“ Artist: Christine Guldbrandsen / Genre: World Music / Label: MBN Music Business Norway / Release Date: 2011 „
Christine's last album 'Christine' was her first Norweigen album released in 2007, a year after her Eurovision participation, and where I discovered her music. Four years later, she returns with English album 'Colours', which she says is a development of her sound.
The cover for this album is perhaps too literal. Whilst Christine looks super pretty and soft, the face paint really doesn't work and the font is ridiculously tacky. Had she just kept her face clear and used a different font, this would've been a stunningly simply album cover.
Her new album contains ten tracks, nine of which are new:
1. Break My Chains 4/5
The introduction to the song has a dynamic and dark drone which lightens with Christine's voice which is soft, though at times a bit strained. The chorus is great but unfortunately, the verses cause a bit of an anti-climax. I am happy with the sound that the start of the album produces, it is more upbeat.
2. Ladyshy 2.5/5
There are parts of this that remind me of her 'Moments' album, but 'Ladyshy' is more playful though not what I'd expect as a development of her sound, and this particular track just doesn't appeal to me.
3. Colors 3.5/5
This song immediately reminds me of song 'The Meadow' and in the same way it manages to capture a story. However, again, Christine is stuck in that undeveloped sound. Consistent she is, but moving forward only slightly. This song is nice, but sounds like it should be featured on a broadway musical opposed to on a pop album.
4. Sun and Moon 2.5/5
With a similar upbeat yet quirky sound like 'Ladyshy', the topics in 'Sun and Moon' don't really match the sound. There is also quite a jazzy sound here which I don't like and having heard this, I'd much rather she stayed in her old era if her new sound is like this.
5. The Guy Up There 4/5
Finally, at track 5, halfway through the album, 'The Guy Up There' is the first sign of redemption in 'Colours'. This is very similar to Colours in terms of development, it is a step up from her other stuff but not over the top, but not subtle enough to stay in stage musical land.
6. Memories 4/5
The moment I mention musicals, 'Memories' is another track which you can imagine being sung on stage, probably liked by Christine as she has performed on stage numerous times whilst making this album. It is a very heartfelt ballad though and because of the beauty of the song it gets a good rating.
7. The Islands 3.5/5
The verses are a bit quirky, but here it is very interesting and captivating, which doesn't transfer into the chorus. The lyrics in the chorus become very cliche, "These are the islands, deep in my mind"... with the riffs not at all explosive enough and doesn't match the quirky beginning. It could've been much better but now remains average due to the chorus.
8. Elves Dance (Remix) 3/5
I was not happy that one of the tracks was a remix. I already have like 5 different versions of Elve's dance and do not need another one. What I wanted was a NEW song. I waited four years for a new album with just 9 tracks? That said, this remix does perhaps change the song the most compared to the other versions, but I think I'm sick of Elve's dance by now.
9. Standing on the Moon 5/5
At track 9, it is the first time that one of the songs jump out and grab me. THIS is what I've been waiting for, and if only all ten tracks were like this. The chorus is explosive compared to the rather subdued verses, which is fantastic to show off Christine's vocal range.
'Standing on the Moon' also sounds very developed and a stage further from 'Moments' which is exactly the sound she should be striving for in this modern day pop industry. Best song on the album.
10. Lullaby 4/5
'Lullaby' is a great finish to the album as again it is soft but developed. Where is all this good stuff at the beginning? The backing sounds very melodic, much like a lullaby and I can definitely fall asleep to this.
Another beautiful ballad which is where Christine should be headed with her voice. When they say, save the best till last, I guess it is true.
SONGS TO LOVE- Memories, Standing on the Moon, Lullaby
SONGS TO SKIP- Sun and Moon, Ladyshy
The album can be bought on Christine's official web store for about £16. The CD is signed by Christine and will ship worldwide.
Having waited four years for this album, I felt disappointed that many of the tracks here are not that appealing and are only mediocre. However, there are three tracks that are spot on (Memories, Standing on the Moon, Lullaby) which is where Christine should've headed for the whole album.
Her most beautiful songs from before: 'Surfing in the Air', 'Because of You', 'Pretty One' are all quite uptempo and explosive and I think she needs to go back to her roots and develop her sound from there.
This is definitely not a perfect album, perhaps her only imperfect one, which is a shame as there are signs of perfection towards the end of the album. Maybe another four years later, she will get there, but will her fans stay with her?