The follow up to "Street of Dreams" from Sofia Talvik was welcomed with some trepidation here at Bluesbunny Towers. Following up such a strong album would not be easy.
True enough, the album did seem to lack immediate appeal on the first hearing leaving an aftertaste of hippy sensibilities and of old style acoustic princesses like François Hardy or Jackie de Shannon. In particular, the opening track, "As Summers Pass" suggested that Sofia Talvik had decided to join the ranks of dirge rich singer songwriters that are far from uncommon these days. But give it time, as they say…
Then it all started make sense on a trip along the A701 in the borders of Scotland. It rains a lot there but, whilst listening to this album on the car stereo, the sun broke through the grey clouds and lit up the hills on the horizon. Now I get it. Life is a process of discovery. I could be reading more into these songs than there is but I doubt it. There is a precision to the lyrics that suggests that nothing has been left to chance. That might suggest a cold, calculating approach but nothing could be further from the truth. A warmth of spirit is displayed especially in "Lower Case Letters" and in "Diamonds" and the surreal playfulness of "Clown" will bring joy to your heart.
This is an album that mixes fragility with emotional depth and it has an intensity that is most unusual. In fact, it could well be described as spiritual. The songs reward repeated listens and at the point of understanding, Ms Talvik's voice and Tobias Fröberg's sensitive, understated production gel perfectly. Elegant, sophisticated and warm, this is an easy recommendation for those of us who still have a soul.
Available from her website or from CD Baby.