STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 29134-12934 LABEL: Talking Music TALKCD1056 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Trevor Raggatt
Andreas Sandlund has been active on the Swedish music circuit for some years as a worship leader with Sweden's Passion event and as a session sidesman for other artists. However, 'Diamond No 1' allows this talented musician to shine in his own right. Recorded over three years in spare moments of studio time shoehorned into a busy schedule it clearly shows the hours of care and crafting lavished on it. That's not to imply that it's laboured or self-indulgent. The songs deftly tread the tightrope of accessibility and depth. Many are built around samples and loops but incorporate enough "real instruments" to avoid a synthetic feel to the arrangements. Sandlund's songwriting skills are clearly as well developed as his performance abilities; the tunes are engaging and the lyrics are deeply spiritual without being either overt or trite. Throughout, Sandlund's high and fragile voice is reminiscent of the young Michael W Smith's vocal style and he delivers convincingly. The opening track indicates desire to know and be known by God; the swirling electronica enhancing a feeling of searching and disconnect from your True North. Others like "In The Winter" and "Embrace" have a feeling of prayer set to music. "Save Me" and "Keep It True" increase the dance-style BPM while sprinkling subtly Edge-influenced guitars across the songs. All in all an album well worth searching out.
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