Ida Sand has the perfect voice for this material: genuine, emotional and, well, soulful. She’s accompanied by the tightly integrated but effortlessly funky Stockholm Underground. This is an album full of songs about love gone wrong; crisp and soulful little stories served up with understatement and style. It swings when it needs to, and pulls at the heart when the occasion demands.
Amongst spirited covers of songs by the likes of Al Green, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, it is the four tracks penned by Ida Sand herself that elevate the overall quality of this album to something quite special. It says much for her skills as a songwriter in this genre that her contributions fit comfortably in amongst better-known tracks and easily hold their own. “Crash & Burn” offers a jaunty, bluesy take on lessons learned in life, sounding like the sort of catchy song that really should already exist, such is its instant familarity and appeal. But it is the slower, reflective ballad “I Have Nothing Left for You” that is capable of lifting the hairs on the back of the neck, with its tones of sadness and regret conveyed with conviction by Sand’s voice and performance on piano – a standout track on the album.
At times Sand sounds a bit like Jennifer (“The Power of Love”) Rush with some of her vibrato and tone, but overall she shows she is capable of delivering a range of songs with conviction and genuine connection. Not far behind the scenes, the Midas touch of Nils Landgren and Siggi Loch as producers ensure that the ACT hits just keep on coming. A beautiful release.
Take Me to the River; Where the Hell Are You; Crash & Burn; Please Don’t Hurt My Baby; I Believe to My Soul; Born on the Bayou; I Have Nothing Left for You; Just Kissed My Baby; Empty Bed Blues; If You Don’t Love Me; It’s Your Voodoo Working; Spooky (44.00)
Sand (v, p); Jesper Nordenstrom (kyb, org); Henrik Janson (elg); Lars DK Danielsson (elb); Per Lindvall (d); Magnus Lindgren (ts, bar, cl, af, f); Ola Gustafsson (elg, g); Paris Renita, Andre de Lang, Andreas Dahlback (v); Nils Landgren (tb, v). Stockholm, 31 January – 2 February 2018.