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”

“Karma” reviews

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.

Score: 7

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.

Score: 8

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.

Score: 2.5

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.

Score: 7

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.

Score: 6.5

Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Antranig: 7

Calvin: 5.5

Deban: 7

Diego: 5

Erdi: 9

Esma: 4.5

Jordi: 6

Julian: 4

Kristín: 5.5

Lauren: 4.5

Natalie: 6.5

Oliver: 5

Pablo: 5

Renske: 7

Robyn: 5

Ron: 8

Tobias: 2.5

Tom: 6

William: 7

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!

See all our Eurovision 2021 reviews and rankings

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Mr X
Mr X
1 month ago

Albania 9/10 – I didn´t like it last year

karworld
karworld
1 month ago

This entry is totally underrated (like Georgia, Ireland, Spain, Slovenia). And mind my words: it’s a dark house and will have a place in the final.

Jacob S
Jacob S
1 month ago

i’m so sick of everyone underrating it 🙁

Mr X
Mr X
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacob S

Me too

Lujxk
Lujxk
1 month ago

Let’s not forget how a good staging can elevate a song I mean the music video doesn’t indicate something about what we will gonna see in Rotterdam .. so Albania straight up to the finals!

Alex C
Alex C
1 month ago

I love this song! It gives me Jelena Tomasevic “Jutro” vibes!

Daly
Daly
1 month ago

I give it a 8.5!! I love Albania’s ethnic power ballads! They basically send it every year? Yes, but it’s always something so great that I don’t mind! I love the original version, but I love the revamp more. It’s so dramatic & loud, so maybe that’s why many people are not really connecting to it, but I really love this! And I appreciate that powerful beginning, the amazing instrumentals, especially in that dance break, the strong lyrics in albanian! Anxhela is a great singer (Albanian’s vocals!! C’mon!) and a good performer! It is definitely qualifying, being the most energetic… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Daly
Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago

Ah the dramatic D minor key. This song is executed very seriously, but I personally don’t like the repetitive Choruses. Also, the traditional melodic turn is somewhat irritating after a few listens. But on the positive side, Anxhela has one of the strongest live voices in the whole contest; if anyone can enhance this song, she definitely can. And, the Albanian lyrics sound very beautiful too.

Héctor
Héctor
1 month ago

I just can’t connect with Albanian female ballads. She can sing of course but there’s has to be much more. I find it boring and uninteresting. I did like “Ktheju Tokes” because of Jonida stage presence and the ethnic and misterious vibe. I loved “Mall” with Eugent impressive vocals (was my 3rd that year). But I just didn’t like the other ballads they sent, they sound too generic. In this case, I wouldn’t say it is generic, and I like the fact it didn’t get translated, but it sounds like “just another” traditional Albanian diva ballad. I can’t even remember… Read more »

Kas
Kas
1 month ago

Deserved qualifier

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
1 month ago

Jonida Maliqi in 2019 qualified with a very similar song and given the fact that they’re in a weaker semi final this year I think Albania has a good shot at making the final.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
1 month ago

this is a very flavorful song and it stands out. i don’t see a scenario where it fails to qualify, really.

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 month ago

Even if it’s not in the same level of its predecessors, the Albanian trademarks are here: powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics displaying internal conflicts. The revamp made the instrumental richer but in some parts also messier (around the 2min10s mark, there’s too much going on). It’s not an outstanding entry, but a solid one that sits right between ethno-pop and a Balkan ballad, genres well appreciated in Eurovision. And it’s the only song doing that, which may be an advantage. 6/10

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

ALBANIA – Songs that win FiK are often known for showcasing big voices, and Karma is no different in that regard. Anxhela has a powerful voice which dominates this song. While still roughly within the ballad genre, it flirts with an ethnic bop category, especially after the second verse. I would describe it as one of the better belting songs of this year. It doesn’t necessarily move Albania from the style they usually go for, but it certainly has its own identity within it. There are various ideas in it, but they all serve the purpose of building the drama.… Read more »

Ron Kavaler
Editor
1 month ago

Wow, I’m shocked on how low this ended up in the wiwi jury average. It deserves so much more.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago

Anxhela’s song is so impressive and beautiful. It also has dark vibes and after the revamp got the balkan elements that were missing. This is a close approach to “Ktheju Tokës” in 2019, which actually finished much higher than expected. But as you know, this type of songs is not preferred by everyone, so it’s kinda logic to see many people hating on that one. Overall, this is a really good attempt for Albania so that Anxhela will be present at the final, but this is always a song in the category 15th-20th. Nothing more at the end. Good luck… Read more »

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago

Woah that was harsh

Trina
Trina
1 month ago

I think this one shares the same strengths and the same weaknesses as Greece in 2018 – dramatic and powerfully-sung folk-pop ballad with a slightly ambiguous song structure. In Greece’s case, a lot of early reviewers described it as “epic”, but on the night viewers just didn’t connect with it. I have a sinking feeling Albania will not be different. That said, Semi #2 is a big old Who The F Knows?, so…

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Trina

What didn’t help Greece 2018 was that the staging was kind of bad. That may have been more a factor to why Greece was a surprise non qualifier

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 month ago

In an oh-so-tragic twist of fate, just when I started warming up to the FIK version, the revamp arrived and buried my developing affection with tons of unnecessary and confusing amendments. The original melody and emotions are still there (I think), but now they’ve been covered by a thick makeup of a stodgy and overbearing production. In an attempt to make “Karma” more appealing to the general audience every minutest detail was transformed to work harder, better, faster and stronger. And I get the intention, but from my perspective what we got is a hot mess of a song, turning… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Skiwalko
Euro Fan
Euro Fan
1 month ago

If Albania doesn’t qualify for the finals, I will be sad. Also, if Albania withdraws from Eurovision Song Contest next year, I will be more sad and mad at the same time!

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago
Reply to  Euro Fan

Do they want to withdraw? Why?

Euro Fan
Euro Fan
1 month ago
Reply to  notyourtoy

I’m not sure exactly… I will be sad for sure!

Sot
Sot
1 month ago

Wiwi Juries’ current TOP 8 Russia (7.18) Sweden (7.14) Latvia (6.34) Belgium (6.16) (=) Czech Republic (6.16) Serbia (6.09) Albania (5.89) (=) Norway (5.89) My personal TOP 8 Belgium (My 10th) Russia (My 13th) Serbia (My 14th) Czech Republic (My 18th) Albania (My 25th) Sweden (My 31st) Latvia (My 35th) Norway (My 39th) Opinion on ALB: I think, if Albania is good in one thing at Eurovision, that is the revamps. They may not always work out the way they wanted (like the English revamp for Hersi, 2014) but revamping a song is already a risk, now imagine doing that… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Sot
Neil
Neil
1 month ago

Way too underrated for my taste
I liked it before the revamp as well…
I give it a solid 9

Anhel
Anhel
1 month ago

I really like the chorus and I like that it’s in Albanian. I don’t like the verses and the instrumental parts that much. It’s my n.17.
Cool name.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

Bronze star.

Volcano
1 month ago

Come on, this is a little low..
However, I give “Karma” a solid 7.5 (18th place)
I like the ethnic vibes, the Albanian language and the lyrics. This is the only ethnic ballad this year and I am sure that it will qualify(with good staging even better).
Good job Albania and thank you for giving us the ballad we need?

Giolo
Giolo
1 month ago

Albania is one of my favorites this year (like the past 3 years). Anxhela is really an amazing singer and the song was stuck in my haed since she won FiK. I was starting to get bored of Karma, but the revamp suddenly happened and what we got is an amazing ethnic, powerful and dramatic ballad with the Balkan touch Albania gave us in 2019 too. The flow of the song feels very natural, although the sound in the post chorus may be a bit distracting or feel like “randomly catchy and poppy” for some people, but I love the… Read more »

Dawid
Dawid
1 month ago

I’ve never heard so flat high note ._.

She can sing, but that song doesn’t show it off well

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago

Talking about messy songs, this is a good example. There are so many ideas in this song that don’t go well together, it really threw me off when I first heard it in September (I haven’t really listened to the revamp, so perhaps they have decluttered it a little). The best thing about this entry is Anxhela who you can probably wake up at three in the morning, and she will still sing “Karma” or anything else flawlessly. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make the song any better. It’s the last of the three songs I don’t really like, so from now… Read more »

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

unfortunately, they cluttered it even more.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

Ouch.
By the way, I meant December, I didn’t hear the song before it was released. But you got that. 🙂

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

Unless you had the insight in Anxhela’s studio while her team was recording it. 😉 😉 😉

Last edited 1 month ago by Colin
Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

If I had this kind of access, I would have told them to start from scratch … 😉

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

I suspect time travel was involved. 😛

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Yes, the mission was: prevent Albania’s non-qualification. Unfortunately, I failed. 😛

Last edited 1 month ago by Tibor
Thanos
Thanos
1 month ago

37. Albania: Sorry but I don’t like this entry. I find it uniteresting and the video clip is kinda kitch imo. I am disappointed because I love the Albanian entries from 2018 and 2019.

Last edited 1 month ago by Thanos
Emily
Emily
1 month ago

22) Albania –

A solid song with fantastic vocals, and a powerful opening. I’m usually pretty confident that Albania will go through, but I do have slight concerns that it will get lost in the mix. 6/10

Volcano
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Maybe, it has the advantage of being the only ethnic ballad this year.

Anita
Anita
1 month ago

This is a year in which I don’t care about Albania. I am sorry. It is an ok song and I think it will qualify but it does nothing for me.

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago

Here we have Albania… the country that sends almost the same entry every year and I would not mind it if it were done well but it clearly isn’t… Look, “Karma” is not the worst entry this year, but it still belongs in the bottom ten comfortably. It’s dated, the music video looks cheap, the production is cheap… The only positives are Anxhela and the Albanian language, everything else is executed on a poor level… I wonder what made Sacha want to stage this entry, it’s very non-Sacha-Jean-Baptiste.. anyway with staging from Sacha I’m sure this will grow on me…… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Erasmus
Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 month ago

24th: Albania. In a word, melodrama. Probably has the best and most captivating song opening of the year, next to maybe Iceland: the dark horn hits punch you in the face, in a good way. However, the song sort of goes downhill and then plateaus after that. While I prefer the revamp to the original if only for the opening, the trap inspired elements of the chorus really don’t fit in the song. Either the hi-hats sound really bad or have been pushed way forward in the mix, because they are so loud and out of place. The half-step breakdown… Read more »

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

yeah but Ktheju Tokes was in a much stronger semi..

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

true but even in that semi, ktheju tokes should have been top 5

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

staging also kinda ruined it.. Anxhela has Sacha at least.

Giolo
Giolo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

Yeah, Jonida deserved top 5, but that was the strongest semi final ever.
On the other hand this semi feels like the weakest ever with only two sure NQ imo: Latvia and Georgia and potentially everyone who elevates his/her own song live may qualify, therefore I hope Albania makes it to the final somehow

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 month ago
Reply to  Giolo

for me, Latvia is a sure televote qualifier but I expect the juries to destroy it. I would like it to qualify, though

Giolo
Giolo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

Before rehearsal I expect Latvia to be bottom 3 with juries and bottom 5 with the public, but everything can change with live performances and we know how SF1s have been unpredictable the last two editions, we never know 100% for sure at least before the live show.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

I would hope to see Latvia in the final, but the running order RUINS them! The should actually close the semifinal. Anyways, juries do not fear to place this at the last place, but the televoters will either give this a great number of points (more than 100) or they will give them a pretty small number. For me, the last 2 semi spots will be fought from Albania, Austria, Czech Republic and Denmark. Those with the biggest support from both juries and tele will reach the final. For example, Albania and Austria are jury-friendly songs, while Czech Republic and… Read more »

Giolo
Giolo
1 month ago
Reply to  notyourtoy

Agree, but I am quite sure Latvia won’t reach 100 points by the public.
Also, I would say there are 3 free spots in the semi with Switzerland, Finland, Iceland, Greece, San Marino, Bulgaria and Serbia as safe qualifiers.
In my opinion Moldova, Austria, Albania, Czech Republic, Denmark and Portugal (less likely than the other five, but still it has a big advantage being jury friendly and having its 3 biggest voting allies: Spain, Switzerland and France) are going to fight for those last three spots

Kosey
Kosey
1 month ago

34. Albania – Anxhela Peristeri – Karma – 4.5/10 – the song delivers the intensity we have come to expect from Albania but this is a watered-down version of what has come before. There is an attempt at drama but Karma struggles to generate any sort of emotional reaction out of me which is not great for an emotional ballad. I find that I have exceptionally little desire to want to listen to this song on repeat unfortunately.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kosey
Darren
1 month ago

I don’t hate it, but I don’t particularly like it either, it’s just there and doesn’t really leave an impact on me. Anxhela is stunning though and she definitely can sing. Albanian ballads are always nice too, it’s a nice language, but I really just feel we get this every year. I don’t expect it to qualify, but I won’t mind if it does too, as I say it’s not bad, it’s just there.
5/10

Roy
Roy
1 month ago

The scores that some of the bloggers are awarding, keep baffling me more and more…. This song is quality. Although it might not be your cup of tea, at least give it a score based on its merits; a 2,5 is so harsh