Ane Brun – It All Starts With One album review

Maybe it’s only the Dexedrine listening, but as soon as I put on Ane Brun’s album It All Starts With One, I felt like I was home. Brun’s a vocalist from Norway who’s been releasing albums for nearly ten years (and has collaborated with an assortment of talented characters like Ron Sexsmith and Peter Gabriel along the way) but I never heard of her before my overlords and overladies at MVRemix tossed her CD in my lap last week. I don’t think I’ll be giving it back.

I used to know a drummer who played loud rock music and liked to relax after shows with Sade – I could see myself performing a similar cool-down operation on myself with the music of Ms. Brun, who presides majestically over a beautifully produced soundscape like a fairy queen surveying her domain. I could summarize this whole review in four words if I was permitted: this woman can sing! She makes me despise the gross articulations and affectations of our popular American singers even more.

Everything else is here too, folks – the songwriting is gorgeous and substantial, the production is sublime (in the sense of deep: deep like the ocean, not like Conrad, meaning that there are mysterious sonic beasts here gliding by, far beneath the more audible surface), and there’s an air of natural mystery pervading the whole record that I found compelling. This music is in no way predictable: the chord progressions ebb and flow through diverse instrumentation, and even when I know I’m simply hearing two familiar chords on a piano, it still sounds as fresh as the newspaper.

Now I’m not a lyrics girl, as some of you know, but I must confess: the lyrics are heavenly as well. A cursory examination suggests that although that Ms. Brun sings mostly about matters of the heart, like nearly every other singer these days who has fallen ill with willful romantic attachment – the disease of the age – her approach is sufficiently novel that not once did I roll my very spherical eyes to the heavens; the naturalism of the music extends to the lyrical metaphors and it’s all very elegant and lovely, I think. Try as I might, I can’t find a damn thing wrong with it.

Perhaps when we decode the messages of extraterrestrials someday, we’ll find they read: SEND MORE ANE BRUN. I can’t recall the last time an album made me feel so otherworldly and so at home at the same time. Bravo!

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