When Americans visit Copenhagen and check out the club scene, they are often surprised to find that a lot of Danish vocalists (pop, rock, and dance music as well as jazz) sing in English exclusively. There are also plenty of Danish artists who sing in Danish exclusively and are happy catering to Scandinavian audiences, but those who have hopes of reaching British or North American listeners tend to favor English lyrics. Many Danes are fluent in English by the time they reach adolescence, so it isn't all that surprising that Jean, a Danish pop/rock/adult alternative vocalist, has no problem singing and writing in perfect English. What makes this self-titled CD interesting is how introspective his English lyrics can be. Sort of a combination of Sting and Seal (with some of Phil Collins' melodic sense), Jean doesn't go for a lot of superficial, fluffy lyrics. It isn't all that hard to write clichéd, knee-jerk lyrics in a second language -- any American teen-popster who took a semester of high school Spanish could write a tune that says "quiero bailar contigo" 25 times. But writing personal, sensitive lyrics in a second language is a lot more challenging, and Jean successfully pulls it off on tracks like "Meaning of Life" and "Father." This CD is mildly uneven; some of the songs are more memorable than others. The weakest track is an awkward, ill-advised club remix of "Father" -- while the original version is fine, "Father" doesn't work nearly as well as high-speed dance music. But Jean usually hits the mark, and this album lets the world know that he has a lot of potential.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson