2017 Eurovision Review – Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan have taken to Eurovision like a duck to water, and it shows in their results. Not once has Azerbaijan missed the final, and they’ve even managed to win the contest on their fourth year of participation. Over the last three years, their qualification has been at risk with results inching closer to the 10th spot, so this year they’ve enlisted Dihaj to represent the nation with the song Skeletons. Is this the song Azerbaijan needs to get back to the top of the table?

I’m not always a fan of what Azerbaijan has to send to Eurovision, but each year is a new opportunity to impress me. When Dihaj was selected, there wasn’t much information given to know what to expect from her entry, but my excitement came from hearing the previously released single Eşqini aşagı sal, firstly because it was the type of song I’m totally into right now, plus it wasn’t in English. What Dihaj came out with for Eurovision has that same edgy feeling whilst being a completely different style of song.

Skeletons is a unique song with a very grungy yet synthesised feel, which differentiates it from the rest of the field this year. Lyrically, nothing really feels expected, and overall the song takes turns that even though I’ve listened to the song a number of times now, I still don’t expect. I really like how her voice is the core of the song, but you hear the conflicting vocals from the backing singers which gives it this really tense feel about it. The song grows between verse and chorus, and then it repeats for the next verse and chorus, rather than building over the entire song. I like that the song still takes some time without vocals between the first chorus and second verse, as some silent space gives you time to appreciate and process the song a bit better. The bridge of the song is also really interesting, as it really utilises the predominately male backing vocals to contrast with her strong tone of voice.

Diana of Dihaj is a unique personality, and we can see that through her hairstyles and outfit choices, and with that in mind I’d really want to see something super unique on stage to not only capture the atmosphere of the  song, but to capture how unique her personality is. Knowing Azerbaijan, there will be something pretty special ready to go for the stage performance, something that will further make this stand out from the other songs in the semi-final.

Overall, this is a song that you don’t necessarily sing along to, but you stand back and appreciate the entire performance. It has taken me a while to actually get into this song, and the first time I listened to it I didn’t even make it through to the end. I actually find it to be a song that’s hard to make a connection to, but once you’ve begun enjoying it, you can really appreciate what it has to offer. This will be reaching the final, and I have no doubt about it. This also has a big chance of reaching the Top 10, or even the Top 5, as it seems to have a fairly positive reaction around it. I think I’ll probably appreciate this the most after the contest, as it continuously grows on me as time goes by. At the moment, I’m going to give it an 8/10.

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