Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—grew out our hair and traveled to Tirana to review Adrian and Bledar’s Eurovision 2013 song “Identitet”. Were we blown away by Albania’s entry? Or did we catch the first mule out of the country? Read on to find out.
Vebooboo: After such an amazing year last year, we knew Albania would face an uphill battle to find someone to fill Rona’s shoes. What we didn’t know is that they’d be sending such a hideous number. I mean, seriously…just as you shouldn’t travel to Kenya and attempt to climb Kilimanjaro without any hiking gear or food, you probably shouldn’t send a duo with horrible vocals and the most grating of songs I’ve ever heard to compete at Eurovision. This is probably my least favourite song this year. It tries to be deep, yet it’s as shallow as a mudpit in the Okavango Delta during a drought. Yes, I’m using a lot of African references here, but that’s probably because songs like this don’t belong in Europe. Period.
HK Dick: If I could listen to an instrumental version of the song I think I might like it. The opening 20 seconds are really nice and there are points when it actually sounds like a decent tune. Then the rasping vocals set in, followed by guitars and I totally disengage. Absolutely no chance of winning but one rock song usually makes it to the final.
Wiwi: Do you remember that urban legend about the girl at your high school sticking a hot dog up her woman business? That was gross. But this song is even grosser. After a promising start with a folksy instrumental flourish, “Identitet” falls flat on its face. And then it licks the dirt and swallows a bunch of insects and excretes them out of its rear. I hate to be over-the-top, but this is the kind of song that does damage to Eurovision and makes us Eurovision fans look like total freaks. This is definitely my least favourite song of 2013 and I hope that we never have to hear it again.
Deban: How these boys triumphed in a contest that boasted a deep field of talent still baffles me. They shouldn’t have been short-listed as an entry to begin with! “Identitet” is a folklore song laced with a heavy dose of rock instrumentation. When you add Adrian and Bledar’s vocals to it, it becomes almost deafening. The original entry of the song is 4.15 minutes. That’s already 75 seconds too long for Eurovision. My advice is to showcase this song as a soundbite. No one should be subjected to three minutes of this. Audience viewing figures dipped last year when Rambo Amedeus opened the show with Euro Neuro. Thankfully, the show’s format has changed yet again. This act is likely to be programmed when most people would be needing a toilet break.
Bogdan: I never liked classic rock even when it was still clinging to life. Apparently, Adrian and Bledar didn’t get the memo that rock is dead and they aim to revive it, which is heart-warming. But how do you revive it without injecting anything new to the old-fashioned sound of twenty years ago? Some have voiced Lordi-fueled hopes that “Identitet”‘s uniqueness could bring it forward, but I wouldn’t be that naïve. It’s too backwards.
Mr Häggkvist: I think the different style of music in Albania sometimes wows us (as in 2008 and 2012). Unfortunately sometimes it is just boring and easy to forget (as in 2007 and 2011). “Identitet” falls into the latter category and I can’t see anything unique in this entry. It’s kinda dissapointing that Albania chose this in a Festival I Kenges full of amazing performers and songs who would have done much better at Eurovision. I love the guitars but the whole idea doesn’t work to me.
Alexander: Albania’s song is alright, but not great. I do enjoy the folk motives and instrumental parts. I also like the abrupt shift from Bledar’s quiet, raspy verse to Adrian’s loud and energetic one. Besides that, “Identitet” is flat, repetitive, and a little too dull for my tastes. Will it qualify in Malmö, or fail in the semi-final? I really don’t know, but either way is fine with me.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 2.86/10