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Azerbaijan: Dilara Kazimova – Start A Fire

    Azerbaijan have presented their 2014 song having previously selected Dilara Kazimova from the show, Böyük Səhnə. Welcome to When the Music Dies (v1.2) I guess the only similarities are the inclusion of the Balaban (Duduk if you’re from Armenia), so Start a Fire is totally different beast to contend with. However, unlike the powerful and rousing When the Music Dies, Dilara’s entry is a slow burning ballad, so the main question is; can it compete against the more instant songs in this year’s contest? This year’s Eurovision isn’t exactly teeming with ballads, so there are opportunities for a nation…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength

Slow Burner

Start a Fire never builds into the blockbuster song we all expected given Azerbaijan’s experience in the contest. Instead, it's a disappointing box office flop.

User Rating: 1.32 ( 98 votes)

 
 
Azerbaijan have presented their 2014 song having previously selected Dilara Kazimova from the show, Böyük Səhnə.

Welcome to When the Music Dies (v1.2)

I guess the only similarities are the inclusion of the Balaban (Duduk if you’re from Armenia), so Start a Fire is totally different beast to contend with.

However, unlike the powerful and rousing When the Music Dies, Dilara’s entry is a slow burning ballad, so the main question is; can it compete against the more instant songs in this year’s contest?

This year’s Eurovision isn’t exactly teeming with ballads, so there are opportunities for a nation to stand out with a capable song and consummate vocal performance.  Azerbaijan will certainly deliver on the vocal front, but in terms of the melody, it’s all a bit low key.

The arrangement is nicely crafted and has cinematic qualities; however it never builds into the blockbuster song we all expected given Azerbaijan’s experience in the contest. Instead, Start a Fire is a disappointing box office flop.

I can’t quite believe the writers failed to add a drum beat and follow the R&B path of Drip Drop, which to me seems to most natural course in the second half of the song. Had they considered this, Baku 2015 might have seemed more feasible.

If Cyprus or Bosnia Herzegovina sent Start a Fire, we would all be considering it a qualifier, but subsequent final flop.  The trouble is, Azerbaijan are in Eurovision’s mile-high club when it comes to voting power and their televote, whether genuine or not, should be pretty high.  With a faultless vocal performance to boot, it would be somewhat foolish to discount Azerbaijan loitering in the single-digit places in May.

As happens every year, Azerbaijan should drift out to 30+, but as soon as their stage presentation is unveiled, I anticipate their price to shorten once again.

Where do you think Azerbaijan will finish this year?

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29 comments

  1. I think this is a top quality song. When listening to this I got the same feeling as when I listened to “When music dies” for the first time. At that time I heavily backed Azerbaijan up in top 4 despite people warning me as it were “not instant enough!” With the competition nowhere near as in 2012, I fully believe she could get even better result than Sabina. This is a contender for sure.

  2. No doubt it is a high quality song,
    but
    is is sooooo boring. It’s “When the Music Dies” 2.0, except this one I don’t like.

  3. Boring song with nice instrumentation, especially Armenian duduk part in 1:25.

  4. One of my personal favourites this year, it has to be said. This is the kind of song I could listen to outside of ESC. It sounds like a cinematic jazz lounge performance in a film along the lines of The Black Swan or Memoirs of a Geisha. Everything about it is gorgeous – and to Anton, and any other Armenians that may be reading this – I don’t care where the instruments come from. If this was the Armenian song, or the Turkish song, or the Portuguese song, I would still love it just as much. Let’s remember that this is a song contest, not a country contest.

    Anyway, let me let my head speak again – it is very much in the same vein as “When the Music Dies,” but, put simply, it’s not a pop ballad. “When the Music Dies” was. For that reason, this will not win the contest, but it deserves to get a very respectable position. I do have a sneaking feeling though, that it may narrowly break Azerbaijan’s top 5 run. I will be doing nothing more than keeping my red low on this song.

    • Could not agree more! To me, ‘Start A Fire’ is too good for any contest… 🙂

    • If anything it only works to the song’s benefit not being a pop ballad. Though majority of televoters will dismiss this as boring it doesn’t matter because the minority who likes this song will love it (like me you and many others) and probably vote for it in similar way Albania 2012. This song will get loyal customers that is for sure..

  5. Hi!
    Any live performances of this? If she can pull off those falsettos, she could be a contender, if not, Sanna is having her for breakfast, no matter where she’s from.

  6. I see our new Armenian fans have been rating Azerbaijan. Rather than rate, I’ve added my thoughts in the review.

    • Not only Armenians. I can see much hate for Azerbaijan on youtube as well from people all over the world because of the cheating accusations

  7. this is great isn’t it?

    i know i’m biased towards the azeris because i’ve made so much money off them in the past but this has a class that rewards repeat listening. i know it’s not instant enough to win but it comes across as catnip for the jury. hope her live vocal can hold up. top 10 no probs for me and top 5 not out of the question.

  8. Sorry. Very boring and predictable. This is the 5th time that Azerbaijan has sent a SAD-slow song. This time its very dull. They really need to send an uptempo song & happy song for a change. Even would good staging, I can’t see this winning or getting into Top 5. I will be surprised if this gets near the Top 10 considering how many countries this year have increased their staging creativity.

  9. This years best song in my opinion.

    I think it is a song beyond the ESC.

    How it will work in the competition is a whole other thing and hard to predict, but with its historical support strenght it should be quite high.

  10. Dilara performed live in the Lithuanian choir battle show. [fixed the link]

    I think she has some bad and some really great moments. So we are probably in for a rollercoaster in Copenhagen.

    • Still having troubles deciphering the meaning of the song. It could certainly be understood in a political civil disorder sort of way.
      I like the part with the soldier digging out the burning boollets in his cheyeyeyeyest. 🙂

      • No doubt she can sing and the staging will be awesome, There is a one key point in the song it seems she is simplifying the tonal phrase from the studio version, it’s not working for me but maybe it is because I’ve listened to the studio version approximately 1 million times and getting too used to it.

  11. If Azerbaijan have a history of buying votes in a normal year just because they want Eurovision glory, how deep will Azerbaijan eurovision funds be this year considering their worst enemy is likely to overshadow them by winning. With all the jurors names in open air a little financial encouragement could convince a juror to place it 1st in their ranking especially since it wouldn’t look that suspicious due to the quality nature of the song. In an even year it shouldn’t be too hard to push it to victory, if they wanted.

    All we do is speculate, and I see the counter arguments against this theory but how likely is this scenario? If it’s only 5 % possibility then I would say the @40+ in offer is looking pretty good.

    • There are so many countries and jurors that with a song they have this year (Probably worst ever for Azerbaijan?) there is just almost no way they can buy themselves into victory. What I mean is that if it’s a close race then buying a few votes here and there might make the difference, but not with ‘start a fire’, it’s way too bland.

      • It’s 185 jurors, I would guess buying 20 of them would win them the jury vote, and investing in televotes is not that hard to do especially in the small populated countries. I mean if they really wanted, they could. It’s all a matter of will, funds and effort. If they bought their way up the scoreboard last year, they could try even more this year considering that if Armenia wins their worst nightmare will be a reality and they would probably quit Eurovision.

        I think the video reveal of their alleged bribery last year and their surprisingly high finish should at least open the door for this possibility to be something to consider.

        • well I have considered it and I dont buy it 🙂 It is possible, and I might be wrong and get burned when they win but then so be it :/

  12. It would be more cost effective to pay jurors to rank Armenia very low. I doubt such a practice would be flagged up a quickly as Azerbaijan topping jury rankings.

    • How would that help? Sure, Armenia would be out but there are others threatening to win even if Armenia is out.

      • Gav means it would be easier for Azer to stop their public enemy no 1 in Armenia winning by getting a few jurors to mark them down.Someone else winning apart from Armenia would be job done to the Azer top brass.Anyone would do.Azer dont want to win this year but they would never ever want Armenia winning.They wont even be very happy about finishing below them.

        • Durham what makes you so sure azer dont want to win this year?
          They have done promotion in countless countries what would be the point just to finish top ten which they would do anyway?

          • I think after all the vote rigging questions they want to restore the brand.The best way to do that is send a real classy song that scores well with the juries.A good jury score across the board would suit them.A case of “look all the juries scored us highly not just the smaller easily bribed ones”.
            Of course im sure theyd take the win,but this song isnt designed for that purpose to me.Its about restoring the brand.Saying its about the quality not the winning.
            Its almost what youd expect Italy to send.(and would of if theyd sent the Sanremo winner).

            If this had been at Sanremo pimp me and you both would of circled it as a jury darling but probable televote struggler at the business end.
            I reckon 3rd to 8th is the likely range.
            The Armenia question is valid though as Azer wouldnt want an Armenia win.

        • oh OK. Would feel weird to pour bunch of money simply to destroy someone elses chances. I dont see them doing that as there is always a risk of getting caught and it would look really bad.

  13. Azerbaijan arent trying to win this year.After whats happened they need to rebuild their brand.
    The best way to do that would be to send a song that does very well with the juries across Europe but not so much the televoters.Thats just the sort of song they have sent.They have taken the ground Italy tend to be in most years.The most classy song/ballad area.If Dilara had been Italian this is the sort of song/singer that wins a Sanremo.Its right in that area.

    Azer will be looking to get 3rd to 8th based on jury scores.This song is calculated to do just that.

  14. Ms Kazimova is just so smokin hot. Got my vote…

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