Festivali i Kenges 59 - FiK 59 - Albania Eurovision 2021

It’s that time of the year again: Albania’s national selection Festivali i Këngës 59  is ready to kick off national final season. And today we’re one step closer, as broadcaster RTSH has released all 26 of the competing songs.

Last month, RTSH published the 26 competing artists, including familiar names like Orgesa Zaimi, Era Rusi, Mirud, and Inis Neziri.

The 26 acts of FiK59 will compete in the iconic Albanian song festival at some point between December 17 and December 26. One of these competing acts will win the prestigious festival and go on to represent Albania in Rotterdam.

Festivali i Këngës 59 — Competing songs playlist

Song title translations are not official.

  • Agim Poshka – “Vendi im” (“My place”)
  • Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma”
  • Devis Xherahu – “Peng” (“Hostage”)
  • Durim Morina (Mirud) – “Nëse vdes” (“If I die”)
  • Enxhi Nasufi – “Njësoj” (“Same”)
  • Era Rusi – “Zjarri im” (“My fire”)
  • Erikson Lloshi – “Jo” (“Not”)
  • Evi Reçi -“Tjerr” (“Spin”)
  • Fatos Shabani – “Ty” (“You”)
  • Festina Mejzini – “Kush je ti dashuri” (“Who are you love”)
  • Florent Abrashi – “Vajzë” (“Girl”)
  • Franc Koruni – “E morën botën” (“They took the world”)
  • Giliola Haveriku – “E lirë” (“Free”)
  • Gjergj Kaçinari -“Më jep jetë” (“It gives me life”)
  • Inis Neziri – “Pendesë” (“Penance”)
  • Kamela Islamaj – “Ajo vajza” (“That girl”)
  • Klevis Bega (Kastro Ziso) – “Vallja e jetës” (“The dance of life”)
  • Klinti Çollaku – “Do t’ja dal” (“I will do it”)
  • Manjola Nallbani – “Ora e jetës” (“The hour of life”)
  • Orgesa Zaimi – “Valixhja e kujtimeve” (“Suitcase of Memories”)
  • Rosela Gjylbegu – “Vashëzo”
  • Sardi Strugaj – “Kam me t’ba me kajt” (“I’ll make you cry”)
  • Stefan Marena – “Meteor”
  • Viktor Tahiraj – “Nënë” (“Mother”)
  • Wendi Mancaku – “Si ajo” (“Like Her”)
  • Xhesika Polo – “Më mbron” (“It protects me”)

Festivali i Këngës 59 will take place between December 17 and December 26, depending on conditions dictated by both the coronavirus pandemic and the weather. In an effort to minimise transmission of the coronavirus, the festival will be held at an outdoor venue. FiK59 will take place at a location near Tirana’s Italia Square. As well, the performances will be restricted to a maximum of seven people on stage.

What do you think? Which song is your favourite? Who would you like to hear representing Albania at Eurovision 2021? Tell us your thoughts below.

Read more Albania Eurovision news here

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Andi
Andi
4 days ago
  1. Kastro Zizo
  2. Manjola Nallbani (nice voice!)

That’s it. The rest is meh…

Mia
Mia
6 days ago

This year’s FIK is lame – nothing really to remember or talk about.

Doppelganger
Doppelganger
6 days ago

Another missed opportunity for Albania and the albanian musicians to profit from the outstanding Eurovision platform and launch a European career. The problem is not “pfff… another balad”. There’s nothing wrong at all with ballads but these songs sound all super boring and demodé ( outdated ). I’m sorry, but Really! Anyway, I think this year it will probably all come down between Anxhela Peristeri’s Karma and Inis Neziri’s Pendesë. I really don’t know which one to choose between the two but I can say certainly Karma is more of a stand out although it is so messy. There are… Read more »

Héctor
Héctor
8 days ago

Well, then let’s get the 2021 NF season started. As always, Albania, or more precisely, some Albanian artists seem to live in a different world. They do have that Albanian signature: lots of percussion, lots of strings, electric guitars, shouty divas and old guys with raspy voices and kind of dated songs. There are always some good songs which kind of bring soemthing new though and I’m open to some ethnic flavours and foreign languages. I see four options here: My personal and very impopular choice: Fatos Shabani – Ty. So smooth, atmospheric and deep even though I don’t understand… Read more »

Héctor
Héctor
8 days ago
Reply to  Héctor

Also, Zjarra im could have been a “Wild dances” back in those days.

WALLYspain
WALLYspain
8 days ago

Erik Lloshi and Mirud are the best options for me. As it’s usual year by year, Albania brings us a festival with quality, elegance and great voices.

Thomas S
Thomas S
8 days ago

So my top 5 is
1. Mirud
2. Kastro
3. Enxhi
4. Era
5. Anxhela
I hope that a more upbeat entry is chosen simply because Albania has some good books an I am a bit overdone on the ballads from them despite it being good ballads.

Nobody
Nobody
8 days ago

My personal fave is Mirud, Nëse vdes immediately stood out to me while listening to the songs. I would also really like to see Era Rusi do well, the more I listen to this song, the more I enjoy it! 🙂

However, based on what Albania usually likes to send, I’m guessing Inis will win. Pendesë is not really my cup of tea, but I appreciate her vocals.

Kredential
Kredential
8 days ago

Of all the fan favourites, Era Rusi is the best by far. It’s modern, experimental and has a lot of personality, all whilst having a hint of a quintessential ethnic sound. Haven’t listened to every song just yet but Zjarri Im is most definitely a standout

Last edited 8 days ago by Kredential
Colin
Colin
8 days ago

I got through all 26 of them (yey!!) and I think that overall it’s a fine selection. There’s no explicitly bad songs (even though you know I enjoy a memorable ”trash” or two), but there’s some that perhaps could fade into background. I still have no idea who my personal winner will be, but there are 5-10 songs which left a really good impression on me. So (in alphabetic order): Durim Morina (Mirud) – This is in the vain of Me tana, but perhaps a bit more subdued (whether this is a favorable difference, I could tell after another go).… Read more »

Colin
Colin
8 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I forgot to mention, but Erik’s Jo is also good. A song to keep my eye on. 🙂

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I really like this one. Anyone who speaks Albanian can please tell me what’s about?

Tibor
Tibor
8 days ago
Reply to  Colin

What? No Sardi Strugaj? And no Rosela Gjylbegu? 😮 Just kidding, of course. But what do you think of these?

Colin
Colin
8 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

Both of them have well done instrumental hooks. Sardi’s chorus is good as it ”explodes” a bit and Rosela’s song has some nice Middle Eastern Elements. There are only like 6-8 songs which I found to be average at best and these aren’t it. I guess that some others just caught my attention more from the get-go, but I can safely say that second listening will definitely shake things up. 🙂

ESC8
ESC8
8 days ago

Is there someone here from Albania? It would be interesting to know what the Albanians think, which songs are considered the favourites there and of course which artists are considered to have a chance, because sometimes it is the name that matters (I think this is unfortunate but it’s true).
The fans seem to like Mirud, Inis Neziri and Xhesika Polo. Do they stand a chance? Is there any other that could take the victory? For me there’re lot of songs that could it, but I want to know what the Albanians think.

Aplk
Aplk
8 days ago
Reply to  ESC8

albanian here, nobody’s talking about it lol

we were hoping for faster songs and younger performers but it’s mostly ballads so most people are dissapointed

out of the names Anxhela Peristeri,Era Rusi&Rosela Gjylbegu are the biggest imo

Colin
Colin
8 days ago
Reply to  Aplk

Younger performers? Um… were you hoping for mostly teen contestants? I mean, judging by photos most of these people look like they are in their 20s or 30s. I think that Inis Neziri and Wendi Mancaku aren’t even 20 yet.

Edit: I Googled some of the ages. Mirud is 26. Inis and Wendi are 19. Anxhela, Era and Kastro are 34. Xhesika is 23. Only Viktor, Agim and Manjola (who is 51, but looks much younger) are somewhat of a longer-run veterans. And I really like that they are still in the game.

Last edited 8 days ago by Colin
Aplk
Aplk
8 days ago
Reply to  Colin

i meant more newcomers, most of them have been around for a while and have participated a few times.

Colin
Colin
8 days ago
Reply to  Aplk

Oh, okay. That’s fine. My bad for misinterpreting it. Us fans get giggly every time a favorite returns, but I totally get that it should be approachable for the new talent. There’s a fine line between acknowledging someone’s persistent hard work and entering a loop of rotating names. I guess there should be both. 🙂

ESC8
ESC8
8 days ago
Reply to  Aplk

Thanks for the info. So it’s just up to what the FiK juries vote every year, right? I mean, it’s not that they’re following a trend of voting for acts that the Albanian people would like as well

Malo
Malo
8 days ago
Reply to  ESC8

Another Albanian here. Very few people care about FiK, unless there is a controversy or whatever, the general public doesn’t care at all. The vast majority of the population learns the winner 1 day after the FiK final, most trash it and don’t care until the Eurovision semi final in May. If it qualifies great, if it doesn’t then no surprise because it was garbage all along. This is the Albanian way. XD

Last edited 8 days ago by Malo
ESC8
ESC8
8 days ago
Reply to  Malo

I understand. At least this does no harm to the artistic future of the participating singers. I mean, even if someone doesn’t qualify in ESC then this isn’t something that could destroy their careers, a fact for some other countries.

Malo
Malo
8 days ago
Reply to  ESC8

It might hurt their career for a minute but yeah no long term damage.

ESCStuff
ESCStuff
8 days ago
Reply to  ESC8

Albanian here lol. Most albanians don’t care about FiK, but as far as having a chance, the frontrunner based on the singers in definitely Anxhela Peristeri (Karma). She’s one of those singers that would never compete just for fun and that’s why she competed this year for the first time. Anxhela’s definitely in it to win it more than the others. I don’t think Inis has as much of a chance as eurovision fans are assuming honestly but you never know. Mirud is mostly frowned upon a lot of people here so he’ll have a hard time (especially since he’s… Read more »

Colin
Colin
8 days ago
Reply to  ESCStuff

I have some questions as well:

  1. Is it really that in Albania the biggest name automatically has the biggest chance no matter what? I see that some NFs treat their selections as if they were ”The Voice”. Isn’t the song what should come first and foremost?
  2. Would there be televote / international jury this year at all or is that solely in the hands of a few Albanian jury members?
EscStuff
EscStuff
8 days ago
Reply to  Colin

1. Yes definitely. No matter the song. Someone like Gigliola or Festina could sing Karma but they wouldn’t stand a chance. The only exception in this was Eugent Bushpepa, but there was no big name frontrunner in that edition anyway
2. I don’t think so but nothing is settled yet. But the possibility of a televote is very very close to 0

Doppelganger
Doppelganger
6 days ago
Reply to  Colin

It is always who has the best connections with the festival organizers and RTSH guys but there have to be some conditions checked. They would rather send a bad song than a bad singer as this comes with the tradition of the festival itself and the mindset of people who run all this thing up.

Malo
Malo
8 days ago
Reply to  ESCStuff

Hello fellow Albanian XD
I agree that Anxhela is a front runner, but don’t underestimate Inis. She came third once so RTSH knows her, and she won New Wave and Golden Stag, so they might feel like she’s the next Elhaida, who definitely didn’t win because of Diell, but because of her vocals and new star status. Inis is in a similar space.

Maxim
Maxim
8 days ago
Reply to  ESCStuff

Regarding Mirud, can he win Fik with a good song? Or is it impossible for him to win it, since he is openly lgbtq? I was really surprised that he didn’t qualify with “nënë” last year, and I was wondering what the reason for that was …

EscStuff
EscStuff
8 days ago
Reply to  Maxim

It greatly depends on the jury but if the rumours about FiK being rigged are true I doubt Mirud will ever win since he doesn’t have that much influence in the albanian industry. Fun fact in FiK 55 Ylli Limani technically “won” but they changed the voting system at last minute after they counted the votes to make it so that Lindita won. A similar thing happened last year to Elvana too. That’s why FiK has lost all credibility and everyone knows the winner is predecided.

ESC8
ESC8
8 days ago
Reply to  ESCStuff

First of all thanks for sharing! I guess it’s Peristeri’s time, if this is the case.Her song is exactly 3 minutes, so maybe she’s is indeed in it to win it. But I have to be honest, I mentioned that there are quite a few songs this year in FiK that I would like them to win, but unfortunately Peristeri’s was NOT one of them. Unless she does an Elhaida Dani and she shows up in Rotterdam with an entirely new song. Of course I trust what you said and maybe I should start preparing myself for a ‘Karma’ win,… Read more »

Doppelganger
Doppelganger
6 days ago
Reply to  ESCStuff

Another Albanian here with some knowledge on festival backstage and artists community. Mirud is not favoured in the FiK because he’s an outsider and doesn’t have connections with the circle of people who run all this thing up. It is very true that the festival organizers, rtsh people and the jury members are most of them very conservative and homophobic but they wouldn’t disqualify someone just because of that. It’s typical Albanian, if you don’t have connections you’re automatically disqualified the talent doesn’t matter at all unless you’re someone like Rona Nishliu – SUUS.

Sal
Sal
8 days ago

I’m loving Inis but also Era and Rosela.

yoy
yoy
9 days ago

Anxhela Dove for the win.

Azaad
Azaad
9 days ago

Also, Orgesa’s song has some melodic similarities to Yohio’s heartbreak hotel

ESC8
ESC8
8 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

Exactly!

Malo
Malo
8 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

I’m sure it’s a coincidence, plus she’s not winning so it won’t be a problem regarding the ESC participation.

Azaad
Azaad
8 days ago
Reply to  Malo

I’m sure she didn’t plagiarise it, but I guess it’s like the 4 chord thing, it’s probably an easy refrain to build a chorus around.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
9 days ago

Been through them all now and although there is some promise, I don’t think any of the songs would’ve cracked my top five of FiK last year. It could change but I definitely feel that the songwriting in both JESC and FiK is definitely weak. Maybe the economic realities of 2020 are forcing songwriters to force through submissions that, in other years, they wouldn’t have.

Azaad
Azaad
9 days ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

I think last year’s FiK was just exceptionally strong.

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

well thanks to Arilena and Elvana, otherwise it was just an average fik

Azaad
Azaad
8 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

I thought Sara Bajraktari was great with Ajer, Kamela oozed charisma and Gjon and Era had great ethnic bops. Alongside Arilena and Elvana, that’s six viable contenders to represent the country at ESC.

Colin
Colin
8 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

I agree and I’d add Tiri Gjoci, Kanita Suma and Wendi Mancaku. Also Aldo Bardhi, at least in the studio version. Which Gjon are you referring to, though? Perhaps Gena? (If so, I didn’t really like the lyrics, but I can totally see why his energy was appreciated).

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
9 days ago

If Inis Neziri – “Pendesë” won they won’t have to re-record it since it is a finished product (unless they want to add English lines).

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 days ago

Surprisingly, this one’s wide open. Any good performance on the night can win FiK 59 – the songs are all about equal in appeal from what I have heard so far. Nice to hear that Albania has so many great singers. 🙂
N.B. Listening figures so far suggest an early three-way lead for Anxhela, Inis and Mirud. It’s close.

Last edited 9 days ago by Purple Mask
dygh
dygh
9 days ago

Am I the only one who hears Sanna Nielsen’s “Undo” and Aminata’s ooh-ooh-ooh in “Love Injected” in Inis’s song?
Probably coincidence but I coudn’t stop hearing it.

jason
jason
9 days ago
Reply to  dygh

It’s more similar to Renegades from the Romanian 2019 selection

Indiana07
Indiana07
9 days ago
Reply to  dygh

Yes, I also heard Aminata’s song a little.

ESC8
ESC8
8 days ago
Reply to  dygh

Yes, this ooh-ooh-ooh reminded of Aminata’s Love Injected as well!

Malo
Malo
8 days ago
Reply to  dygh

If Inis wins (there’s a big chance it’s happening) this should be brought up to her attention so she can take care of it during the revamp.

FiKstan
FiKstan
9 days ago

I’m so obsessed with Gigliola’s song, what the hell

ESC8
ESC8
8 days ago
Reply to  FiKstan

It’s a nice song! It was the first of this playlist that I wanted to listen to all of it until its end

Lele
Lele
9 days ago

For me: Mirud, Era Rusi, Erik Lloshi or Xhesika Polo for the win

Tommy
Tommy
9 days ago
Reply to  Lele

Yeah…for me also Xhesika. Then Mirud

Jo.
Jo.
9 days ago

lacks BUM BUM material

Christian
Christian
8 days ago
Reply to  Jo.

oh yeah, I’ve been missing that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMR95UMeL0o

Alex
Alex
9 days ago

Era Rusi, Anxhela Peristeri, and Kastro had my top 3 but there are tons of good potential here and I am excited to see the live performances!

Anita
Anita
9 days ago

Albania every year the A in our Eurovision Alphabet. Again interesting and exciting to find out which of this years selection will be chosen at FiK.

Time for some remenisence? Remember when we all were in “flames” about this 😉
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sud1YEaczsg

GuitarHeart
GuitarHeart
9 days ago

Kastro Ziso 🙂 Great!

Jakub
Jakub
9 days ago

Era Rusi is the best imo

ESC8
ESC8
9 days ago

There are a lot of songs that I like here (including Orgeza Zaimi’s). It’s really difficult to pick one that I like the most because of their variety, which I adore. If I was forced to pick one favourite, I’d probably go with Kastro Zizo, because it is so different from what we usually listen to at Eurovision. It reminded me of Lordi and Hatari but with a Balcan essence. Totally loved it! It is really hard for Albania to disappoint me this year, because there are like 10 songs that I would really like to hear at Rotterdam.

Erasmus
Erasmus
9 days ago

I don’t know, but a lot of the times I really don’t get they hype for fik. It’s not a bad selection, but I’m never excited for it, since it’s mostly dated rock and ballad songs. That being said I do enjoy Mirud’s song the most, I just hope for an amazing staging – not too much dance more subtle choreography perhaps in a box with leds in neon green colour.. but I really doubt it will win since this is Albania we’re talking about (so a country which sends women drama ballads 90% of the time). Inis and Anxhela… Read more »

Malo
Malo
9 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

FiK definitely doesn’t take chances and plays it safe when it comes to its winner but I think the participant lineups have been quite interesting since 2018 at least, so maybe that’s why us fans discuss and follow it. I say this in regard to your hype comment.

Erasmus
Erasmus
9 days ago
Reply to  Malo

i do respect the artists and they have always have great voices, but I feel like fik doesn’t showcase the albanian music scene as it should, and I fell I’m watching and listening to the same songs every year.

Malo
Malo
8 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

It most certainly doesn’t showcase the Albanian music scene, and we can blame that on the juries. RTSH has created a catch 22 situation, because FiK has different requirements for a winner, Eurovision has others. And combining both is pretty hard. The reason they keep using FiK for Eurovision it’s because they fear it would die without it. As I said I personally have liked the song lineups since 2018, but as Efendi said the Eurofans mostly crave for Eurovision content after many months.

KESC
KESC
9 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

I guess the hype is mostly because of the fact that it’s the first national selection. I mean, even if I don’t like most of the songs as well, I’m also always excited to have a listen to the songs. But, yeah, I definitely have to agree that most of the songs are either not really appropriate for Eurovision, or just how to say.. bland and that most of the songs sound kinda similar. I’ve said it x times, and will say it again, even tho people somehow don’t want to understand it, but Albania would do much much much… Read more »

Erasmus
Erasmus
9 days ago
Reply to  KESC

agree with every word u said. yeah diversity doesn’t mean ethnic bops, but like is rock and ballads really all albanian music industry has to offer?! I really think they will never learn and will stick with fik and getting those either non-qualifications or mid placings in the final..

ESC8
ESC8
9 days ago

Before I say anything else, am I the only one here that Orgeza Zaimi’s Valixhja e kujtimeve reminded me of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ by Yohio (Melfest 2013)??

Azaad
Azaad
9 days ago

Nëse Vdes is a good entry but it doesn’t resemble Me Tana all that much. I imagine that Inis will win. A really good start to the selection, we’ve not got a winner here but I actually listened to all the songs, and there’s nothing I would rank below 5/10

Tibor
Tibor
9 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

I’m still very much on the fence with Mirud’s song. I reallly, really loved “Nënë”, but this one just sounds a little cheap, I don’t know. Still, he’s a great guy and he already deserves success just because of the utterly disgraceful way he was disregarded in 2019.

ESC8
ESC8
9 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

It reminds me of Me Tana, but in a bad way, like a bad copy of it. I would be OK if it ends up at Rotterdam but I think that there’re better songs. And I don’t think that this is a type of song that the FiK jury would vote for. FiK has 2 modes, a rock one and a diva’s ballad one. Hopefully this year they ‘ll go for the rock mode.

Azaad
Azaad
9 days ago
Reply to  ESC8

It lacks the energy of Me Tana, but in a way I think that’ll make it more palatable to the juries, as it could cross into the territory of respectable folk as opposed to folk inspired bop.

samoylover
samoylover
9 days ago
  1. Inis
  2. Mirud

That’s for me

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
9 days ago

It was an unbearably long wait, but we finally made it! Having just listened to all the songs, I must say I’m positively surprised. While the level of last year’s entries was probably a little higher, I nonetheless managed to find plenty of really great songs among the 26 that were revealed. And I can already tell that a lot of them are gonna grow on me, the same way that last year “Shaj” gradually became my second favourite song of ESC 2020 (the Albanian version, that is). Anyway, enough babbling, here’s my current top 5: Fatos Shabani – “Ty”… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Skiwalko
Tibor
Tibor
9 days ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

It’s always a treat to read your reviews, Skiwalko, but I have to say that your top 5 features a couple of the worst vocalists of this year’s FiK. I really like “Ty” as a song, but if his studio vocals sound like this, I am already dreading the live performance. Same goes for Franc Koruni, although I also rather like the song, particularly the beginning. And now I’ll shut up and let you enjoy your favourites. 🙂

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
9 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

That’s part of “E moren boten”‘s charm, though! The questionable vocals make it all the more interesting, and, let’s be honest here, they add to the undeniable guilty pleasure quality of Franc’s entry.
As for “Ty”, Fatos’ singing didn’t bother me all that much, I’d say the imperfection of his voice is endearing and, in a way, it only intensifies the impression of authenticity that I get from “Ty”.
And look, you don’t need a perfect voice to make great music, look at Bob Dylan!

Tibor
Tibor
8 days ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

I wouldn’t characterise “E morën botën” as a guilty pleasure – nothing guilty about the song itself and nothing pleasurable about his singing. 😉 And I think I know what you mean, if you say imperfection adds to the impression of authenticity. It’s not the first time I have this conversation, and there’s not much use in arguing about “felt” attributes (I often hear something in the vein of: they may not be technically brilliant, but their expression is magnificent), but I believe we wouldn’t be able to convene on a definition of “imperfection” in this context. Let’s just say… Read more »

Chr
Chr
9 days ago

Can Albania stop sending ballads for once? I mean, it’s obvious that Inis is going to Rotterdam because that’s the song the jury will vote for. I find Mirud’s song quite interesting and best choice, but having in mind that they chose ‘Shaj’ last year when they had a bop (‘Me tana’) in the national selection, I don’t expect anything different this year. My favorite artist in this selection was Orgesa, but I’m a bit disappointed with the song. Manjola’s song sounds kind of mysterious and I like it. Era’s song is unique but I it’s way too much for… Read more »

Colin
Colin
9 days ago

Oh, come on, is there always that one artist who just has to block their video hours after it’s been uploaded! A question for everyone who actually has managed to listen to the first song – Vendi im – Is it any good? What’s the issue of it being blocked?

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Honestly, at least before I read the lyrics, there’s no song I would label as bad in this selection. But this one hasn’t caught my attention, Colin. I would say you’re not missing anything, though I hope they unblock the song.

Colin
Colin
9 days ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Thanks, Sabrina. 🙂 I hope so too. I really wouldn’t like to make a rating based on snippets on other people’s lists.
Yeah, so far, so good. I am 8 songs in and not a single ”filler”. Every one has something to offer. I am still unsure which songs I’d categorize as ”okay” and which as ”amazing” on the first listening, but some are pretty striking!

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

That’s exactly how I felt about this selection. At least half of the songs are something I intend to listen again and pay closer attention, while none gave me the “move on to the next track” itch. I won’t say I found a “Ktheju tokës” or a “Mall” yet, but there are many options that could seduce me in the long run.

Colin
Colin
9 days ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Yeah, I’m actually looking forward to my second re-listening even more to discover some finesses. For instance, Evi and Klint both have very original beats in choruses and I’m all in for more. Xhesika’s song seems very deep just by listening to it. Manjola gave me some ethereal vibes I did like too. I really hope the lyrical content is as good per average as it was last year.

Last edited 9 days ago by Colin
Tibor
Tibor
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

It starts out very nicely but develops into something rather bland in the second half. So I’m not counting on this one to win. No idea why the video has been blocked.

Colin
Colin
9 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

Thanks, Tibor. 🙂

Colin
Colin
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Okay, the entry is up again. I am glad this all worked out pretty soon. 🙂

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

The opening’s great but then, imagine the type of music you’d hear at an Indian restaurant but if somebody took an abrasive rock guitar to it. Don’t think you missed much here.

Una
Una
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Colin , about “Vendi Im” – it started slow with a male voice, traditional blow instrument added (I have no idea how it’s called) – the sound was traditional to me – maybe folk to others IDK how to explain, then some female voices and it became more dynamic then slow again at some point. I could imagine staging similar to Knez’s in 2015. One male voice, then it became “crowded” with a lot more voices. Not bad at all but not outstanding. Very middle of the road for me, absolutely inofenssive. It had a very “regional” sound so to… Read more »

Colin
Colin
8 days ago
Reply to  Una

I would have to agree with you, Briekimchi, Tibor and Sabrina. I’ve heard it. It has a really striking intro and then it becomes stale and repetitive, without even cashing in the atmospheric vibe it had going for it at the beginning. It’s not terrible (none of the songs here are), but it’s easily a bottom 5 song here.

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 days ago

Another good selection from Albania. Also a very close one, it will be hard to pick a winner. Some thoughts: – Erik’s “Jo” is my highlight so far. Interesting mix of haunting verses, emotional chorus and modern beat. I’m very curious to know what the lyrics are about. – Intrigued by Evi Reçi’s “Tjerr”. Some cool and unexpected choices there, this would be a fun song to stage. – Don’t see Kamela, Wendi or Xhesika winning without a killer live performance, but those are 3 very classy and well thought entries. – Era Rusi has again a very catchy and… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Sabrina
Tibor
Tibor
9 days ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Why would anyone complain about your posts being too long?
Sardi Strugaj seems only to have stood out to me so far. Give it another listen, will you? I’d be interested in your thoughts.
“Tjerr” is indeed an interesting mix but sounds a bit pieced together to my ears. Kamela Islamaj’s song has a very strong verse but unfortunately a rather forgettable chorus.
And I’m also really disappointed in Orgesa Zaimi’s entry – one of the very few I couldn’t make it through to the end.

Colin
Colin
9 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

I’ll third this observation about Orgesa’s entry. By no means bad (and judging by the title probably has lyrics with a meaning behind them), but it loses me with it’s melody once the chorus starts. Idk… It’s not bad, but doesn’t stand out. I found other songs thus far more interesting.

Last edited 9 days ago by Colin
Sabrina
Sabrina
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

It’s an OK entry, but I guess we were all expecting Orgesa to be Orgesa. So the shock when the song hasn’t went anywhere was bigger, I suppose.

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

I plan to check the whole playlist again, so I promise you Sardi will have his chance. I liked his voice already, I tell you that. About “Tjerr”, I can totally get why you feel this way about it, but I don’t know, it just worked for me. Not saying it will be my winner or anything, but I like when songs avoid the predictable development Kamela was my favorite last year, so yeah, I was also disappointed when the chorus reached. But there’s something about her, an ellegance about her music that I really enjoy. Oh, and about complaints… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Sabrina
Una
Una
9 days ago

I’ve listened to most of them – no clear favourite so far. I will probably review more these coming days. Special mentions for tonight: Evi Reçi – Tjerr (Spin) – very interesting and eclectic composition that manages to come together quite nicely. It has good potential for staging. I feel the movement there. Is the translation “spin” relating to movement? Fatos Shabani – Ty (You) – nice crescendo in instrumental and vocally. It’s similar to stripped down ballads but I like it a lot. It feels safe and cosy. Gjergj Kaçinari – Më jep jetë (It Gives Me Life) –… Read more »

Colin
Colin
9 days ago

Okay, I’m *just* getting started, and this will go on for days, but finally my first 2021 list can take a first step forward.

So far, I’ve listened to only 4 entries: Mirud,Wendi, Inis and Klint. On first glance, I really dig all of them! Of course, there are lyrics to consider (could be deep poetry, could be total wreck, I have no idea), but the music + voice = very good.

Only 22 more songs to go… Good luck, Albania!

Tom
Tom
9 days ago

I listened 3 times and my top 5 are
5, Agim
4, Mirud
3, Inis
2, Erik
1, Anxhela
But i like 19 songs, it was difficult to choose from

Linus
Linus
9 days ago
Reply to  Tom

haha here is one more Tom if you scroll down. He is the opposite of you, he dont like anything ;).

Tom
Tom
9 days ago
Reply to  Linus

Thats why i have listened 3 times haha

David vidi
David vidi
9 days ago

Inis winer. Amzing voice

Linus
Linus
9 days ago

I listened to all of them: Not bad.
3rd Giliola Haveriku – “E lirë”
2nd Klinti Çollaku – “Do t’ja dal
1st Inis Neziri – “Pendesë”

Mikaela suift
Mikaela suift
9 days ago

Inis the best ever. Super song.
Amazin voice. Winer

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
9 days ago

Mirud’s song is very much in style with Me Tana and if you ask me I would send that song to Eurovision, but Inis has also fine song that is most likely to win as it is ballad. 🙂

Game On
Game On
9 days ago

I think it will be Anxhela vs. Inis, but as always it depends on jury. Manjola Nallbani will get a lot of points due to being who she is and singing about the pandemic, and Kastro Zizo will likely get those unusual high points that normally went for Bojken.

Tibor
Tibor
9 days ago

Happy 2021 pre-season, everyone. It’s always great, if Albania starts out strongly, and this year, in my opinion, they do. After first listen, I have no clear favourite, but I’ve heard some really good songs and some decent songs with really good ideas. Since pre-recorded backing vocals will be allowed, I’m not too surprised that there are some nice vocal samples. I like the new proposal of my personal winner from last year, Wendi Mancaku. She just has this very clear, beautiful vocal tone, and I really appreciate her pared back loungey ballad. Very interesting is Sardi Strugaj’s song, perhaps… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

Tibor, may I ask if you have a problem with tenors’ voices in general or if there’s something with Erik’s style in particular? I’m asking because I’m also not a fan of whiny vocals, but I haven’t thought this about his. Also curious to hear your opinion on “Tjerr”.

Tibor
Tibor
9 days ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Of course you may. Tenor is in general my least favourite vocal range, precisely because most of them tend to yammer when they go up the scale and turn up the volume. I don’t think Erik’s voice is particularly grating in this regard, but towards the chorus, he could dial it down a tad, if you’d ask me …
And “Tjerr” isn’t bad at all, but as I said above, it sounds a bit pieced together, the chorus is slightly weaker compared to these very stripped back verses, but as a whole, I really like it.

Last edited 9 days ago by Tibor
Sabrina
Sabrina
9 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

I actually like that he goes up because it gives a nice contrast to the verses. But it’s something he may need to be careful when going live. I bet you’re also one of those that actually gets annoyed when you have to get the volume of the device down when some people go for high notes out of nowhere. 😀

Tibor
Tibor
9 days ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Oh, not necessarily, it always depends on how the high notes are performed, execution is key. 😉

Anita
Anita
9 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

I agree, Sardi Strugaj and his song – very interesting, I really like it. But I fear it is too interesting a song for the crowd.

Last edited 9 days ago by Anita
Tibor
Tibor
9 days ago
Reply to  Anita

Thank you, Anita, I’m glad someone besides me likes it. And you’re right, perhaps it’s a bit too out there, but you never know, Albania sometimes sends really risky entries like “Suus”, and look at how that played out. 🙂

Anita
Anita
5 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

Yes! I hope such risky choices never die out!

Last edited 5 days ago by Anita
OohHoney
OohHoney
9 days ago

On first listen Gjergj Kaçinari has a good entry but there’s a few in there that could take the win.
However no major standout like in 2018/19

Malo
Malo
9 days ago

Based on FiK history, Inis has the best chances of winning.
Power ballad? Check. Great young vocalist? Check. Other awards? Check. It’s the FiK winning formula, the jury loves that stuff.

Joe
Joe
9 days ago
Reply to  Malo

I mean, yeah. More or less every entry since 2014 could fit that formula except Eugent.

Bram
Bram
9 days ago

I’m sorry but a NONE of these songs sound spectacular… not even one of them peaks my interests, all I have to say is that this selection is just weak… 🙁
maybe the quality last year was just exceptionally good?
let’s see if my opinion changes soon 😉

Last edited 9 days ago by Bram
Zupa
Zupa
9 days ago
Reply to  Bram

I think they have potential to be better when performed live

Bram
Bram
9 days ago
Reply to  Zupa

let’s hope so! a good revamp could change a lot too

Ashton
Ashton
9 days ago

Ok y’all the more I listen the more Zjarri Im goes SO HARD. It’s honestly reaching Me Tana levels of bop for me, and I desperately want it to win, but I just KNOW the juries will slaughter this. Or maybe just one juror in particular, should Mikaela Minga judge again.

Ashton
Ashton
9 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

Also small note to make, Enis Mullaj composed my top two entries of this year. Will be looking out for them in regards to new music.

Etienne Micallef
Etienne Micallef
9 days ago

I think the best option is MIRUD…. love the beat, the language and the instrumentation of the song. Albnania have to try something new. No more screaming ladies 🙂

Malo
Malo
9 days ago

Super unlikely the jury will go with Mirud. They love the power ballads.
Also I get what you mean, and I agree for something different from my country, but reducing those great vocalists to just ‘screaming ladies’ is very demeaning.

Etienne Micallef
Etienne Micallef
9 days ago
Reply to  Malo

Didn’t mean to offend as I really like most of the Albanian entries in ESC. I just meant something different would be perfect. Good luck 🙂

Last edited 9 days ago by Etienne Micallef
Ixuxu
Ixuxu
9 days ago

It might be weird but… I like Erik Lloshi as well.

Tom
Tom
9 days ago

Very strong national selection!!

Pomerani
Pomerani
9 days ago

I only love ‘Ty’. It’s beautiful. My winner.