Albania, Hersiana Matmuja, 3

Early this morning the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals— caught more trains than we can count before arriving in Tirana, Albania. We took in the sights at the Fortress of Pertrela but got bored of the city so headed out to the pristine beaches of Bardhori and Gjenerali and did some diving in the crystal clear sea waters. Once back from under the sea, we headed to a chilled out beach bar and requested Albania’s Eurovision 2014 Contestant Hersiana Matmuja and her song ‘One Night’s Anger’. Were we overjoyed or angry? Read on to find out!

Angus: Comparisons to Shakira with this girl are way off. It’s a difference of 70 million records sold worldwide, hips that don’t lie and a vocal that doesn’t make me cover my ears in pain. To be honest I couldn’t give a hoot about what language she sings in: whether Albanian or English it’s naaaaasty. I just hope this song does offer ‘One Night’s Anger’ and stays in the semi-final where it belongs.

Score: 2/10

Billy: I dig this! I loved the video, it was sweet and simple and I think Hersi is a really friendly singer. It relaxes you, while at the end there is the dynamic presence of electric guitars! The lyrics are cute, but I don’t really like English in this particular entry. Albania, you should have kept it all in Albanian!

Score: 8/10

Bogdan: Albania is bringing awesome but also underrated vocals to the table this year. However, as we saw last year with Romania, great singing pipes are not enough for Eurovision; they need a great song to back them up. I simply love Hersiana’s voice and I want to hear it as much as possible, moreso since the parts where she isn’t singing are not that good and the 80’s guitar riff sounds godawful. (Hasn’t Albania learnt anything after last year?) Like many ESC fans, I wish she hadn’t been ill-advised to switch to English, but I get why they thought it’d be a good idea. Anyway, I would give 10/10 points to Hersi’s voice and 4/10 to the song itself. Let’s hope an interesting staging (more interesting than the video, please) will help bring Albania back to the Grand Final.

Score: 7/10

Deban: Had Hersi decided to present this track in her native Albanian, she would have scored at least 7 marks from me. The original version had an enigmatic quality that is noticeably absent in the English version. Sounding like a one-woman Cranberries tribute band now, Hersi staggers on the updated composition. The drowning guitars and amplified sounds do her no favours either.

Score 5/10

Katie: To say I was disappointed that Hersi chose to sing in English over Albanian is an understatement. The intimidating instrumental blended perfectly with her traditional, slightly harsh, Albanian tones but in English, they overshadow her sheepishly sang English lyrics. There’s not many good, powerful foreign language songs this year and “One Night’s Anger” could have been one of them if she’d kept the Albanian lyrics. Losing the mother tongue meant losing many good elements of the song, but Hersi is still cute as a button. What the song lacks in originality should be more than made up for in class if Hersi goes all out and belts it on stage. Hopefully not like a Rona Nishliu 2.0, but like an angry rock chick that is NOT to be messed with!

Score: 6/10

Padraig: I predict that “Hersi” will one day become a byword for identity crisis. And before people start flinging accusations – no, I’m not implying that the lovely Hersi is crazy. It’s much more likely that her producers and minders are the ones gone doolally. Back in December, Albania chose a striking ballad in their native tongue. To all intents and purposes it was a thrift shop version of Rona Nishliu. But that was fine, the song seemed to have just enough appeal to sneak out of the semis. However, in the interim things seem to have gone drastically wrong. The orchestra has been eradicated, replaced with dated 80s riffs. And poor Hersi appears to have been put on a diet of butchered English and diluted helium. In trying to transform what was a serviceable ballad into a rock anthem they’ve robbed the song of it’s vision and purpose. The end result is a cartoon-ish shambles, but without the laughs.

Score: 2/10

Ramadan: Zemërimi i një nate was one of my favourites to win Festivali i Këngës 52 and I was so happy to see Hersiana finally win the competition. Hersi reminded me of the amazing Rona Nishliu – where she performed so well and gave it 100% to the audience. The song was stuck into my head after hearing it at the first preview of Festivali i Këngës 52. The orchestra must come back to Eurovision because it makes this song so flawless. When I was told that it was going to be revamped and the language was going to be changed I wasn’t happy. The song gives an amazing message in Albanian itself. The melody fits so well in the Albanian language and I was worried it was going to lose its magic. When One Night’s Anger was released I was so excited and grateful that it didn’t lose the magic or the message. The revamp has improved it and the melody is still a glem. It has made it so elegant and I wish all the best for Hersiana in the competition.

Score: 10/10

Vebooboo: Hersi has an awfully counterproductive way of asking us to keep calm and think twice. Her voice is technically great, but there’s something about the pitch and rhythm here that is just so often. I honestly just don’t get this song…at…all! What the hell is going on at 1:50, when suddenly we break out into an acoustic guitar interlude? Or 2:10? Like Slovenia and Georgia, this one is guilty of attempting to do waaaaay too much within three minutes. And don’t even get me started about the atrocious video. Last time I checked, watching a girl wander randomly in the desert wearing tattered clothes is not my idea of a fun time.

Score: 2/10

All 19 members of our jury rate each song. However, we only have room to share 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining nine scores.

Anthony: 6/10

James L: 5/10

Mario: 6/10

Maxim Montana: 8/10

Mike: 8/10

Francheska: 4/10

Zach: 7/10

Patrick: 4/10

Sami: 2/10

William: 7.4/10

Wiwi: 5.5/10

The highest and lowest scores are dropped before calculating the final average. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 10. 

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.46/10

You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

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Paulo
Guest
Paulo

@Sarah Albania isn’t a predominantly Muslim county. Only 58% of Albanian people are Muslim.

MoMo
Guest
MoMo

Sounds a lot like Shakira; whose voice, I do not care much for

Leon
Guest
Leon

Accomplished singer, if a tad high pitched. Had to check out the lyrics to see what it was all about. Not too many wow factors to make it a success in 2014. 5/10

Chesco
Guest
Chesco

Ooooh! I love this song! she has such a beautiful voice! so deeply-felt and resonant. It’s a pity that I can’t make heads or tails of what the heck is she saying. I agree with the commentator above, she should have stuck to Albanian, I wouldn’t have understood a word either, but at least, it would have sounded more authentic.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Sarah, Marcelo N: Is it just my imagination, or is a majority of Ramadan’s grades always 0 or 10, but very little or nothing in-between?

@Sarah: Not to worry. Israel will qualify. They have the song for it.

Dan RO
Guest
Dan RO

I’m one of those who don’t (is it ‘doesn’t’? I’m not sure 🙂 ) understand the big fuss about the language change! Except maybe if you’re a big fan of the Albanian language and you particularly want to hear it – but that’s what youtube is for ;). For me Albania at ESC will always be represented by ‘Suus’. Anything in a different class will be a huge dissapointment; this might be unfair, since it would be very difficult for anyone to surpass ‘Suus’ but that’s the way it is… And ‘One Night’s Anger’ is nowhere near ‘Suus’ on any… Read more »

Marcelo N
Guest

Ditto @ Sarah

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Ramadan is EXTREMELY bias. Its hilarious. By his name he is evidently muslim. And of course, he gives Israel 0/10 but gives a predominately muslim country, Albania, 10/10. It makes no sense considering Albania is one of the least favoured in the competition this year, whereas Israel is one of the favourites. Other people have been commenting on this too. I really think his opinion is quite unnecessary and politically driven

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

I mentioned it in the article from yesterday, discussing the change of language, that I don’t mind it’s in english now, that doesn’t bother me that much… though I loved the sound of albanian a lot more. What I miss is the feeling it gave me with the original musical arrangement. It’s still nice, but something got lost and I can’t put my finger on it. Even so, is still one my favourites and I wish Hersi the best, she’s such a sweetheart! <3 Another thing that concerns me is that watching the rehearsal videos, her stage presentation doesn't seem… Read more »

Marcelo N
Guest

Is it the new fashion to say “Oh, when they translated into English it lost…” Yeah, right, like we all understood the lyrics prior to that. Come on, grow up! We may say that we do not like the result of the translation. I still think it is decent enough, except the “Say say say say” bits, which are a bit annoying (but none of the above complained much about “the rain…the rain… the rain… the raaaaiinnn” for that matter 😉 ) What left me wanting is the sound revamp, although it does sound angelic in parts. Something is missing,… Read more »

beccaboo1212
Guest

I… need an Albanian dictionary.

marklebron
Guest
marklebron

This seems more like “One blog’s anger”

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

I liked this song in Albanian language. When they changed to English, i was disappointed. I have a feeling that Hersi will stay in the semifinal, just like Aurela Gace in 2011.