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Extracts from an album review, brought in the Danish newspaper ‘Information’, April 8, 2006.
Written by music critic Klaus Lynggaard
Strong, sensual and soulful
With a background in klezmermusic, the Danish singer Channe Nussbaum sings herself into the heart of the matter on this, her compelling, dangerous and underacted solo debut Channe Nussbaum has a lot of soul. (Hopefully) we all have that, but she is able to add her soul to her already passionate singing style, which makes ‘If this isn’t love’ a very hot release. She adds a lot of credibility to her songs and stories through the passion and precision with which she attacks the material. Add to this quite a bit of dangerousness, appearing where her natural husky voice is allowed to stay intact.
This is not a singing voice in the traditional, classical sense of the word, and thank God for that. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the words, just let yourself flow with the wildness of the voice, streaming towards you from this passionate human being, built out of music from head to toe.
The material mainly consists of sad, sad heart wrenching stories about love and lust, often with a twist of the downright fatal. Yes, it is so miserable that you just might find yourself getting in a good mood. As it says in the song ‘Sing little girl’:
»Sing little girl, about love and hate/sing, it makes me so happy.«
All through the album you have a feeling that something is at stake here and that this is a grown woman singing, a far cry from a lot of female albums these days, filled with songs where moon rhymes with swoon, and everything is so naively romantic that it gets you down. This album continuously holds a melancholy folk music-tinted tone, which is guaranteed to seize the listener and lift her out of the daily routines and into a room, where it really, really hurts.
As it says in the accompanying booklet:
‘If this isn’t love’ is comparable to an atlas of world music, covering Cuban salsa, Tom Waits, Piazolla, klezmer og Danish folk music. A high-quality dive into the highly different styles in which the ‘Danish Queen of klezmer’ finds her inspiration.
On top of everything else, Channe Nussbaum is surrounded by a team of more than average talented Danish musicians. The result is like the singer herself, very much alive and intense, and it swings to your hearts content.
All throughout the album, simplicity is at the centre of things. Neither the music nor the lyrics are blown out of proportion, so as a listener you just buy it all. The album oozes of presence and life lived, and invariably you are drawn back to it, again and again, because of an ambience often missed in newer music.
Ebbe Rossander, translator