Review of Ane Brun's album Changing Of The Seasons released through Determine Records.
Ane Brun's voice and music is sewn into a seam of accomplished songwriters that passes back through Frida HyvÃ¶nen, Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell and Melanie Safka. Though she sings in English, her Scandinavian lilt cuts through and her voice is somehow sharp and gentle at once.
You will have heard Ane Brun before, even if you don't know it yet. Her cover of 'True Colours' (written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and most famously performed by Cyndi Lauper) was chosen to soundtrack a number of adverts, for Sky+ HD, Peugot and Kodak. Yes. that one.
There is more to Brun's oeuvre, however, than cutesy power-marketing. Lyrically, she is powerful, acutely feminine and endearingly vulnerable ("I've got my best shoes on / I'm ready for it all."). Musically, her classic song structures are bolstered by some moving orchestral arrangements by Nico Muhly, Malene Bay-Landin and Erik Arvinder.
At times, Changing of the Seasons trickles into territory a little too sickly sweet and it's usually the string arrangements that take it there. Occasionally, you can be forgiving for thinking you're listening to the soundtrack of a particularly sentimental straight-to-DVD rom-com. And presumably, adding the version of 'True Colours' as a bonus track at the end is to satisfy the dunderheads who allow TV advertising to manufacture their CD collections. It's entirely unnecessary, of course, because, without it, Changing of the Seasons holds its own as a superb collection of magnificent songwriting.