Festivali i Kenges (Albania) National Final 2022 Reviews: Kastro Zizo and Kejsi Rustja

Kastro Zizo — “Kujë”
This song sounds like it should perhaps be a big symphonic metal track, perhaps something from a low-budget horror movie. Zizo’s raspy, cranky voice would be more intimidating if his backing track consisted of more than just a drum beat, some string synths and a few backing singers. I find this more bizarre than anything else, the entire thing feels mismatched.

Kejsi Rustja — “Vallëzoj me ty”
On the face of it, this is a fairly straightforward pop song with some indie elements to give it a bit of an edge. In that context, it’s a pleasant listen, even if it could do with a bit more oomph at times. What caught my attention is that even though the song’s lyrics are in Albanian, there are a few words which start with phonetic sounds I’d expect to hear in an English-language song. This is quite jarring at first, but the more I listen to the rhythm of the lyrics, the more I think that Rustja might have an English version of this song ready to go in the event she wins the contest — something that hadn’t even crossed my mind with earlier entries.