Home Read Classic Album Review: Stina Nordenstam | This is Stina Nordenstam

Classic Album Review: Stina Nordenstam | This is Stina Nordenstam

The Swedish nightingale fifth full-length makes it clear that she is her own woman.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


With her jazzy leanings and boho delivery, Swedish nightingale Stina Nordenstam spent much of her early career being likened to Rickie Lee Jones. Then she embraced the cloudlike ambience and lightly scraped textures of electronica — so critics started comparing her with Björk.

On her fifth album This is Stina Nordenstam, she may finally prove once and for all that she’s really like neither. As a singer, she’s far more fragile; her cool, airy vocals don’t seem strong enough to blow out a candle. As a songwriter, she’s far more linear; the 11 woozy electro-ballads on this 32-minute disc are tightly constructed tunes with more verses, choruses and hooks than Björk has produced in her entire career. And as a lyricist, she’s far more disturbing; post-breakup lines like, “Everyone else in the world would love me by now … but not you” and, “Slowly is how it goes Lee / The song in which he leaves me,” suggest she’s hauling around enough baggage for a polar expedition. But at least it’s her baggage and no one else’s.