Stina Nordenstam

This Is Stina Nordenstam

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This Is Stina Nordenstam was received with relief by critics when it was released in 2001. After two difficult albums -- one exceedingly dark and distorted and the other full of experimental covers -- Nordenstam had returned with a modern pop album. And to further stress that it was pop this time, Brett Anderson from Suede participated on a couple of tracks. The sound of the album still has some in common with the sound of the cover album People Are Strange, applied on original material this time, but everything is more straightforward and the environmental noises are left out. If People Are Strange was twisting popular melodies, breaking them up, and leaving them as experimental compositions, this is more like dressing that same experimental sound in popular melodies. The album also has quite much in common with Nordenstam's critically acclaimed And She Closed Her Eyes from 1994, though the beat is more marked this time. But if more accessible than the former two albums and including tracks like "Lori Glory," which was even played on the radio, This Is in some ways feels like a step backwards. It doesn't have the sheer emotional effect that And She Closed Her Eyes had, and in leaving out some of the things that made People Are Strange difficult, it also left out some of its beauty. But that said, This Is is a very unusual pop album, and its only major drawback is that Nordenstam herself has used the same elements to better results before.

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