Though she has a fair number of CDs available, jazz fans may never have heard of Danish-born vocalist Hanne Boel. Though she studied at Berklee, Boel has had an eclectic career exploring many different forms of music, as she does on this studio CD with jazz pianist Carsten Dahl. She doesn't come across as an improviser much in these performances, some of which are augmented by a string trio. Part of the reason is many of the songs are repetitious pop songs that grow stale quickly, such as Rickie Lee Jones' "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" and Steely Dan's "Showbizz People," neither of which hold one's interest for long. Not all of the pop songs prove disappointing. Boel savors the gospel flavor of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain," with Dahl's flawless backing adding a nice touch. Boel is at her best interpreting bittersweet standards like "Blame It on My Youth" and "I Fall in Love Too Easily," where she is able to get more from the far stronger lyrics of these time-tested ballads. This is a good, if somewhat uneven release.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden