Ane Brun, 'Changing of the Seasons' (Cheap Lullaby)

8
Changing of the Seasons
Critical Mass
Label: Cheap Lullaby

by Barry Walters

This entrancing Norwegian singer-songwriter evokes a haunted Dolly Parton minusthe drawl. Her songs can be simply devastating, and at other times, oddly reassuring. Touching on elemental fears and desires, Changing of the Seasons rewards intimate listening -- in the final verse of the title track, a lover's embrace suddenly silences any thoughts of straying. Valgeir Sigurosson, Björk's longtime studio collaborator, wraps Brun's fragile tunes in tissue-thin layers that expose her quavering soprano's vulnerability and doesn't overplay her commercial leanings. Best of all is "Armour," where she warbles like a Disney robin.

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