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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Featured Review: Ingrid Olava - Juliet's Wishes

Ingrid Olava - Juliet's Wishes
2008, EMI Records

Norway's Ingrid Olava runs the gamut from starkly beautiful piano ballads and lushly orchestrated aural landscapes on Juliet's Wishes, her debut album.  There is serious classical training in Ms. Olava's resume, and it bleeds over into the song construction in what may turn out to be a break out album. 

Juliet's Wishes opens with Stars, a sparse yet lovely song that introduces you to her gorgeous alto voice and amazing sense of melody.  The song is full of a quiet yearning that is unresolved and unrepentant.  Headlines is one of several songs here that will make you think of early Tori Amos material.  Back To Love is one of several favorites here, a rueful song about running away from love. 

The song William made me do a double-take.  Olava sounds so much like Canadian chanteuse Sarah Slean on this song its frightening.  This is more of a freeform poem sung with a musical background, similar in form to a recitative in an opera.  The title track, Juliet's Wishes is another favorite here, and will draw comparisons once again to Slean.  And definitely do not skip Slippery, the closing track.  It has the feel of dusk on a fall day when puddles are ringed with ice crystals and you can smell the first snow coming.   

Ingrid Olava appears to have a talent for finding hope within sadness and light within darkness.  Her music is intensely personal and beautiful.  Juliet's Wishes is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful exposition into the mind of Ingrid Olava. (Like an enemy waiting to strike / heartache remembers my name).  It’s not an upbeat album, and you won't dance to it, but my guess is it will occupy your cd/record/mp3 player for some time to come. 

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Ingrid Olava at  Any of the sites I could locate that appear to be selling the CD are either in Norwegian or Japanese.  This is a major label release in Norway, and so you should be able to order it through your local Borders or Barnes and Noble (maybe).  If anyone finds a good source for this disc please let me know, and we’ll update this information accordingly. 

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