After a second place performing his own song in 2004, as well as a third and sixth place as composer (from Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2006 and Serbia in 2008), Željko Joksimović again slips into his shining armour to defend the big Balkan ballad at Eurovision.
His vehicle is, again, a very classy number with a soft introduction that develops into a powerful finish, incorporating some exotic-flavoured ethnic instruments along the way.
To be honest, all of his songs to date needed a number of listenings before they clicked into place for me, and there is not doubt in my mind that I will find this one just as splendid as his previous attempts in good time before the final.
Yet I have this tiny nagging feeling that dear Željko will get a little bit disappointed come May. We have heard this kind of song a number of time now, the sense of news is gone, some of the intensity of "Lane moje" is missing, and maybe the scoring will be a tiny bit lower than he has gotten used to.
Top ten, surely. But maybe eight place rather than second.
Željko Joksimović - Nije ljubav stvar (Serbia 2012)