Charlotte Nilsson


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Winning the Eurovision song contest on your first attempt is a magnificent feat for any young artist, but what was most impressive about 24-year-old Charlotte Nilsson's victory was that she was not even an established artist in her home country of Sweden. After several years fronting local bands and a stint with the popular group Wizex, she went on to enter and win the contest before she had even recorded any full solo albums. A cobbled together Swedish release was rushed out in the wake of her success, but with "Take Me to Your Heaven" entering the charts all over Europe, she clearly had an opportunity to launch an international career. The resultant album, her official debut, is very much the sound of pop music in the late '90s. Acoustic guitars and key changes are featured on almost all of the songs and very little clocks in over the four-minute mark. At its best, the album is infectious and enjoyable, and Nilsson has a strident -- if slightly anonymous -- voice that is more than up to the material. The midtempo ballads "Damn You" and "Fairy's Flying" are the highlights. If the album has a downside, it's a general lack of personality. The tracks tend to blend together toward the end, and Nilsson doesn't have the personality of Robyn or Britney Spears and lacks the distinctiveness of Jessica Folcker. Also, the version of "Take Me to Your Heaven" found here is remixed from the version that became a hit earlier in the year. It now sounds less obviously like an ABBA pastiche, but ironically this drains a lot of the song's energy and dates it even further. The album did see a worldwide release and she toured in support of it throughout the year, but further success was not forthcoming and she soon fell from view.

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