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Yours Sincerely

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Album Review

A former star of kids talent show Super Troupers and 2009 finalist on Sweden's version of Pop Idol, singer/songwriter Anna Bergendahl has gained unfortunate notoriety in her homeland for becoming its first ever Eurovision Song Contest entrant to fail to make it to the main competition. The offending track, "This Is My Life," appears on her debut album, Yours Sincerely, alongside 11 other songs, which suggest that her dismal showing was more down to the unexpected eschewing of her country's traditional schlager-pop than her material or performance. Indeed, Bergendahl's sound has much more in common with the country-pop of Taylor Swift, the jazz-soul of Paloma Faith, and the easy listening folk of Katie Melua than the bombastic Euro-camp of her Eurovision predecessors Carola, Charlotte Perrelli, and Malena Ernman. Dismissing any fears from the offset that Yours Sincerely would follow the same acoustic balladry formula of its most famous track, it opens with "Rolling Dice," an enchanting blend of Motown, trad jazz, and lounge-pop, full of sweeping strings, Glenn Miller-style brass, and a chorus as sweet as sugar. The eclecticism continues on the uplifting gospel-fused "Yeah Yeah Yeah," where Bergendahl's quivering powerful vocals recall a more understated Christina Aguilera; the authentic wartime pastiche "My Love," which echoes the gentle big-band pop of Eliza Doolittle; and a tender rendition of Bonnie Raitt's blues standard "Have a Heart," the only cover on the album, which also features five co-writes by Bergendahl. Best of all is "You Make Me Happy," a stunning duet with Faroe Islands vocalist Brandur Enni, which starts off as a restrained emotive midtempo before bursting into a U2-style finale of chiming guitars, anthemic rhythms, and passionate ad-libs. For someone with such a unique voice, it's a shame that the songs allowing her to fully showcase it end up falling short. "Beautiful" is the kind of wishy-washy Disney-esque ballad Kelly Clarkson used to belt out before she found her rock mojo; "Melodramatic Mess" is a pleasant but utterly unremarkable attempt at an acoustic torch song; and the use of mandolins may provide some authenticity to "Barcelona Blues," but doesn't compensate for the lack of a memorable tune. Her uptempo tracks, then, are infinitely far more appealing than her slower numbers, but she possesses the kind of voice that's just aching for a heartfelt love song that would make her Eurovision disaster a distant memory. With Yours Sincerely, Bergendahl doesn't score on that front, but there's enough potential here to suggest that in the future she will. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '10s

Anna Bergendahl is a Swedish pop singer who rose to fame on the reality television show Idol in 2008 prior to representing Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2010 with her chart-topping ballad "This Is My Life." Born on December 11, 1991, in Stockholm, she finished in fifth place on the 2008 season of the Swedish version of Idol. As a testament to her popularity on Idol, four of her performances from the show reached the Swedish singles chart in 2008: "Release Me," "Save Up All Your Tears,"...
Full bio
Yours Sincerely, Anna Bergendahl
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock, Adult Contemporary
  • Released: 01 January 2010

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