Dotti Holmberg

Sometimes Happy Times

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Although Holmberg did not release solo recordings in the 1960s, she recorded fairly often in the studio and at home, yielding enough material to produce this 17-song mixture of 1966-1970 studio productions and home demos. Her Curt Boettcher association is what will probably draw a lot of collectors' attention to her work in the first place, though as it happens just four of these tracks (all from 1966) were produced by Boettcher. Those Boettcher cuts are, well, typical Boettcher: candy-sweet melodies and lyrics matched to multi-layered Baroque pop production, with Holmberg's vocals verging on the childlike (not always to good effect). Holmberg only wrote one of the Boettcher-overseen songs, but actually did pen most of the other songs, which project a flower-powery naïveté that can be both affecting and overdone in its fantasy-ridden rose-colored hue. If you're in the right mood, it's not bad stuff, as Holmberg has a decent knack for blending the merry and the melancholy in her melodies, and her voice does have a singularly high, keening, almost transparently trusting quality. The eight home demos, though far less sophisticated in their arrangements (mostly featuring just folky acoustic guitars and light percussion rattles), are in some aspects preferable to the studio outtakes, as her voice and approach are more down to earth on the home recordings, the vocals in particular avoiding some of the near-shrillness of the studio productions.

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