The talk of the round table conference!
Ane Brun is a contemporary version of Joni Mitchel hailing from Norway. Having already released five albums in Norway, this is the second album to be released in America (after 2006’s ‘A Temporary Drive’) and the first in the UK. On the back of her cover of Cindy Lauper’s 1980’s classic ‘True Colors’, ‘Changing Of Seasons’ showcases the thoughtful and poetic genius of Ms Brun.
In the opening song, ‘The Treehouse Song’, the gentle guitar and bass thud drifts in the background as Ane’s Folk vocals that border on a Country twang sing out, “We were going to live in a treehouse and make babies // and we were going to bury our ex-lovers and their ghosts // baby, we were made of gold…”. It’s haunting and enchanting all at once. This leads nicely to ‘The Fall’ whereby Ane talks of pealing off piece by piece layers of her soul, which lyrically is exactly what she may well be doing here and on the rest of the album. ‘The Puzzle’ is slightly more Folk, and it is about this time that you realise that there will not be any fast songs, or angst ridden slices of menstrual frustration spat in contempt like other female artists…
There is a really mature sound to Ane’s voice in, ‘My Star’, and we have the thundering tinkles of lower piano keys and choir ‘Mmmm’s’ in the background of, ’10 Seconds’, a song that feels a little more full-bodied than some of the others. In ‘Lullaby For Grown Ups’ we are soothed to sleep with many pearls of wisdom like, “When you think // Of falling skies // Remember there are a million ways to die…” Good point.
Unfortunately whilst each song has a different message and a tangle of poetry strung together with a sea breeze and an optimistic mind, musically it’s pretty gentle background stuff. Like a musical duvet covering you with a familiar warmth as you listen to the exciting whispers of a new lover. However you can’t help but lie back and enjoy each Polaroid moment like the colours are about to be drained from your life in any second. ‘Armour’ has a great piano piece that stands out, and ‘Round Table Conference’ has a slight Country & Western feel to it, specifically in the chorus. It’s a lovely song. ‘Gillian’ has added strings, and ‘Don’t Leave’ sounds like it comes straight out of an old black and white movie whereby the heroine is singing late at night outside her wagon awaiting the leading man to come and take her blues away. Then her last song is the piano-strong song, ‘Linger With Pleasure’.
There are two bonus songs here, firstly her aforementioned recent single that can also be heard on the current SKY HD campaign, and also another cover of Alphaville’s 1979 song, ‘Big In Japan’, that like Cindy Lauper’s cover before, is a gentle version of the song, and works really well. Great stuff!
Yes, it would be nice if there were a couple of songs that were a little up tempo, as ‘Changing Of The Seasons’ does have a habit of sounding similar in places, however if you follow the album with the sleeve lyrics a couple of times then before you know it, in a revelation likened to the 1990’s lost craze of ‘Magic Eye’ pictures, everything suddenly jumps out. It’s a very good album, and considering that every song is slow and gentle, to a guy that likes Street Punk normally, I have truly got something positive out of this album.