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coverpic flag Sweden - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 2 - 12/24/96

Stina Nordenstam

No one can sing like Stina [Steenah] Nordenstam. She sounds like a twelve year old girl, sitting in her room singing so low that it almost should be called whispering, so her parents won't hear what she is singing about. Dynamite is her third album and also her darkest. The other two are great and beautiful jazzalbums, warmer and more positive than Dynamite. The terrific and very beautiful song Little Star from her second album, And She Closed Her Eyes, was almost an indie-hit two years ago.

The sound of Dynamite is wonderful with all the instruments mostly flowing around somewhere far away in the background, sometimes allowing a drumbeat, a guitar or a bassline to stagger in volume and force only to disappear back in the hollow soundwall it came from a few beats later. Stinas voice is lying on top of the instruments like thin ice on a dark lake, never breaking for any currents swirled up by a sharp Blixa Bargeld-like guitar (played by herself) or heavy drumbeats beating on the ice from below. Everything is in perfect balance, appearing to burst into unlistenable pieces of cliché s or cheap guitarsolos every second, but never do so. A truly fascinating listening experience.

The texts are about broken relationships, murder or unanswered love but also about hope and the belief of a better tomorrow. You have to carry on, no matter how hard it is.

Dynamite is a record to listen to, just hearing it isn't enough. It takes some time and effort of the listener but the reward is great - a record you'll return to every time you need some company in the cold winternight (or any day or night for that matter) or maybe when the empty words and general pointlessness of (nearly) all the other artists out there simply have become too much to take.

Copyright © 1996 Erik Starck e-mail address

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