Albania continues to be the oddball in this competition and it seems like they are perfectly happy with it. Good for them!
We haven’t been too fond of the Albanian entries lately, mostly because we can’t seem to make head or tail of any of them. A string of non-qualifications and mediocre results indicates that the rest of Europe struggle too, still not a single f is given in Tirana because of it. The Festivali i Këngës format remains unchanged and continues to relentlessly churn out unconventional, inaccessible, leftfield winners, destined to fail when faced with international juries looking for hit potential and televoters in search of a banger to get behind.
According to Wikipedia this year’s Albanian entry Mall “is a progressive rock song merged with folk rock arrangements composed in 7/4 time and performed in the key of B major with a tempo of 102 beats per minute”. Ok! The description does not exactly scream winner, does it? It sounds complicated and difficult, something for the connoisseurs and critics; the rest of us might as well give up.
Some argue that there is enough disposable pop and fast food music in this world, but if you ask us, there’s nothing wrong with having distinctly defined verses, a proper chorus and a bridge. On the other hand, if Mall is the kind of music the Albanians want to share with Europe, then bring it on! We will do our best to listen without prejudice, and we might not always get it, but it will help us expand our horizon if even just a tiny tad, broaden our scope and sharpen our taste buds.
We’ve battled with Mall and lost, and we really can’t see it qualifying, perhaps even if it deserves to. We have to mention though that we’re in total awe of the performer Eugent Bushpepa. By golly, that man can sing! Surely he must be the best vocalist in this year’s field by miles. Guess we’ll never know what he could have accomplished with a bigger crowd pleaser of a song.