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10 August 2000
Review Sound Republic (23-9-99)
Source : lenemarlin.com
This outing marked Lene Marlins first live UK performance. The 18 year-old Norwegian singer/songwriter is only just emerging over here but in Europe and Japan, she is huge. In her homeland, Norway her single, Unforgivable Sinner is the biggest selling single ever and she has just collected a truckload of Grammy awards.

Tonight she enters the stage and without a word launches into her first number, Just The Way We Are from her debut album, Playing My Game. Dressed all in black, she is recognisable by her shock of blond hair and angelic face. The song is beautiful, a haunting ballad showcasing her exquisite voice. Her next song, One Year Ago, is a more uptempo affair with a searing chorus.

This is followed by her worldwide hit, Unforgivable Sinner. On first hearing it is easy to see why this song prompted her international success. It is a pop song with a catchy guitar. Nonetheless her voice is stunning, enough to make you crumble.

She is full of contradictions. But this is not a bad thing. From these songs, it is easy to differentiate Lene from other singers her age. Though undeniably gorgeous, it is her songs and voice that are the real attraction. She stands out more than just another female pop singer does. Lene Marlin definitely dances to a different drum than Britney Spears. Although there are hints of pop in her songs, her main influences seem to be American singer/songwriters in the vain of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. Her voice reflects the innocence of youth (understandably she is only 18) but her lyrics reflect a maturity far beyond her years. It is these qualities which will probably see her career blossom and have the longevity she deserves.


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