It's obvious producer Malcolm Burn has fallen head over heels for Sandrine's voice and music, for he treated her Dark Fades into the Light album like a labor of love. The young singer herself labored hard on the set, working to wipe away all memory of the pop kitten that purred across the bland, commercialized pop of her debut set Trigger. Her efforts paid off, because Dark is a far more mature affair, with Burn's production astutely drawing out Sandrine's best and showcasing it brilliantly. Even so, this is still a pop set, but a very sophisticated one, even as the young singer's ingenuous sweetness tinged with naïveté remains on display, undisturbed by the eloquent trappings Burn's creates. Be it the European coffeehouse styled sound of "Save Your Kisses," the lavish setting of "It's OK," the jazz tableaus of "Don't Forget About Me" and "Late Night Insomnia," or the sea of ambience that floats across "Red Shoes," Sandrine sounds totally at home. On the occasions when the singer dives into purer pop, she does it in bright retro style, as on the set opener "Let the Love," the bouncy "Where Do We Go," and the Phil Spector-esque "Prove Me Wrong." The glowing "Inertia" recalls Stevie Nicks; in contrast, "Love and Pain" is reminiscent of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released." But Sandrine has the marvelous ability to compose original melodies that evoke the past without truly imitating it, while her moods sweep from dreamy and introspective to winsome and on into fun. The occasional shadow falls over the set, but in the end the light breaks through, as the songs are invariably optimistic. A glorious set that pop fans young and old should absolutely adore.
AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene