JOSEFIN NILSSON - Shapes (1993) posted by Svabdos
Electronic, Pop, Rock
Pop Rock, Synth-pop, Ballad, Schlager
Backing Vocals - Ainbusk Singers , Anders Glenmark , Leslie O. Smith , Magnus Rongedal , Nils Landgren , Scotti Preston , Sharon Dyall/Bass - Rutger Gunnarsson (ABBA)/ Drums, Percussion - Per Lindvall (ABBA)/Guitar - Henrik Janson (tracks: 1 to 5, 8) , Lasse Wellander (ABBA) (tracks: 2, 4, 6, 7, 10)/ Producer, Arranged By, Written-By, Keyboards, Programmed By - Benny Andersson (ABBA)/ Written By - Björn Ulvaeus (ABBA)
01 Surprise, Surprise
02 Heaven and Hell
03 We Won't Be Going Anywhere
04 Where the Whales Have Ceased to Sing
05 High Hopes and Heartaches
06 Midnight Dancer
07 Leave It to Love
08 When I Watch You in Your Sleep
09 Now You See Him, Now You Don't
10 Film I'd Like to See
link to download:
"What a shame this album didn't get to a wider audience, but it seems to have been resigned to the files of " Benny and Bjorn's Abba Afterthoughts" which does it a disservice. I didn't know who Josefin Nilsson was before I was given this album as a gift, but she has a wonderful singing voice, strong and yet capable of the quietest understatement. She does a great job on all 10 songs here, each of which is written by Benny and Bjorn from Abba, and evidence of this pedigree is found both lyrically and musically on every track, which makes it the "missing" follow up to the album "The Visitors" in the eyes of some Abba fans ("We Won't Be Going Anywhere" sounds unmistakeably like that album's title track in places). There are plenty of strong numbers here. The opening track "Surprise, Surprise" is in my view, the best on the album. A swaggering opening and chorus, interspaced with delicate, almost whispered verses make this an unusual and very catchy start. Sadly, it's followed by "Heaven and Hell", the weakest of all the tracks, and one that was released as a single to boot. I find this predictable and with very over-important production. But the rest of the album is a joy. Benny and Bjorn write lyrics in ways that native English writers would never dream of doing, such as rhyming "No kiss, no touch and no surrender" with "And that was not on the agenda". They create little urban life-stories in a similar way as they did in the Abba single "The Day Before You Came", again, with lots of intricate wordplay. And they make a great job of creating moods such as in the track "Now You See Him, Now You Don''t", which sways seductively along, recalling the eastern promise present in the hit song "One Night in Bangkok". So maybe it is one for Abba fans, and yes it might be too similar to the final output of that group, but Josefin's voice makes for wonderful listening - and she's gorgeous too. Worth tracking down...it's pop music all right, but such that you can listen to and fool yourself just a little into believing that you are listening to something sublime."
"Released in South Africa in 1992 this album was unfortunately [and misguidedly]ignored by many 'serious' music stations, despite its instantaneous adult contemporary pop-friendliness. Stand-out tracks are the ABBA-similes "We won't be going anywhere" and "Where the whales have ceased to sing". With synth-virtuoso Benny Anderson at the production helm and an array of sparkling adult pop-tunes to enjoy ["Now you see him, now you don't" and "High Hopes & Heartaches"] and a touch of the cautiously melodramatic ["Film I'd Like To See"] this album shines as a reminder of what brilliant songsmiths Anderson-Ulvaeus are. Ms. Nilsson's breathy voice is a welcome discovery for anyone tired of nowadays's often average new female pop voices, who without the right material invariably come off 2nd best. She effortlessly masters the highs and lows of "Heaven & Hell" [chosen as a single release, although not the catchiest song and a bit predictable] and her voice glides sensually across the soundscape that makes this album a must-have for anyone fond of well-executed adult contemporary pop."
"The artist is a former member of the group AINBUSK. This is her first solo album. All of the music has come from Benny and Bjorn (the two male members of ABBA) and they even play on some of the songs. The two best songs I like on this album are Midnight Dancer and Leave It To Love. The whole album is fantastic for ABBA lovers and also gives insight to the workings of Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulveaus, as they had just completed the musical CHESS before working with Josefin Nilsson. All of the selections are great and the songs High Hopes And Heartaches and Heaven And Hell were released as singles in Europe and had great sales numbers for the singles."
Josefin Nilsson is a singing and acting tour de force. She has been from the start on 22 March 1969. Her entire life has been consumed with music and theater. Her father, Allan Nilsson, was Gotland's show king and put on local revues. He played the accordion and Josefin's older sister Marie the piano. In this environment Josefin developed a natural talent for singing and acting early on. By the time she was eight years old, she made her first appearance. When she was barely a teenager, she performed in her first talent show in Visby, the capital of Gotland. At 14 Josefin joined forces with Marie and their friends Annelie Roswall and Birgitta Jakobsson to become the youngest member of the local cabaret act Ainbusk Singers. ("Lassie" - shot straight to #1 and easily went gold by selling well over 60,000 copies.1991 saw continuing success with "More Amore" and the recording of another single "Älska Mej" ("Love Me")).
Josefin & ABBA
Of all of their accomplishments since ABBA's final release in 1982 and the 1985 #3 Chess smash "One Night In Bangkok," Shapes is Benny & Björn's first work available in the United States in well over a decade.
Benny & Björn's (ABBA) writing of the songs actually began in 1992, at which time Josefin said, "We have been in the studio to try out the material and it feels right. This is what I want to do... It all feels very comfortable and good. We have tried several things musically and I like their songs."
As much as Shapes confirms Benny & Björn's gifted touch, it also reveals Josefin's love for singing. "Sometimes I think singers try too much to impress technically. These songs are so good that they hardly need embellishments," says Josefin. "It's pop music, both simple and very special. There is a sensitivity in their songs that can grab your heart. The style varies but the bottom line is always the melodies..."
Shapes spawned four singles and three videos in Sweden. The first, "Heaven And Hell," a moving and emotional power rock ballad, fared best on Swedish radio and sales charts. It also saw success in Holland and Norway. The upbeat followup, "High Hopes And Heartaches," was released in the form of remixes for radio and in an extended version for dance clubs. "Where The Whales Have Ceased To Sing," a lilting ballad in a theatrical vein, was released next. It sounds more eerily close to ABBA than any of the other singles. The last single culled from Shapes is another upbeat but rock influenced cut, "Surprise, Surprise," which also opens the album.
Shapes features other stellar tracks suitable for several American radio formats and dance clubs. Among them are four upbeat tunes: the power pop "We Won't Be Going Anywhere," a ready made dance track called "Midnight Dancer," a Motown influenced "Leave It To Love" and an instant and straightforward pop classic in "Now You See Him, Now You Don't." The remaining two tracks are the epic ballads "When I Watch You In Your Sleep," with an almost countrified feel, and "The Film I'd Like To See," with a gospel tinge that brings an exhilarating close to Shapes.
Upon its release in Sweden, Fred Bronson, author of Billboard's "Chart Beat" column, picked Shapes as his No. 1 album of the year in the 1993 year-end issue. And now, at long last, Josefin's album sees its American debut.
If you want to read much more : http://www.chestud.chalmers.se/~k94077/josa.html
More info :