People Are Strange
The fourth album by this strange Swedish pop vocalist, from 1998 (previous albums: Memories Of A Color (1991), And She Closed Her Eyes (1994), Dynamite (1997). An album of all covers, rendered in very idiosyncratic fashion, (most obviously comparable to Cat Power's The Covers Record, which it predates by a year or so). Achieves that "lips-next-to-your-ears" climate with deft ease, via luxuriously non-offensive sound presentation and general intimacy. Jim O'Rourke, speaking recently of Stina's production techniques: "The best record I've heard in years is by a woman called Stina Nordenstam. Technically it's a mess, but it's brilliant because the vibe is right. She's go these really badly recorded basic tracks of her singing. There are almost purposefully badly recorded tracks of piano and singing against fantastically recorded strings and horns, and the way they clash is what gives the record its character." "Many of the songs Stina chose to cover will be known to anyone with even a slightest interest in popular music -- and many of those choices will perplex those who have a previous acquaintanceship of her work. They include 'Sailing', once a huge hit for Rod Stewart. Prince's famous anthem 'Purple Rain'; Tim Hardin's fragile little love song Reason To Believe'; the often covered country tune by Boudleaux Bryant, 'Love Hurts'. and two songs from the grandmaster of singer-songwriting, Leonard Cohen -- "Bird On A Wire' and 'You Came So Far For Beauty'. In addition, there are almost unknown folk tunes such as 'Like A Swallow' and the nineteenth century ballad by Stephen Foster, 'Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair'.