Festivali i Kenges (Albania) National Final 2022 Reviews: Gjergj Kaçinari and Janex

Gjergj Kaçinari — “Në ëndërr mbete ti”
This is a fairly accessible pop song with a big drum beat, comforting keyboards and Kaçinari’s relaxed vocals which bring you up to a soaring chorus before taking you down again. There’s an underlying gentleness to this track which prompted me to look up the translation of the lyrics for the first time in this set of reviews. Turns out its about Kaçinari seeing his (former?) lover in dreams, which explains the lush instrumentation. All this makes for a smooth production which might not challenge you, but it certainly is very pleasant.

Janex — “Deluzional”
In contrast to the previous entry, this track is all about quirkiness, with a dirty electro-rock beat and a plethora of synth sounds which come from all directions if you’re wearing headphones. Janex’s voice has just the right balance between sweetness and menace, which is also reflected in the instrumentation: at one point cheerful brass instruments are paired with what I’m guessing might be the sound of a gun being cocked. This is unsettling, but also remarkably creative; this song will stand out one way or another on the night — it will just depend on whether this is for the right or wrong reasons.