Festivali i Kenges (Albania) National Final 2022 Reviews: Eldis Arrnjeti and Endri & Stefi

Eldis Arrnjeti — “Refuzoj”
Soft rock ballad which starts off with the kind of guitars and other slick sounds I’d expect to hear on the beach of a tropical island towards the end of an evening of parties. But then the drums kick in and we’re in for a bit more than that, but not too much. There’s even a guitar solo which keeps itself in check, which is probably symbolic of my criticism of this song: it seems to have been toned down to keep it palatable, thereby becoming inoffensive.

Endri & Stefi — “Triumfi i jetës”
Two ageing brothers singing to each other. The song heads into power rock ballad about halfway through, or probably Big Balkan Ballad if I’m being specific. The vocal performances are powerful and soaring but ultimately the song feels like something we’ve heard a fair few times before at the contest, by which I mean it also sounds a bit dated.