18 March 2021

Albania: Anxhela Peristeri | Karma

Artist: Anxhela Peristeri
Song: Karma
Semi Final 2: Second Half

Eurovision wouldn't be Eurovision without a dramatic ballad or ten, preferably sung at top volume by a woman accompanied by a dance troupe of worryingly clad beefcake. On that front, the highly attractive Anxhela Peristeri and her Festivali i Këngës staging more than delivered back in December. Albania's song is called Karma and our buxom Anxhela manages to belt out the high notes with all the subtlety of a police siren on a council estate.
However, the song is cleverly constructed around some big moments - both instrumentally and visually. Before ramping up to the final agonising chorus, the song begins serenely with hints of Eastern promise. It builds slowly to an instrumental mid section where Anxhela is thrown around on stage like a rag doll by said beefcake who are dressed in what must have been an end of season job lot of gold lamé.

Whether that FiK staging (see here) will make the journey to Rotterdam remains a mystery, but the original mix of Karma certainly won't. There have been some slight changes to the song, mostly to the instrumentation, since it was first performed. Nevertheless, Anxhela has the vocals to fill the Eurovision stage in May, easily good enough to suck up a few fortuitous votes. 

Great vocals and big lungs, though, will probably not help her in what has become a relatively strong semi-final, competing with the likes of  pre-competition favourites such as Switzerland, San Marino, Iceland and Greece. It's always possible that Karma may score enough points to scrape into the Top 10 but I fear that this typically melodramatic power ballad from Albania will miss the cut.

What do you think?

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