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05 August 2003
Watch the Porcelain
Source : VG
Lene and Lene. One is fragile, the other dares. The Porcelain versus Posh Lene.

Lene Marlin and Lene Nystrøm is back, and welcome they are. Norwegian pop the last years would not be the same without them. However, even though the former was discovered at a bus stop, and the other by a DJ on the Danish boat, the second part of their international careers will most probably not be a routine stage.

The similarities are many. Not just the name, but both were two young girls from Norwegian small places who got an unique chanche to conquer the world each in their own way. On the second attempt they both have maximum international backing from their record companies, and for both of them the future is uncertain. Both have been away for too long that a new success would give itself. The only thing that is predictable in a record industry, with the world's less loyal fans, is the unpredictability itself.

The most fascinating thing is, however, the dissimilarities between Norway's most well-known Lenes, who in September releases an album by a week's interval. Lene Marlin has in the last few days interviews luckily revealed a recently won self confidence she wasn't close to in the confusing time around her first success. She has grown to become a more complete woman, literally spoken, on the new pictures. This is especially related to Anton Corbijn's official photo, where it's being created an almost Greta Garbo aura about her, something which also fits into the classically romantic of Marlin's lyrics, and not least into the myth-building around the Tromsø-girl after she disappeared from the limelight three years ago.

This fragile picture (which actually means image) her name sister Nystrøm scatters with both fists in her fresh photos as a solo artist. Nystrøm appears as the modern and the sexually liberated, a mixture of the bad Christina Aguilera and the rock hard Lara Croft. When the international pop scene only knows Lene Nystrøm as the Barbie girl, the leap to an image of Lara Croft must be said to be as jumping after Wirkola (a famous Norwegian ski jumper; lene-marlin.no's comment) - without ski on the feet.

The previous Aqua star also finds herself in a genre which most music knowledgeables hate, and who guaranteed will remember which irritating band she comes from when she's finally ready with her solo album. This - together with the fact that Lene Marlin also is a classical song-writer - leads to a Lene Nystrøm not having even a simple bit of the credibility that the name sister has to them who initially is going to consider how good their albums are. Some of this prejudice she has already met in the media.

It doesn't make the height of fall less that Nystrøm shows an unnorwegian guts in her talking where artist colleagues show a prefigurative, studied-in ability to repeat humble phrases about anticipations and expectations. Nystrøm's don't-give-a-damned attitude to trends, music experts and the remainder of the moralizing parts of the society (hello again, Helga Hjetland, whom believes Lene should put her clothes on!) shows in any case a belief in herself that pop stars should and must have to survive in the rat race which is the international artist industry.

The Autumn will show who cracks first of the Porcelain and Posh Lene. Hopefully they are both glued together sufficiently once and for all.

Translation by Tef Johs


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