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Thread: AZERBAIJAN 2017 - Dihaj - Skeletons

  1. Administrator escYOUnited's Avatar
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    #1

    AZERBAIJAN 2017 - Dihaj - Skeletons





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    #441

    Re: AZERBAIJAN 2017 - Dihaj - Skeletons

    My review of "Skeletons":

    -Despite having a habit of ordering songs from Swedish composers, Azerbaijan has become one of my favourite ESC nations due to their consistency over the years. To me, they've sent far more interesting and efficient entries than Sweden, which shows that my issue with Swedes lies with their lineups to begin with and the songs they pick eventually. The irony with Azerbaijan is that: 1) they won with their second weakest entry ever ("Day After Day" remaining their weakest effort to me), and 2) my favourite entry from them so far brought them their worst result ever ("Start A Fire"). Anyway, after Samra's "Miracle" which unexpectedly became my biggest jam of Eurovision 2016, I began to be hyped when Dihaj was announced as their representative. I didn't know her, but I had a good feeling about her: for once, Azerbaijan picked an artist rather than just a singer, so I was expecting a great entry, and... I wasn't disappointed! "Skeletons" is a dark electro-pop power ballad wavering between alternative-ish-sounding verses and more mainstream impactful choruses. While many electro-pop songs content themselves with recycling the same sounds, patterns and frames over and over again, the intro of "Skeletons" already brought some fresh beats and a humming background synth, setting an ominous atmosphere in very little time. Other dirty synths appeared feebly like echoes before Dihaj started singing. Her high-pitched voice combined with the loud and rumbling instrumentation contrasted very nicely, it reminded me of Tatu a little somehow, it was very arresting and atmospheric imo. It built up like a charm with a great pre-chorus: the gradation of the melodic lines and the return of the dirty synths gave power and a cinematic vibe to the song. Then there was a rupture atmosphere-wise with the chorus (which some say was Sia-esque) featuring striking beats, belted out notes and an unexpected choir that imo was the added value of that part (they truly added dynamism). The melody was catchy and easily hummable while not being too conventional either (I liked Dihaj's vocal effects), and the musical gimmick "Drum drum drum, bring out the guns" was tasteful and flowed nicely imo. Afterwards, we got to hear the beats used during the intro before the second verse started. Both the second verse and pre-chorus were similar to the first ones arrangement-wise, however I did appreciate Dihaj's vocal variations (modulations and stronger voice this time around) which kept me interested: her interpretation was really great to me, she was spot on for emphasizing the right words and notes while respecting the build-up. After a second chorus similar to the first one, there was a bridge mitigating things down a bit: they opted for vocal canons with a new melodic line repeating itself, while it's a relatively interesting choice, I would rather have had a more intense bridge with maybe dissonant synths and a melody that clearly departed from the chorus, since a third chorus ensued. What I'm trying to say is that I felt like the last chorus didn't have the impact it deserved due to this bridge, which sounded like an extension of it imo. I liked that part well enough, but I believe they could have gone further in the edgy department there. Overall, this was another strong entry from Azerbaijan, I loved it, even though they had the means to go crazier towards the end. Pros: modern and relatively edgy effort while remaining very radio-friendly, Dihaj's voice, the atmospheric verses. Cons: I feel the bridge could have brought more to the song had it been a fully-fledged part with its own atmosphere.

    My personal highlight is the pre-chorus, I love how it builds up vocally and the synths (which I think were a nice addition to the song) are a delight.

    -Vocally, Dihaj was a pretty competent singer imo. Firstly, her vocal tone was really refined and her fast vibrato suited the song well. Secondly, I think she was satisfactory live. Her semi performance wasn't perfect: she sounded off at times and lacked power overall. However, she managed to sort everything out for the grand final where I felt the true live potential of this song (which wasn't an easy one to do justice to live). Azeris picked the right song for her vocal range and tone (and props for finally sending an Azeri composition!), I loved her interpretation and she sustained the notes of the chorus easily. Great.

    -Visually, Azerbaijan got back to their original stagings, that one elevated the song like crazy imo. It started in the darkness with a shot of Dihaj sitting and convulsing to the rhythm of the beats in front of a ladder, and confined between walls like chalkboards covered in words. I liked her gestures and poses, highlighted by great camera angles: it looked very musical theatre and MV-like. During the first pre-chorus, viewers got to see a horse with a human body sitting on top of the ladder next to her, and a sort of building outline on a dark cloudy night in the background. I liked how everything was in shades of black, white, grey, greige and very pale flesh. Then the background turned bright red with glimpses of buildings and city lights during the chorus (nice contrast with the chalkboards), the musical hook was also highlighted by the arm movements made by both Dihaj and the half-horse-half-man. During the second verse and pre-chorus, I appreciated the nonsensical moves of the horse while Dihaj was writing the word "thorns" on the wall, they fully integrated the props into the performance, which was amazing. Eventually, the man took his horse head off while the backing vocalists appeared and took the walls to pieces (probably meaning she managed to clear her mind and escape her dark thoughts and skeletons at that point). The choir got in line while Dihaj made some cute hand movements during the bridge, before crossing everyone's back with her chalk stick (her skeletons?), which I found really dramatic and memorable. Fashion-wise, I liked Dihaj's definite style: her hair colour and hairstyle were on point: plastered hair isn't my thing usually but it totally worked on her here. Her outfit was sleek as well: her loose black pants, long sleeveless black jacket, her necklace, along with her pale flesh-toned lace top and long coat... I approve of everything here. Overall, this was one of the best staging of the year hands-down, there was a lot of creativity involved and everything looked professional and arresting without coming across as try-hard (Robin, I'm lookin' atchu!). I didn't get people who said it was a weird staging, I thought chalkboards, ladders and animals with human bodies were not unseen symbols to represent nightmares and circonvolutions of the mind (I'm glad someone finally brought those to Eurovision btw). A+ and 10/10 for Azerbaijan in the staging department!

    -Results-wise, it was no surprise Dihaj qualified, however her final 14th place is embarassing to say the least. People ranked them 11th which was ok-ish (even though 42pts is a ridiculous amount of points) and the juries ranked them 12th with 78pts... Sorry to say, but what's the point of hyping Sweden, Australia, Norway and so on to leave Azerbaijan behind? They had the total package to please the juries: the song, the performance, the visuals... yet they somehow got let down. The bias was real tbh. 14th is way too low for that effort: like Armenia, Azerbaijan had to reach the top ten, there was no question about it. In my personal ranking, "Skeletons" is my fifth favourite song of 2017, once again Azerbaijan proved they could deliver. Thank you for finally sending a song composed by an Azeri, I was certain you guys could do it without any external help in this regard. See you next year, I hope you will keep going the arty route, I like this kind of delivery. Fingers crossed for another great song in Lisbon, and hopefully a top ten finish

  3. Senior Member
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    #442

    Re: AZERBAIJAN 2017 - Dihaj - Skeletons

    Quote Originally Posted by tuorem View Post
    My review of "Skeletons"
    Amazing review! Thanks a lot!
    Likes  tuorem liked this post
     

  4. Senior Member
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    #443

    Re: AZERBAIJAN 2017 - Dihaj - Skeletons


  5. Senior Member
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    #444

    Re: AZERBAIJAN 2017 - Dihaj - Skeletons

    had the only Jury who didnt want to have in the Final.... I always thought that azeris like swedish music

    The song itself is a bit overrated. I think 18-19th Place would be better. s old good times came to an end.

  6. Senior Member
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    #445

    Re: AZERBAIJAN 2017 - Dihaj - Skeletons

    VISION MUSIC AWARDS 2017: AZERBAIJAN’S DIHAJ WINS MOST MEMORABLE STAGING



    When it comes to Eurovision, the quality of the voice and the song are essential. But we don’t just judge performances by our ears — we also use our eyes. From over-the-top fireworks displays that have us dialing 999 to LEDs that give us a sense of wonder and depth, Eurovision staging takes audio-visual to another level.

    This year’s staging was no different. Moldova’s SunStroke Project turned the stage into an outré wedding with their funky tuxes and wedding dresses. Sweden’s Robin Bengtsson worked a finely-tailored suit while slaying the treadmill. And the United Kingdom’s Lucie Jones shined in a giant glass shard amid a stunning galaxy of gold, claiming her crown as queen of the Eurovision Universe.

    But in the end one act left the biggest impression with its innovative use of Kyiv’s International Exhibition Centre. After counting 5,942 votes, we can now reveal that Azerbaijan’s DiHaj has won the Vision Music Award 2017 for Most Memorable Staging.


    Serving the edgy and avant-garde, Dihaj did Eurovision her way, melding one of the most current songs in the competition with performance art. The opening saw the singer in a small room of chalkboards, which featured the lyrics of her song and which were meant to represent a destructive relationship. She served face and writhed against the walls as she sang about her “skeletons” and her willingness to hand them over to Mr. Wrong, represented by a man wearing a horse head. Giddy up, y’all. Thankfully DiHaj don’t play! The room eventually collapsed and she was able to move forward by running riot with chalk and a raincoat. It was bonkers and brilliant.

    The theatrical performance drew life partly from DiHaj’s renowned sense of fashion. Speaking to wiwibloggs about her VMA win, the Azeri singer said true style is protecting who you are.

    “I have been asked a lot about my style. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the fashion industry. I don’t have any direct influences. I don’t know any names…apart from the classics. My main goal is to have and to hold on to my sense of inner style. It’s not about wearing clothes from very latest collection that makes you stylish or modern. Clothes are the instruments that make you feel more confident and more beautiful. But do not forget, they are just instruments, mere instruments.”

    Dihaj joins an esteemed list of previous VMA winners for best staging. It includes Sergey Lazarev from 2016, Loďc Nottet from 2015, Donatan & Cleo from 2014 and Cezar Ouatu from 2013.

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