Anna Ternheim: Halfway to Fivepoints

Swedish singer/songwriter Anna Ternheim’s apparent musical ambitions are best summed up with her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies,” featured here: All 10,000 layers of plastic ‘80s bombast are stripped away, leaving Christine McVie’s lover’s lament huddled, naked and shivering in the corner, and changing it in the process from an FM-friendly pop song into something darker and deeper. There’s something vaguely disquieting about Ternheim’s wind-chilled delivery here, and it threatens to coalesce in the first half of Halfway to Fivepoints, but the bulk of the album’s back half meanders from one pale mid-tempo ballad to another; between sixth track “No Subtle Men” and penultimate song “Black Widow,” you’re liable to catch yourself thinking about your grocery list, your doctor’s appointment, your projects at work…pretty much anything but the music. There are nice touches throughout, and Ternheim’s a likable enough performer, but she doesn’t have the material to carry her perpetually detached, smooth-to-a-fault vocals. For background music, you could certainly do worse, but who needs more of that? (Decca 2008)

Anna Ternheim MySpace page

  

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