Albania have had a short history at Junior Eurovision, and for two out of the three participations, they haven’t exactly been the most successful. With a majority of the results falling out of the Top 10, could 2017 be a lucky year for Albania? Through a national final, the young representative Ana Kodra was chosen with the song Don’t Touch My Tree. It’s an interesting title, which might make for an interesting review which will hopefully reveal whether we think Albania is in with a chance this year, or whether they were barking up the wrong tree – and yes, pun intended.
When this song was first selected, I gave it a quick listen and moved on, which meant the song faded from my memory fairly rapidly. Faced with the challenge task of reviewing this song, it was time to press play and give it another go. There have been various times where songs have taken a few listens to grow on me, and perhaps this could be another one of those cases. The song received a revamp, so it’s perfect time to check back on Albania’s most famous tree.
In true Albania style, the song begins in a beautiful way. We hear the piano setting us up for a more uplifting ballad, then out of nowhere we cop the really strange change in tone, which is the first thing that kind of puts me off, because it feels like it slips into the chords of a completely different song. When Ana beings singing though, it takes away from the interesting progression of chords and reveals a more appealing melody. I think melody wise, this is a beautiful song.
The real interesting part of this song is the lyrics. If you were to close your eyes, not knowing the title of the song and omitting the newly added English portion of the song, you would think that the song has a really profound message. To some degree it does, I can understand the meaning of the song – I think – I think it’s referring to our treatment of the environment, which is a great message, but the lyrics give me a little bit of cringe fever. Discussing the tree’s fracture in the first verse is a true highlight, and of course with the final moments of the song we hear the very serious ‘Do not touch my tree’ which really tops it all off.
In a way, I wish I didn’t know the lyrics because it spoils a bit of the charm of an otherwise lovely song. I can see why many are claiming it to be underrated, because if you put the cheesiness aside it is a nice song that does have potential at Junior Eurovision provided Albania restrain themselves and make their staging classy. I don’t really know how I feel about this one yet in terms of a rating out of 10, so I think go with my initial gut feeling and give it 6/10, purely for melody.