Sonja Aldén

Till Dig

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Till Dig Review

by John Lucas

Having penned hit singles for Swedish chart stars as diverse as Shirley Clamp and the Poodles, Sonja Aldén seemed to be suffering from something of an identity crisis when she attempted to make the transition from songwriter to pop star. Her breathy, awkward performance of generic dance-pop number "Etymon" at the 2006 Melodifestivalen failed to land her a qualifying position, and was a flop on the charts. A rethink was clearly in order. The following year she returned with a dramatically different image. "För Att du Fnns" ("Because You Exist") is a refined, slow-burning ballad which Aldén was clearly much more comfortable performing. She nailed it in her heat, qualified for the second chance round, nailed it again, and unexpectedly made the finals ahead of much bigger stars such as Nanne Grönvall and Magnus Uggla. The song was far too subdued to ever be a winner, but one suspects this was never the intention. Sonja had found her niche and the song was a smash.

Her debut album is sturdily constructed around Sonja's new image. Tall and elegant with a warm but unshowy voice, she seems much more in her element singing adult contemporary ballads and midtempos than she was attempting to ape Helena Paparizou the previous year. To this end, "Etymon" does not even appear on the album, smoothly erased from Sonja's history. On initial listens, Till Dig can sound somewhat samey, but the smooth easy listening sound rewards multiple listens. Second single "Här Står Jag" is as upbeat as proceedings get, a catchy guitar led number which could easily have appeared on a recent Jewel album if sung in English. On the whole, though, the album is best enjoyed as a whole mood piece than as a collection of potential hit singles. So while the album yielded few further hits, Sonja became one of the biggest staples of Swedish AC radio in 2007, and after touring the country extensively she was rewarded with Platinum sales for her first disc, thus setting herself up nicely for a long and fruitful career as a recording artist and live act.

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