Azerbaijan really is a powerhouse at Eurovision, having qualified through every semi-final, and for the most part, quite convincingly. Their early years were some of their best, with their debut entry in 2008 finishing in a Top 10 position, and it wasn’t until 2014 where Azerbaijan finished outside the Top 10. They have even won the contest in their fourth year of participation, so with a record like that, we expect only the best from Azerbaijan.
This year they internally selected jazz artist Aisel, and later on released her entry X My Heart. It’s hard to know which song to actually review, since we got the leaked version, and then it feels like the song has been revamped about 7 times since! We’re taking the current music video off the official Eurovision channel as the ‘final’ version of the song, but as you continue to read through our review, you may realise that perhaps it doesn’t matter which version of the song it is….
Because the matter of fact is, this is perhaps Azerbaijan’s blandest entry to date. We’ve seen some incredible ballads from the nation, with such cultural identity through the songs, and we’ve seen some wacky entries that push boundaries, and X My Heart is neither of those. This song is so safe, it couldn’t be more safe if it tried – but the question is, will it actually be safe and qualify to the final?
I believe the most frustrating thing about their entry this year, is that they specifically choose a jazz artist with an incredible voice, and yet somehow we ended up with a really generic pop entry. It’s a bit of a side track, but think of Belgium and Sennek, you’ve got an artist who performs a specific genre of music, and her Eurovision entry reflects that personal style. Azerbaijan could have produced a Top 5 performance with an incredible ethno jazz style entry, but instead we’re stuck with a missed opportunity.
Frustrations over what could have been aside, like I previously said, this song is a very safe attempt from Azerbaijan. It’s not a bad song by any means, but it feels a bit like Demy This is Love 2.0, and if you caught out reviews last year, that song certainly didn’t do anything to impress us. It feels a bit contrived, especially with the lyrics, and it makes the song a bit forgettable.
Having the running order released now, and knowing that this song will be opening the first semi-final, I think that this song might be in even more danger of missing the final. In a semi-final with such incredible songs, X My Heart might be lost and forgotten after a few songs, and it may be one of those songs you only remember because of the voting recap. The only thing that could change that for us would be if they have a good stage performance. I know her vocals will be spectacular, and it’s Azerbaijan, so we can never rule it out of the running.
All aboard… the luna train!
‘Luna moon me up’ has to be one of the oddest lyrics of the year, but there’s always one. This still has enough appeal to qualify through, although perhaps being one of the least unique entries of the semi-final. It’s a bop, just not to my taste.