Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — caught a ferry to the seaside city of Durrës and explored the ancient Roman Durrës Amphitheatre. Afterwards, we took a seat amongst the ruins and reviewed Albania’s Eurovision 2015 singer Elhaida Dani and her song “I’m Alive”. Did her song spice up our lives? Or were we left feeling dead? Read on to find out…
Albania’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Elhaida Dani with “I’m Alive”
William: Take a song about female empowerment, throw in faultless vocals and you have the recipe for a potential Eurovision winner. “I’m Alive” brings together the best of R&B, easy listening and pop and unites it with sleek production. The song constantly progresses with shifts in tone, rhythm, tempo and style at 0:36, 0:50, and 1:50. The swirling bridge is subtle yet significant and sets up the fierce final minute brilliantly. Other divas shout their way through the three-minutes but Elhaida glides. This is perhaps the smoothest, most expensive-sounding song of the year. Tirana 2016?
Padraig: Whether this is Albania’s best ever entry is debatable. It’s certainly their most mainstream effort. But in a year of radio friendly ballads is that enough? “I’m Alive” is definitely stirring, and it will surely qualify with a singer as talented as Elhaida at the helm. Whether it’s unique enough to win is another thing – I can’t imagine Elhaida sporting a necklace of hair. But hey, it has the Silvia Night seal of approval – which can only be a good thing!
Josh: Gone are the days of “Diell” and the sun has fully risen on the phenomenal song “I’m Alive”. Elhaida’s vocal is ON POINT and, paired with a catchy mid-tempo tune, this song was born for the top of the scoreboard. I’d love for this to match or beat Rona from 2012 – the song is that great! Elhaida is all that I need, she’s my everything. Nice job, Albania!
Angus: Realism alert: excessive vocal gymnastics aren’t impressive – they’re annoying. “I’m Alive” might be the best Albanian song ever but it would be even better if Elhaida and her team had cut a few of the vocal flourishes. Sometimes less is more.
Elhaida Dani – “I’m Alive” live at Eurovision In Concert
Chris: Obviously “I’m Alive” is a better song for Eurovision than any version of “Diell”, but there’s still something not quite there for me. I struggle to remember the verses of the song and it’s only the hook of the chorus that is memorable. Elhaida will need some good staging because I fear that she might be forgotten otherwise. Even with all those negatives though, I can’t deny the core strength of this song. I just don’t see it as a lock for the top ten as others do.
Denise: I have to admit that I didn’t have much faith in Albania after Elhaida announced that “Diell” was dead. But my God was I wrong. This is so much better. Her voice is amazing, the video is great and the R&B style sounds incredible. The best part comes in the second half with and after the big note, where she sounds out of this world for 10 seconds. Go Elhaida, go Albania.
Skyping with Elhaida
Ramadan: Modern, catchy and radio-friendly, this song gives me Jessie J and Beyonce vibes. I’m over the moon that Elhaida will represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest. I followed her journey in Italy and was so proud when she won The Voice of Italy. I’m glad that they’ve changed the song as I prefer “I’m Alive”. It really showcases her voice and the professionalism of the composers, Zzap & Chriss. Tirana 2016, anyone?
Bogdan: I am undoubtedly in minority when I say that I preferred “Diell”. What a song that was! Oh well. RIP. “I’m Alive” fails to touch me exactly because it’s very radio friendly. I hear this kind of music on the Romanian radios all the time and I don’t feel any emotion when I hear it. I am impressed with Elhaida’s voice, but that’s about it.
Wiwibloggs talks to Elhaida Dani at Eurovision In Concert
Deban: “Diell” moved me, but “I’m Alive” takes me to the cemetery. I appreciate Elhaida is making the best of an unfortunate situation. However, the overcompensation here is the overkill. Eurovision’s Next Top Model? Yes, I’ll hand it to her. Unfortunately, I don’t envisage music experts abiding with this composition.
Robyn: I’ve heard this song so many times but I can never remember how it goes. Elhaida is an expressive performer with a strong voice, but even though the song is full of dramatic intensity, it just doesn’t stick. The success of this song will depend on whether a powerful performance can override a less than amazing song.
Elhaida live at the London Eurovision Party
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores.
William C: 8.5/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.