First Listen: Albania Makes the First Eurovision 2016 Selection

And so it begins: the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest selection season! Albania's Eneda Tarifa will be going to Stockholm with some version of "Përrallë" ("Fairytale").

Eneda Tarifa will represent Albania in Stockholm. (Photo: Facebook) Eneda Tarifa will represent Albania in Stockholm. (Photo: Facebook)

Albania’s 54th edition of Festivali i Këngës became the first venue where we learned both which artist and which song will be going to the 61st edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The artist will be Eneda Tarifa, a television presenter and veteran of many Albanian singing competitions (much like last year’s representative Elhaida Dani). The song presented at FiK was “Përrallë” — take a listen:

One of my hopes coming out of the 2015 ESC was that the trendsetting song for 2016 would be Latvia’s “Love Injected” by Aminata. I think Albania may have gotten that memo, though there is some work to be done. First, the song will need to be shortened by 30 seconds. Presumably this will get translated to English, so the rewrite process could easily address that concern.

The bigger obstacle dates back to the last time Sweden hosted Eurovision. “Përrallë” sounds like a stripped down version of Norway’s 2013 entry “I Feed You My Love” by Margaret Berger. In Albania’s defense, I much prefer Tarifa’s song over the overly electronic performance from three years ago. However, if this comparison immediately jumps to mind after only one listen, it needs to be addressed.

In the meantime, congratulations to Eneda! We are all looking forward to the next five months on the way to Sweden!

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