Friday, July 10, 2009

A request Review: "Me and Simon" By Laleh (Persian born Swedish Singer/songwriter & Actress)

A newspaper publisher friend of mine kindly asked me to contribute a review of this album to one of his publications.

Let me begin by confessing that until asked to review this album I had never heard of Laleh! Therefore, I began by researching the artist before listening to the album. Laleh is clearly a very talented and impressive individual. She is a Persian born Swedish singer-songwriter, multi instrumentalist and actress. She was nominated for seven Swedish Music Awards in 2005 for her debut album "Laleh", and won three for Artist of the Year, Producer of the Year and Best New Artist of the Year. She has also acting success in Sweden.

Me and Simon is Laleh's third album. Like her previous work, the album contains songs in Swedish, English and Persian, all written and produced by Laleh.

If you wish to get a quick feel for her sound and style, think of the pop sound of the Cardigans and the slower and at times haunting music of Emilana Torrini, and the Anglo-Saxon Gothic sounds of Portishead and Cocteau Twins, all mixed together to create pleasant and at times very listenable music.

Whilst like many other young Pop musicians around the world Laleh's music is influenced by the dominant US/UK pop, she retains the distinct Nordic Pop influence in both her music and singing style. In my view this is where the beauty and charm of this album lies. The songs have a very strong Nordic flavour with a tinge of Persian and Anglo-Saxon pop, the opening track "Big City Love" being a fine pop example of my point.

Other standout songs are the title track "Me and Simon", which is the first single from the album, the beautiful Swedish track "Snoe" (Snow) which she recorded with London Symphony Orchestra for the Soundtrack of a Swedish movie and is a fine example of the full extent of her singing and songwriting ability, and the Persian song "Farda".

Whilst I was unable to listen to all the songs on the album due to difficulty in accessing them (online purchase or otherwise), based on the songs I have managed to listen to, it is clear that "Me and Simon" is a fine album by a very talented singer/songwriter with the potential to capture a much broader worldwide fan base. It is easy to listen to and contains some very impressive songwriting and singing by Laleh. An automatic buy for any serious music collector. rating 7.5/10