Wednesday, 07 November 2012 20:52

Vitaphone - Nanna B

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Readers of my recent review of Sahra da Silva’s EP will know that I was more than impressed, rating it a full five stars. After that surprise, I was not expecting to be musically satisfied again so soon. I was, of course, expecting Nanna B’s new album Vitaphone to be good, having already heard the brilliant single “Sum O' Sometimes” and “Keep on Moving” and happily however, after listening to the album, it looks like I won't be coming down from the clouds just yet.

Danish soul singer Nanna B’s debut album (available also on wonderfully coloured vinyl) contains 12 tracks creatively held together with tight beats, super production, and soulful vocals. This is the type of album your friends will hear and ask, “Who is that?” Trust me, I’ve had this experience.

nanna 300The album opening track #1 “My Groove” begins with the sound of a needle turning on a dusty vinyl record. Youngsters may not recognize it but old music lovers sure will. This clearly shows Nanna’s love for the old-school vibe, mixed with modern beats. And yes, it does have the harmonies you'd find with Erykah Badu, who has been an obvious influence on Nanna. That said, Nanna has her own unique twists and playfulness.

My Groove” is followed by the brilliant “Sum O' Sometimes”, which feels short despite its 3:03 minutes length. If I had one request, it would be for an extended version of this baby!

#3 “Fresh New Thing” has a smooth, easy groove, while track #4 “Utopian Love”, is haunting, soulful, well-written, and just superb. Remember, most tracks are recorded with live instruments. What you hear from Nanna is what you get—soul from the soul.

Keep on Moving” is another killer track, and again my only complaint is its length, even though this one is four minutes long! “Follow me” and “It Came Out of Something” are where the more experimental sides of soul are explored by Nanna, while “Sunday High” is a simple, wonderfully smooth, but short, track.

Vitaphone is produced by Damp and boasts a selection of beats and rhythms that are exciting, quirky, and funky. “Mind Reader” featuring Diverse is a perfect example.

There is a hidden track on the album, but the real gem is track #10 “Falling”. This simple a capella composition has wonderful harmonies, rhythm, and soul—delightful!

And just when you think it's all over track #12 “People” begins playing. What an ending to an album! Turn this one up!

The hidden track is called “Arrows”, but I'll leave that one for you to discover on your own.

This album was available for free and if you missed it, you really missed out, however it's so worth the 130DKK it costs now!

This is a superb debut album and Nanna B’s calming voice carries every song superbly. After listening to the album, I almost expected to hear her say at the end, “There, don't you feel better now?”

Yes, Nanna. I sure do.

Scandinavian Soul rating 5 out of 5

Andy Collins

I'm a South Londoner now living in Sweden. I'm also a part-time DJ/ founder of Urbanlife Radio and co-founder of Scandinavian Soul. Music has always been my soundtrack to life and although I listen to everything, soul is always in my playlist.

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