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Albania: Herciana Matmuja – Zemërimi i Një Nate

  Herciana Matmuja with the song, Zemërimi i Një Nate, was selected to represent Albania at Eurovision 2014 in Copenhagen. Competing against 16 other artists and a far superior interval act, Herciana won with the majority jury support. I think we can all agree that Zemërimi i Një Nate (One Night’s Anger) is a work-in-progress. The raw ingredients are in place, but there are still one or two items missing from the recipe. Herciana Matmuja performed first in the running order at last night’s national final, and for that reason, I dismissed it as a contender. I was also distracted…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength

Damp Squib

Unfortunate staging, a bizarre intro, and is screaming out for a major rework. Bridge is lackluster and climax is pedestrian. Classic tea-break song.

User Rating: 3.17 ( 22 votes)

 

Herciana Matmuja with the song, Zemërimi i Një Nate, was selected to represent Albania at Eurovision 2014 in Copenhagen.

Competing against 16 other artists and a far superior interval act, Herciana won with the majority jury support.

I think we can all agree that Zemërimi i Një Nate (One Night’s Anger) is a work-in-progress. The raw ingredients are in place, but there are still one or two items missing from the recipe.

Herciana Matmuja performed first in the running order at last night’s national final, and for that reason, I dismissed it as a contender. I was also distracted by that jarring and somewhat peculiar orchestral introduction – one could imagine the rise of a dark spectre from a 70s B-movie accompanying it.

As has already been suggested by the early birds in the comments section, the song should start with the pianist. Aside from that rather minor alteration, my main gripe rests with the lack of definition throughout the song. At present, I can’t tell the verses from the chorus, so perhaps they can juxtapose the instrumentation for those elements to provide clear separation and add layers to the song.

This is particularly crucial, as non-Albanian speakers will struggle to engage with Herciana’s emotive performance if they can’t differentiate between the key elements of the song. Essentially, viewers can’t buy into the story, which is more apparent if you look back to the more superior Suus from 2012.

Another downside to Zemërimi i Një Nate is the lack of a clear bridge and subsequent fortissimo moment. Currently, we have a lethargic guitar solo with a passage of staccato strings – the latter is more effective, nevertheless I would still recommend a total rethink. A musical interlude is acceptable though, as it can be used for choreography.

Jury points are an essential resource to push the likes of Albania over the line. Without a bigger and more memorable climax, they’ll lose the required jury support to reach the final.

Hopefully we get a revamped three minute studio version of Zemërimi i Një Nate so we can more accurately predict Albania’s course in the contest.

What do you think of Albania’s entry?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Albania joined Eurovision in 2004 and have failed to qualify four times in nine attempts. 55.6% qualification success.

Highest score: 146 (2012 – Rona Nishliu, Suus)
Lowest score: 48 (2009 – Kejsi Tola, Carry Me in Your Dreams)
Average semi-final finishing position: 10th (9.7)
Average semi-final score: 79 points

Albania has finished in the top-10 twice in 10 years and once in the top-5.

Average final position: 13th
Average final score: 78 points

Average Points Received

Italy – 12.0
FYR Macedonia – 11.3
Greece – 9.4
Switzerland – 8.5
Montenegro – 8.4
San Marino – 7.8
Austria – 6.3
Serbia 5.5

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15 comments

  1. I think Carry Me In Your Dreams would’ve been a rather different affair if Gaitana had performed it. 😛
    My quick two cents, what the hell is up with that intro? Is that part of the song or was it just theme music in the show? Whatever it is, get rid of it. Otherwise, it’s a not especially appealing mid-tempo ballad but there are some nice vocal melodies that do come through. It’s a little bit early to judge this fairly since I can foresee quite a major re-working and a translation into English, but for now I’ll suggest that this is a probable non-qualifier. Nice voice though.

  2. The intro will be dropped for certain,they will start the song from the piano key.They also need to drop the guitar solo used as the main bridge.I cant see that staying in as it really takes away from the song.A much shorter bridge with the strings would be better.
    The first verse is also far too long and seems to be part of a different song.That needs to be much shorter.If they strip the first verse,remove the guitar solo and use the backing singers better the song would progress at a better pace.

    Herciana shouldn’t be underestimated though.Shes got good stage presence and a good voice.With the right changes she should qualify easily.I always thought she would top the jury score (I didn’t know if there was a televote part) and id expect her to score decent jury points in ESC as well.

    The jury made the right choice with what they had,and now its down to reworking the song to get it televote ready,and show her off better.

  3. I kinda liked it but agree with the comments above as suggestions for restructure. I can see plenty of jury support for the excellent vocals and I can see the Balkans getting behind it as it has a nice ethnic feel without it sounding dated. it will qualify with the right SF support and a favourable running order. better than Ukraine’s effort imho

  4. Quite a classy effort actually, its quite a smooth flowing song but the chorus is catchy and the vocals are great. I do kind of agree with some of the above some parts of the song sound a bit-mish-mash but at its best its still a nice effort.
    Id actually like to see at least the first part of the guitar solo stay it could be a good chance for her to really show off her vocal prowess with some high pitched riff over the top of the guitar solo a bit like kaliopi did for macedonia, that could add some much needed intensity.
    Quite like the male uh-uh voice that kicks in in parts of the chorus but it seems to be used a bit randomly at the moment but can be quite effective if its used well.

    Overall i quite like it, much prefer this over the likes of snoozefests like birgit last year, sorry db 😉 but it lacks the emotional intensity of a rona nishliu.

    My rating 3.5

    • Well I said Herciana and Birgit would win pimp so im happy to take the snoozefest comment on the chin haha, ask Nordicbets odds compiler) .Joking apart listen to Birgits song in English.
      Its ironic though because they both have something most of the others didn’t have.Perfect vocals for the song they were doing.
      Its amazing how many times great vocals win through.
      Songs can be changed,a poor singer cant be.

      I happen to think with the right changes this will be a good entry.BUT it does need those changes.I would still rather see the guitar go altogether,,though I do see your point in shortening it and letting her use it to get some high notes in.Id prefer she got them in at the end though.It needs a kick up at the finale.

      I think its a case of keep the crucial jury votes onside but make it as televote friendly as possible so it scoops up as many Balkan/Central?Eastern votes as possible.

      I think this has the potential to be the best Albanian entry since they entered the contest with Anjeza Shahini back in 2004.

  5. Will take a lot for it to finish higher then rona.
    I really like that guitar solo myself but dont like the bridge. If i had my way id totally unleash her on the guitar solo riffing all over it just go crazy on it then bang back into the chorus, wishfull thinking on my part probably cos i like that type of thing but to me that would sound great 🙂

  6. Much better voice than Ukrainian girl’s. And it might be a tea-break song, but I like it.
    I can see Slovenia 2012 destiny for it 🙁 I will like it but it won’t qualify..
    She sounds like Shakira in moments. 🙂
    Anyway – doesn’t sound 2014-ish, and doesn’t sound epic. So…

    1. Albania
    2. Ukraine

  7. The Eurovision Version of “Zemërimi i një nate” will release together with the Official Videoclip on 20 March ,Hersi has just put that info up on her personal Facebook page.

  8. This one below is for pimp,how about this girl covering one of the greatest ESC songs ever ?
    Amazing performance

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypuuzx3MxzI#t=31

  9. Mini rona, aww bless her got the rona dress and everything 🙂

  10. New version:

    They haven’t quite done enough with this, but a decent stage show might save it.

    • I love the delicate intro,its the perfect opening to introduce this years best Esc vocals.Herci now has a better structure and she paces the song now easier.The subtle strings making way to a harsher guitar suit the narrative.The guitar solo then gives her a nice break to come back with the power chords.
      I think this is now just about right to bring out some great staging potential.The last minute give Herci free range to give the crowd and jury some wow vocals.Stage that last minute right and this and Herci will show their class.
      The Balkan diaspora all missing is a worry and bad luck for Herci,but shes a world class singer and im expecting her to do well.

      • for me they’ve gone too far the other way from the full on version. otherwise i’d say this was another one underestimated in the betting. i think it could be a jury fave…

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