Since their win on independent debut, Serbia has been a strong competitor at Eurovision. Sure, they occasionally miss out on the final, however when they have qualified, they usually finish in the top half of the scoreboard. This year, a national final was held to select the Serbian act and from that, Nevena Božović was selected with the song Kruna. Will we be seeing Serbia in the final this year, or will it be one of those unlucky occasions where the nation fails to qualify?
Song + Vocals
Balkan ballads have had a significant place in Serbia’s Eurovision history, and the nation’s best results have been with Balkan ballads however not all Balkan ballads are created equal. Kruna is an interesting ethnic ballad that incorporates a strong rock element which definitely creates a point of difference. Usually Balkan ballads although powerful, often remain quite delicate in their melody and instrumentals however Kruna is really quite punchy.
The song opens in a very traditional Balkan ballad way featuring a range of instruments which are angelic in sound. The chorus however features strong rock elements, particularly the drums but yet it’s still possible to hear the delicate ethnic instrumentation. Whereas some songs build over the entire three minutes, this song has its highs and lows, from the delicate verses to the intense choruses.
I think where I have my issue with this song is that once I have reached the end of the first chorus, I don’t feel encouraged to continue listening to the song. Beyond that, I can’t seem to connect to melody of the verses, and nor do I think the melody of the verses connects well with the melody of the chorus. I can’t describe this other any other way than to say that I feel very disconnected from this song.
In terms of live vocals, we know Nevena has experience, and even just to watch the national final performance back, we know she is capable of delivering this live. This song is very emotive, and Nevena does know how to inject those emotions through her vocals which is certainly a positive.
Act + Performance
With both Junior Eurovision and Eurovision experience under her belt, Nevena is truly equipped to deal with the pressures of the contest. Having been unsuccessful at Eurovision as part of the group Moje 3, it’s nice to see her in the spotlight alone, and hopefully this time around the outfit will be better considered.
In terms of the performance, the staging for this song could go in various directions. We could see Nevena quite simply on stage alone, just there to perform her song, or alternatively we could see the traditional Balkan ballad style staging which features a faux backing band. This song could also lend itself to choreography, so that is certainly a possibility. Seeing as I don’t feel very connected with this song, I feel like the staging does have the potential to better hold my attention. It will be interesting to see how this will be done.
Overall, I think this song is nice, but again, I find it hard to connect. There are certainly redeeming qualities about this song, mainly the instrumentation which is such an interesting contrast between the delicate ethnic sounds with the strong rock elements. Additionally, we know Nevena can belt this song out live, so there’s also that going for it.
With that said, I don’t know that this will have a wide enough appeal to confidently send this through to the final. I believe the semi-final is fairly open, and so we could definitely see Serbia in the final, perhaps just as much as we could not see Serbia in the final. It could go either way.