Charlotte Perrelli

I Din Röst

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Comparing the soft-focus, heavily airbrushed cover of I Din Röst to the gaudy, disco-influenced artwork of 2004 effort Gone Too Long, it is clear that 32-year-old Charlotte Perrelli is veering toward the side of maturity for her first Swedish-language release. Indeed, I Din Röst is not a traditional pop record at all -- instead, it is a tribute to the recently deceased Swedish jazz artist Monica Zetterlund. A professed huge fan of the much-loved Zetterlund, Perrelli covers a selection of the older artist's considerable body of work, in addition to co-writing a touching tribute in the form of the album's title track. Perrelli is not a jazz singer, but she does have a long background fronting touring bands, and some of her previous pop records have tended to obscure her considerable vocal talents. Her abilities are brought to the fore here, and she contributes faithful covers of classics such as "Trubbel" and "När Min Vän." She acquits herself well, bringing smoldering sensuality to the likes of "Mister Kelly." The only problem is that she isn't Monica Zetterlund. The success of a great jazz vocalist is all about distinctive qualities such as tone and phrasing, and while Perrelli is more than capable of handling this material, it's difficult to see who it is designed to appeal to. Members of her pop fan base are likely to be disappointed by the generally subdued tone of the record, and jazz aficionados will yearn for Zetterlund's original readings. A pleasant curiosity, but really only for hardcore Perrelli fans.

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