Charlotte Nilsson became an instant superstar in 1999 when she achieved the double feat of winning the Swedish Melodifestivalen and the Eurovision Song Contest on her first attempt at both. Considerable international attention followed, but poor management and a pair of mediocre albums soon stifled her career. After a few years out of the business, in which she segued into TV presenting and musical theater, she returned in 2004 with the strongest album of her career to date. Now trading under her married name Charlotte Perrelli, she had worked with a much stronger team of Sweden's top songwriters, and assembled a tight, cohesive set of disco-influenced pop music. The lead single, "Broken Heart," became her first Top Ten hit since "Take Me to Your Heaven," and the album was the strongest selling of her career. The title track is a cover of the overlooked Gloria Gaynor gem, to which Perrelli lends one of the most colorful vocals of her career. Her voice, somewhat anonymous on previous material, is actually one of the strongest features here. She really throws herself into these songs, and sounds like she's having fun for the first time in her career. The album's only other cover is of Irene Cara's "Flashdance (What a Feeling)," which is over-familiar to the point of nausea, but an updated arrangement and another passionate vocal make it an arguable improvement on the original. Elsewhere, the album is made up of infectious, dancefloor-ready pop music such as the second single "Million Miles Away" and "All by Myself." Another track, "Long Way Home," was co-written by Steps, and -- considering that the two acts share producers -- it seems quite possible that the song was salvaged from the recently defunct group's aborted fourth album sessions. Perrelli's strident voice is not dissimilar to lead singer Claire Richards, and the old ABBA trick of melancholy lyrics married to huge upbeat pop choruses, which Steps re-popularized on several of their biggest hits, is certainly present on tracks such as "Where Were You" and "Broken Heart." With R&B music now dominating the European market, Gone Too Long did not reestablish Perrelli on the international scene, but her career in Sweden was firmly back on track.
AllMusic Review by John Lucas