Festivali i Kenges (Albania) National Final 2022 Reviews: Olimpia Smajlaj and Rezarta Smaja

Olimpia Smajlaj — “Dua”
A bit of a madcap song, with rock and ska elements in the music, while Smajlaj dabbles in rapping with her default mode being giving off a lot of sass (which is cool). The issue I have is that there’s isn’t much more on offer. The instrumentation is fairly basic and predictable once you get past the chaotic opening and the vocals begin. There’s something about it that feels unfinished.

Rezarta Smaja — “E jemja nuse”
I’m not usually averse to left-field instruments like the accordion, but this one’s a bit much, and I was only partially won back by some smooth guitar work in the background. Smaja’s voice is decent but doesn’t push me in any particular direction. My overall impression remains that this song is ultimately too dated for my liking, a decision which (to come full circle) the use of the accordion played a central role.