It’s far from uncommon to think of an album as fragments reassembled into a whole. Linnea Olsson, with her debut album “Ah!”, does seem to follow that particular constructional pattern but all is perhaps not as straightforward as it seems.
The path of the acoustic singer songwriter is inevitably littered with the tortured remains of the acoustic guitar. However, Linnea Olsson has instead a cello with her as she sets out on the yellow brick road. This gives her the opportunity to inject a sonic difference into the proverbial marketing mix. That and her vaguely husky intimate vocal style and you have something different but not so different that the mainstream would have reason to reject her.
Staring with just her instrument of choice in “The Ocean”, Linnea Olsson sets the mood for an album of enchantments and hypnotic inducements to dance the dance of twisted soul. There is, in truth, little in the way of complex arrangements here as her voice and cello find themselves lost in loops of rigidly enforced emotional confusion. “Summer”, for example, is barely a song at all but still provides more than enough incentive to tempt your ears. “Dinosaur”, on the other hand, is rather quirkier but still driven by minimalist loops and a rather adorable desire to please.
“Ah!” is therefore an understated album that is a perfect example of the whole being more than the sum of its parts and Linnea Olsson, with a hypnotic charm borne of divine repetition, demonstrates that keeping it simple can actually work.