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Album Review

From the sound of this album, Sissel is Norwegian in the same way Abba is Swedish — it's simply the place she was born. Her sound, for the most part, is global pop lite. There's just enough of a lilt to some of her pronunciation to make it slightly exotic — which is more than can be said for songs like "Can't Go Back," which just drift through the ears. Still, when you think it's easy to peg her, she does throw in one curve ball to keep you on your toes: her version of the traditional "Shenandoah," while not the best ever recorded, is lovely, and shows the purity of her voice in a much better light than her pop material does. By comparison, "All Good Things," the following cut, seems almost vapid. Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire" fares better, in part because it challenges her a little. But from her treatment of the traditional Norwegian piece, "Laer Meg Å Kjenne," it's apparent that her real aim is the middle of the road. She can even turn Jan Garbarek's "Molde Canticle" into a gently lilting melody. All in all, it's a very inoffensive record. However, that very feat leaves it quite lacking in personality. That she can sing is evidenced by "Shenandoah"; whether she knows what to do with that voice remains in question.


Born: Bergen, Norway

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Born in Bergen, Norway in 1969, Sissel had appeared on Norwegian television several times as a child, but came into the public eye with her stellar vocal performances at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. She sings in her native tongue, in addition to English and Latin, similar in style and substance as the Irish ethereal vocalist Enya. Two albums in the mid-'90s, Innerst I Sjelen and Deep Within My Soul, found a small but dedicated audience and led to a prominent place as the voice of James...
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Sissel, Sissel
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