Albania’s Eurovision 2015 Entry, Take Two

Elhaida Dani won the 53rd annual Festivali i Këngës back in December 2014. However, the song that she performed, “Diell,” was withdrawn by one of its writers in February. The Albanian delegation enlisted Kosovo music producers Zzap & Chriss to come up with a new song for Europe. Here is “I’m Alive”:

I am happy that Albania got away from a bland, old-fashioned ballad and went for something more contemporary. “I’m Alive” starts off sounding like a lost track by Les Nubians, which I like. And it has a lot of nice orchestral touches, such as the swirling strings as the song builds and a sweet drum fill at the 2:27 mark when Elhaida starts to bring the song home.

But it has no real chorus. What passes for the chorus sounds like an extended bridge. The short, simple drum beat ratchets up the tension as Elhaida sings, “I am alive cos you are my life,” but that tension is never released. It just jumps right back to the verse without resolving in a satisfactory way.

“I’m Alive” suits Elhaida’s voice much better than “Diell” did. However, I noticed during her Festivali performance that she can get a bit shouty when going for the big notes. The final third of “I’m Alive” gives her room to belt and I worry that if she oversells it, this could get messy.