I’m not overly sure why Ane Brun found it neccesary to follow up the highly successful ‘A Temporary Dive’ with an album of duets. What makes it even more surprising is that two of the better songs on it are from that same album. In fact ‘Song Number 6’ the duet with Ron Sexsmith is a direct lift from that album and not even a re-recording. The fact that it stands out more on here than it did on the earlier album confirms the earlier albums superiority in my opinion.
Easily the best track on this album, and as a matter of fact as good as anything on ‘A Temporary Dive’ is the collaboration with Madrugada ‘Lift Me’. This was a major hit in Norway and is a truly wonderful track that justifies the albums existence. I have to be honest and admit that I had never heard of Madrugada before hearing this album but have now become an instant fan of their vocalist Sivert Hoeyem. He has a deep almost country like bourbon tinged voice which you would never believe belonged to a Norwegian. He also reminds me of Miller Anderson and his solo albums are wending there way to Leedham Towers as we speak courtesy of internet shopping.
‘Rubber and Soul’ is almost as good as the solo recording but for me is an unneccesary re-working. ‘Across The Bridge’ featuring Ellekari Larsson and opener ‘Little Lights’ featuring Syd Matters are the other more noteworthy cuts on the album but the cover of the excellent Sam Brown hit ‘Stop’ is very uninspired and lacks any of the passion of the original. But as an ardent Sam Brown fan I probably would say that wouldn’t I.
To conclude then this is a pleasant enough if ultimately pointless album in my opinion. It does nothing to further the career of Ane Brun in a worldwide sphere as it features guest artistes who are little known outside Scandinavia. It smacks of contractual obligation release in some ways but Brun’s excellent voice still manages to make it an enjoyable experience especially when paired with that of Hoeyem on ‘Lift Me’. It is worth owning for that track alone.
© Martin Leedham. First published on RYM April 2010.