ALBUM REVIEW:Amanda Mair “Amanda Mair”

Amanda Mair has an unfair advantage. She is a teenage popstar from Sweden, two distinct advantages that set her apart from the crowd. Sweden has produced everyone from ABBA through to the A*Teens, Robyn through to Loreen – all acts who have used pop to conquer the world and it’s dancefloors. Throw into the mix her tender years and popstar good looks, qualities which saw Tiffany, JT, Britney and Christina to the top, and initial success is  inevitable. However, Amanda Mair manages to supersede both these advantages in one foul swoop on her eponymous debut.

Amanda Mair may be Swedish and a teenager but her album is much more aligned to the work of Kate Bush than it is to Louise. Mair boasts a vocal that fuses Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush in one effortless breath, which lifts her well constructed, radio friendly ditties into a divine territory.

Kicking off proceedings with the Orient inspired “Said And Done” is an inspired move. Sweeping instrumentation compliments Mair’s delicate vocal and “Said And Done” sets the bar high, a bar which Mair constantly surpasses. Single “Doubt” follows, perhaps encompassing exactly what the album stands for. A haunting display of pretty vocals and no punches pulled instrumentation makes Mair a hypnotic affair.

With no skip ahead moment, it could be said that Mair’s debut is the epitome of the pop record. With a diversity in her sonic approach, each song feels like it would suffer without her presence. While there are no lowlights, there are certainly highlights. The piano-centric “House” gets the spine tingling, while the poppier “Sense” oozes the innocent charm of Eurovision winner Lena-which is no bad thing. However it is the stripped back “Skinnarviksberget” really showcases Mair’s vocal capabilities, and can only be described as lush.

Amanda Mair is so much more than a pop puppet. She is the epitome of what pop can be. Her is an honest, open affair that uses no trickery or foolery to enhance the experience. If there is any justice in the world, Amanda Mair will be rewarded for her refreshing approach.

Rating 5/5
Reviewer:Jeremy Williams

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