Album: Stina Nordenstam

The World is Saved, V2
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The Independent Culture

Stina Nordenstam is the kind of pop musician who bares all emotionally in her songs, yet always seems to be trying to avoid contact. It's there in the way she looks away from the camera in all but one of the sleeve photos, and it's there in many of the songs on The World is Saved, which deal mostly in crumbling relationships and futile attempts to make human connections. The break-up songs are all passive-aggressive in tone, the desire to make a clean break scuppered by shyness or an equally powerful desire to avoid confrontation. "You're safer with me here, and you there," she observes in "Winter Killing", the link broken at distance rather than face to face. Stina's always had a half-empty attitude, and even the few shafts of light that break through the emotional shadows in the album are tempered by her pessimism. In "From Cayman Islands with Love", she is "the only one around I know who can't stand the heat", while the bright new day heralded by the strings

Stina Nordenstam is the kind of pop musician who bares all emotionally in her songs, yet always seems to be trying to avoid contact. It's there in the way she looks away from the camera in all but one of the sleeve photos, and it's there in many of the songs on The World is Saved, which deal mostly in crumbling relationships and futile attempts to make human connections. The break-up songs are all passive-aggressive in tone, the desire to make a clean break scuppered by shyness or an equally powerful desire to avoid confrontation. "You're safer with me here, and you there," she observes in "Winter Killing", the link broken at distance rather than face to face. Stina's always had a half-empty attitude, and even the few shafts of light that break through the emotional shadows in the album are tempered by her pessimism. In "From Cayman Islands with Love", she is "the only one around I know who can't stand the heat", while the bright new day heralded by the strings of "The Morning Belongs to the Night" inevitably gives way to dusk and darkness. Just add penumbral strings and crepuscular woodwind behind scratchy percussion and guitar, with only marimba or vibes bringing a touch of lightness. Interesting, but you wouldn't want to attend her parties.

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