Sissel Kyrkjebø

Innerst I Sjelen

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AllMusic Review by

Innerst I Sjelen is a showcase for the crystal clear, pure sound of the voice of Sissel Kyrkjebo. Released in conjunction with her stellar performances at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, this recording features songs celebrating nature, love of homeland, and spiritual beliefs. The songs occupy the territory where folk, new age, and jazz meet, but all feature the angelic yet powerful sounds of Sissel. She sings in her native tongue, in addition to English and Latin. Keyboard flourishes and quiet guitars predominate, but rarely does the music overwhelm Sissel's voice. From a vocal standpoint, "Eg Veit I Himmerik Ei Borg" ("I Know There Is a Castle in Heaven") is both ethereal and stunningly beautiful. Showing clarity, power, and purity that is truly her own, Sissel overwhelms the listener with a performance that overshadows everything else on the album. The title cut and "Se Ilden Lyse" (another version is sung in English with Placido Domingo) are the closes things to "pop tunes" on the record. At times one wishes that the selections were more challenging or suited to the strengths of Sissel's voice, but even the most pedestrian melodies still have something to offer.

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