Sanna Nielsen

Sanna 11-22

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An occasional hitmaker whose career has endured despite never really gaining the momentum of some of Sweden's bigger musical names, Sanna 11-22 is a timely reminder that Sanna Nielsen can be a highly enjoyable performer. She could be seen as a sort of Swedish LeAnn Rimes, blessed with a similarly pure, expressive voice, and having started her career at a similarly young age. Like Rimes, she also started her career with more traditional, slightly folksy material, highlighted here by earlier hits "Till En Fågel" and "Änglafin," before successfully branching out into mainstream pop as she matured. The highlights of her career, and indeed this collection, are her four Melodifestivalen entries, all charming pop pieces. 2003's "Hela Världen För Mej" is probably the best of the bunch, a driving mid-tempo number with a powerhouse vocal. It's a credit to Nielsen's versatility that she's as comfortable with piano-based balladry as she is more typical Swedish pop music. Her voice soars on a Swedish version of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" (here titled "Rör Vid Min Själ") but she avoids the histrionics of which she is clearly capable, and sings with conviction and clarity. Listening to this collection, one does get the impression that Nielsen has yet to really find a defining hit of her own, enjoyable as many of the cuts are. Still, with 11 years of success behind her and still just 22-years-old, she has plenty of time to discover a song that's as good as her voice is. If that ever happens, volume two of this collection could be even better.

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