Sidsel Storm: Swedish Lullaby (2010)
Swedish Lullaby shows a singer who has matured surprisingly fast. Storm's voice shines with a wide palette that leaves room for both sensual easiness and a mellowness and depth that fits the restrained pain of the lyrics in a song like "Stolen Years" with the chorus: "Trust is replaced by fear, / And around every corner / Are stolen years."
Clearly, Storm isn't afraid to delve deep inside the darker shades of a song, and as lyricist, she avoids shallowness and clichés, sticking instead to a simple, poetic language that gives plenty of possibilities for her inventive phrasing.
Besides eight originals, there's also room for two standards and especially Mercer and Mandel's "Emily" which receives a fresh reading with bassist Jesper Thorn playing a thoughtful intro before Storm wraps her voice around the melody and caresses it until drummer Morten Lund and pianist Lars Jansson steps in and makes the tune swing like a joyful carousel.
Throughout, the album sports inventive arrangements with subtle use of strings and the lonely murmur of a hazy trumpet, but it is the chamber-like format of vocal, bass, piano, and drums that lies at the heart of the session which comes across as a quiet revelation.
Track Listing: Swedish Lullaby; The Day He Returned; Within A Lifetime; All Or Nothing At All; Stolen Years; Hazy Mind; Emily; Don't Turn The Lights Out; Secret Game; Playing My Heart.
Personnel: Sidsel Storm: vocal; Lars Jansson: piano; Morten Lund: drums, percussion; Jesper Thorn: bass; Gunnar Halle: trumpet; Alexander Kraglund: violin, harmonica; Carl-Oscar Østerlind: cello; Peter Otto: hammond organ.
Record Label: Calibrated