Time for another of the Balkans still in the game, and one that’s still tantalisingly close to some big success.
It feels like Albania feel like they should have been in Eurovision for years, but they only debuted in 2004, and hitting the top 10 on their first attempt with the amazing “Image of you”. Since then they’ve had reasonable success, with a 50% qualification rate. 2012 was a great year for them though, as the spooky snake lady screamed her way to a 5th place finish in Baku, the first time Albania had finished so high.
After a flop in Malmö, Albania used their selection show Festivali i Këngës to decide the representative to Copenhagen, and settled on Hersi. I wasn’t initially convinced I like it, but hearing it again after December’s selection has revealed a strong melodic hook with a rocky edge.
The waltzing lullaby intro is quite lovely, her voice reminds me a bit of Shakira. Rocky songs can really tread the line, it’s not the usual style used in Eurovision, and sometimes that gives a big payoff from the voters.
I think their draw in the first semi-final won’t do Albania any favours, so I worry this might get lost in the mix, but it’s a real grower for me, and it’s another additions to Albania’s songbook – in my opinion, one of the strongest countries in the Balkans. Good luck Hersi!
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