Eurovision 2018: The Reviews – ALBANIA

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Mall (Eugent Bushpepa)

Bushpepa is well known in Albania. Hopefully after this year’s contest, I’ll be able to replace the word “Albania” in that sentence with “the entire universe”. There are a lot of sites that list one of his passions as supporting human rights – without specifying what rights in particular interest him. There are at least 30 human rights according to the UN so it’d be nice to narrow it down slightly. I’m going to go ahead and guess he’s big on rights 11, 14, and 22. Bushpepa wrote and co-produced this entry that, if there’s any justice in “the entire universe”, will see Albania improve on their best ever result. Since debuting in 2004 they’ve never placed higher than fifth.

Profound. Or at least what someone would create if asked to make a video that looks “profound”. I literally copied that comment from the review of last year’s Albanian entry. Points for consistency, I guess. This video features a buttoned-up Bushpepa but I prefer the advance version, where he is far more passionate and intense. Oh, and don’t be concerned that Bushpepa can’t nail all those soaring notes singing live. He can.


Lingering tear, light up this night
Find your way out, to soothe my soul
Just for one day make this pain subside

Unfortunately, no, this is not a song about a trip to the mall. “Mall” in Albanian translates to “Yearning”. Google Translate says it can also mean “Commodity”, which is kind of interesting given its English meaning. Or maybe that’s not interesting at all.

Last year Albania translated their qualifying song from Albanian – which is a real language and not something I just made up – into English. But this year they’ve stuck with the original. It’s a good decision. While the English lyrics are solid, “yearning” is the type of word that should be felt, not spoken. Go on, say it out loud. “Yearning”. It sounds like a small village somewhere north of London. This is a song that I definitely have the feels for. This is an epic slice of pop from one of the best voice’s in this year’s competition. I yearn for this to do very well.


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