has going for her is a genuine passion for music, an incredible voice and a great song writing team. The song Dona is a song that needs to not be forgotten this year and I’ll tell you why.

First of all, the first point of commendation is using native language. This choice makes a huge difference in my eyes. With majority of the songs in English, I actually think that singing in something other than English gives a point of differentiation, but other than that, it allows Kaliopi to bring more emotion to the song, which she certainly does. Not using English certainly doesn’t rule her out of the running for a great position, as she showed back in 2012.

The song does start a bit slow, but when it builds, it really builds to something spectacular. From the first seconds, her voice intrigues you, and she really comes into her element towards the end. The strings section and piano complements her, and the simple beat in the verse gives a chance for her voice to really be the star of the show.

The thing about Kaliopi is that what you get in the studio recording will be amplified on stage, and with a classy stage performance, this should do well in the second semi-final. I will genuinely be surprised, and disappointed to not see this in the final, however saying that, I think juries might take to this song relatively well.

Like many, I didn’t really pay much attention to this song, but after watching live performances, and an incredible rendition of the song with Kaliopi playing the piano, I realise that this song cannot be forgotten amongst the rest. Her piano ‘acoustic’ version of the song was absolutely stunning, and that version at Eurovision may even have been better. Either way, her personality will come out through her voice and stage performance, and it will (hopefully) be rewarded with a spot in the final, and a great spot in the final itself.

I’ve had to think about what I’m going to rate this song, because it’s not a song I’d choose to listen to over and over, but I cannot deny how much I enjoy this while actually listening to it. I can’t for the life of me pick whether I like this song or Crno I Belo better as they both had elements I enjoyed. Anyway, I need to decide on a rank…. And I think with all this said, I’ll give it a well deserved 8/10. Not my favourite, but shouldn’t be forgotten.

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