The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we take a look at Albania’s Anxhela Peristeri with her song “Karma”. Were we feeling good karma? Read on to find out!
Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma”
Jonathan: “Step 1! Get everyone’s attention. A powerful, majestic start.” – Anxhela certainly ticks this box straight out the gate. Steps 2 and 3 (drums and ethnic background) quickly follow and we’re into a dramatic, yet still emotional, three minutes. Anxhela has always delivered “Karma” with passion, but the revamp helped to amp everything up another gear and really give the song drive. The message of the song may have been somewhat confusing at Festivali i Këngës and in the music video, but hopefully Sacha Jean-Baptiste can work her magic and translate things to the viewers at home.
Josh: Power, beauty, emotion, and passion — Anxhela provides all these factors to “Karma” in spades. The lyrics are full of pain, sadness, and regret over a past filled with love of “self” over the people that should have been most important in her life. She seems caught in between two versions of herself — one embracing her “self-love” attitude, and the other seeking redemption and forgiveness from those she’s wronged (and we see that played out at the end of the video where she “faces herself”). The message is strong and powerful, but the staging will be key to help viewers form a connection to the song (which may not come across to some fans that don’t fully research lyrics or understand the video’s imagery) and give it that one final moment that sticks in people’s minds.
Lucy: There’s no denying the revamp has done wonders for “Karma”, but even with the admittedly majestic touches to the song here and there, I just can’t get into the drama the song is creating. The song just goes by despite everything, with a repetitive chorus. Her vocals will inevitably shine in Rotterdam, bringing the passion to the meaning of the song, but I just can’t see how this will translate to millions of viewers without killer staging.
Luis: Passion and drama with heavy instrumentation mixed with formulaic contemporary beats. “Excess” is the first word that comes to mind after watching the music video for “Karma”. While some may unconditionally love the theatrical approach of this entry, it may be too much for many others. Albania has to be very careful crafting their stage performance: if they bulk it up too much it’s going to be distracting and off-putting. Anxhela’s stage presence and her vocals add the correct amount of baroquism to this, she doesn’t need an extra. Think a glass house of fine lines and not marble floor, carpet and chandeliers.
Sebastian: Anxhela does what Eurovision does best, to its best. The revamp also elevated what was a pretty stock standard song, albeit with an ear-capturing start. To Anxhela’s credit, there’s nothing that sounds like this at Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam. However, we have heard this before from the multitudes of female balladeers from Albania. Hopefully some Bapiste-led staging will elevate this song to stay at the forefront of our memories.
Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 2.5 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.89/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!