Thu. Apr 18th, 2024
Balkan Countries Eurovision 2023Balkan Countries Eurovision 2023

Eurovision 2023 Song Reviews: Albania, Croatia, Romania, Moldova, Slovenia

Hi. I’m back again with another six-set of song reviews. This time, it’s the Balkan entries. The Balkan nations are known for sending unique entries and this year is no exception. The Balkan nations, more than most nations, are also known for sending entries with lyrics in their national languages and all six songs here have a healthy amount of lyrics in their national languages, if not completely in the respective language. So here are my reviews of the six Balkan entries of 2023:

Performer: Albina & Familija Kelmendi
Song: “Duje”

Another common thing with Balkan entries at Eurovision is that more often than other nations, they will submit an entry with ethnic flavor. I think of all the 37 entries this year, this is the song with the most ethnic flavor. It’s also unique that Albina is including her parents and other members of her family in her entry. This is a unique song with a mix of ethnic sounds, pop and rock melodies and dramatic lyrics. I personally think it’s a good song and I like it.

ESC Chances: Just because I like it doesn’t mean the rest of the Eurovision audience will. I can see how many people will find this song too dramatic or too intense for them to like. Odds are not looking good right now, but don’t rule it out. I still remember in 2021, Albania had one of the least chances of winning and it still qualified for the Grand Final. A fine-tuning of their stage show can better their chances.

Listen to Albina’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Albania: Albina & Familja Kelmendi – “Duje”

Performer: Let 3
Song: “Mama ŠČ!”

Hard to believe that what could be this year’s most irreverent act is a band full of members in their late 50’s and early-60’s! Some people are even going as far as labeling this entry here a “troll act,” but that can change if you learn what the lyrics mean. The song’s intention is to mock dictators and exploit how childish they really are. There are many parts of  the song I felt were too over the top, but there are also a lot of parts and elements I like. Especially since Putin is one of the leaders they intend to taunt. Simply put, it’s an angry song with a lot of punch.

ESC Chances: This is one of those entries you’ll either love it for what it is or hate it for what it is. I don’t love it, but I like it. I’ve sensed when I first saw this song that Croatia has had it with semi-final flop-outs. Already the song has sparked a lot of excitement and has been getting very catchy with a lot of Eurofans. Don’t forget we all were shocked about Lordi back in 2006, but most of us now feel it’s a deserving winner. This song has very good chances of being Croatia’s first Grand Final qualifier since 2017, though I doubt it would get a high finish in the Grand Final. 

Listen to Let 3’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Croatia: Let 3 – “Mama ŠČ!”

Performer: Pasha Parfeni
Song: “Soarele și luna”

For the third straight year, Moldova’s entry is a previous entry from a past Contest. Eurofans should know Pasha. At the legendary 2012 Grand Final where Loreen became a classic winner, he closed the Final with a great performance of his own. While 2012’s Lautar was jazzy, fun and in English, this song features culture, has modern dance beats, a more dramatic feel and sung in Romanian. I like this mix. I appreciate the song more every time I hear it.

ESC Chances: One thing about Moldovan entries; when they’re on, they’re on! Nine of their previous seventeen entries have finished in the top half. I feel this song has the right ingredients to qualify. As for the stage show, you just have to watch the video. After a video like that, an eye-catching stage show will be expected. And Moldova knows how to do it!

Listen to Pasha’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Moldova: Pasha Parfeni – “Soarele și Luna”

Performer: Theodor Andrei
Song: “D.G.T. (On And Off)”

Until 2018, Romania has always qualified for the Grand Final. Since 2018, only a single qualification, and it was last year. This year looks like it will be back out in the Semis. I get what Theodor is trying to do. He’s giving an attempt at an all-out bluesy performance with a song that’s both Romanian and English. I did not like his overemoting of vocals. Also the stage show looks too messy.

ESC Chances: When you see a song has the lowest odds to win, you often wonder why until you hear it. That was my case. In fact when I saw the official video, I asked “Does Romania want to lose?” The performance is not unsavable. There’s still time before Eurovision. Nevertheless Theodor will have to get better at delivering vocals and the choreography either needs to be improved or changed altogether in order to finish higher, if my qualify. 

Listen to Theodor Andrei’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Romania: Theodor Andrei – “D.G.T. (Off and On)”

Performer: Luke Black
Song: “Samo mi se Spava”

Serbia sends quite an eclectic variety of entries from Balkan ballads to dance songs to sassy girl groups to even a health-conscious song you can clap along to. This year it’s glam pop. Now Serbia is one of the few nations I would expect them to send an act this outlandish to Eurovision. Luke Black is something else. I found him to be a mix of Melovin and Hatari with even a dash of Käärijä. His song is both haunting and seductive. I’m starting to like it each additional time I hear it.

ESC Chances: There seem to be a lot of glam pop entries this year. Nevertheless Luke Black has what it takes to stand out. A song that demands your attention with a stage show that will raise eyebrows. Serbia normally has what it takes to be in the Grand Final. This song has what it takes and then some!  It doesn’t have big expectations to win or to have a high finish, but never say never!

Listen to Luke Black’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Serbia: Luke Black – “Samo mi se spava”

Performer: Joker Out
Song: “Carpe Diem”

Slovenia has been in a struggle since their last two entries. Even getting the last place last year. Joker Out here is no joke! I listened to both the Slovenian and English versions. The song itself is very likeable. In either language, it’s a good danceable rock song where you can feel its energy. The video adds to the fun of the song. 

ESC Chances: Slovenia’s best ever finish is seventh back when they made their Eurovision debut in 1995. I don’t think Joker Out won’t achieve Slovenia’s best-ever finish. Nevertheless I feel the song has what it takes to qualify for the Grand Final. All I’ll say is they better not blow it and have a boring stage show like last year’s entry did!

Listen to Joker Out’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Slovenia: Joker Out – “Carpe Diem”

And there you go. That’s my look at this year’s Balkan entries. All six really know how to be different. No matter where they finish in Liverpool, you can guarantee they can win over the crowds.

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