Friday, 7 December 2012

Lena Philipsson - Fantasy (1993)

So much of what on offer here owes itself to soft dance-pop grooves melted into Rn’B inclinations, with the whole shebang given a mid-tempo house gloss. Think Cathy Dennis delivering quality album tracks as if her life depended on it. What Lena has going for is her strong, sultry voice, powerfully restrained and prone to getting hot under the collar with ad libs most divas would sell their souls for.

The clear stand out for me is the hypnotic Give Me Your Love, piano keys rippling on top of some intoxicating keyboard riffs and typically flashy dance drum-machines clattering to make the most of the seething rhythm. Or something euro-dancey along those lines. It's a deluxe disco showcase, and one where Philipsson finds her best form. Immersed in its Moroder-esque synthesized votlage, the title track is no less alluring.

Elsewhere, For The Love Of You is a phoney sentiment (as if she'd give up ANYTHING for her man), but the sheer performance elevates the competent song-craft with her innate diva allure. There's a cover some song called Take My Breath Away: Lena naturally doesn't even break a sweat, and although the contemporary dance make-over gets going in a subtle manner, it's nothing more than a mildly titillating curiosity. On Make It Last, an after-hours torch song, the party has finished, but Lena is set adrift, getting her sax-appeal on with some lovelorn emotions.

Overall, solid and sporadically impressive.

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