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10 June 2005
Pretty, but quite boring - Review by Sigrid Hvidsten
Source : Dagbladet
Lene Marlin needs to take some more chances.

CD: Lene Marlin is Norway's greatest female pop star just due to one single song. When she released the debut single 'Unforgivable Sinner' in 1999, it was so refreshing unnorwegian, professional, and pop melancholic, that it took the Norwegian folk soul by storm. Six years later, it still hasn't let go of its grip. We are longing for something similar. 'You Weren't There' from the second album 'Another Day' (2003) did an honorable effort, but it kind of never got to be the same thing. In Norwegian musical history, 'Unforgivable Sinner' is the love affair that slip away. It was, as they say in American love films, the one who got away.

Inaccessible Lene

So why is Lene Marlin still Norway's most sought after pop artist? Because of the inaccessibility. The Tromsų girl just about never gives interviews, she just about never plays any concerts, and the albums are coming with irregular intervals. For her, it is a necessary grip to survive in the pop industry, for the fans it leads to that she is an eternal mystery. Thus, they are not getting tired of Lene. Well and good, the problems arise on the other hand when she is transfering this inaccessibility to the music. And this she has done on 'Lost In A Moment'.

Sweet and eventless

Because the album is exactly like one could imagine how it is meeting Lene at a party. It's pleasant and charming, but also difficult really getting to know. Lene continues in the same little sore and slinky songwriter track as earlier, and the album is characteristicly Marlin melancholic. Unfortunately, it is also characteristicly Marlin boring. The sweet and plain songs are after a while getting eventless and flat.

Folk poppy

Lene and the producer team Stargate are taking few chances, and sometimes it seems like they have built the absolute whole record around just one and only guitar chord. And even though the lyrics are seemingly personal, they don't tell anything about Lene which she hasn't told us before. Life consists of journeys up and down, and it's always easier writing about what is a bit sad.

However, luckily there are glimpses. Where 'Another Day' was darkly melancholic, 'Lost In A Moment' is lighter and more optimistic. Yes, on the bitter sweet single 'How Would It Be' Lene is in fact hopeful in all the love grief. Folk poppy 'Hope You're Happy' and the strings organic 'Leave My Mind' bear even resemblance to The Cardigan's americana-flirting 'Long Gone Before Daylight'. There, Lene is showing that she has more in store than what we have seen up until now. Because, unfortunately, now it doesn't cut it that the songs are just pretty and neat anymore. Lene needs to surprise us again.


Translated by Tef Johs

 
 


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