Azerbaijan: Sabina Babayeva unveils “When the Music Dies”
After a long National Final process, stretching from November through February, Azerbaijani broadcaster İctimai announced that 32-year old Sabina (or, if you want to be all Azeri about it, Səbinə) Babayeva would be given the honor of representing the Land of Fire on home soil this May. It was only just today, however, that we finally got to hear her song for Eurovision 2012, “When the Music Dies”:
An official video for the song will be released early next week, around the time of the Head of Delegations meeting. Written by the all-Swedish team of Anders Bagge, Sandra Bjurman, Stefan Örn, and Johan Kronlund, “When the Music Dies” has a strong Eurovision pedigree to rely on. Bjurman and Örn were two of the three writers behind “Running Scared” and “Drip Drop“, which also involved Bagge. With the exception of 2008’s “Day After Day“, all of Azerbaijan’s Eurovision entrants have had Swedish foundations.
Will Sabina bring Azerbaijan their fifth Top Ten placement in a row, or even bring us all back to Baku in 2013?
As for me, I’m rather liking this sultry, dramatic ballad. It almost reminds me a little bit of a less-saucy “No One“, Slovenia’s entry last year, or a more mature “Drip Drop”. The subtle inclusions of Azerbaijani traditional instrumentation and vocals (you can hear the tiniest bit of mugham in the background around 2:15 in…) give it a local flair that “Running Scared” sorely lacked without going completely over-the-top. It’s hard to tell how this will stack up on the final rankings without knowing who will escape from the Semifinals (particularly the ballad-heave Second Semi), but if “Running Scared” could run away with the title for 2011, then “When the Music Dies” might not be out of the race for 2012.