Alice Boman

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Dream on (2020), 7/10
The Space Between (2022), 6/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Swedish singer-songwriter Alice Boman debuted with the five lyrical, romantic elegies of the EP Skisser (2013), notably the slow, gentle and whispered Waiting, the impressionistic piano-based Skiss 3, and the even more touching and dreamy Skiss 8. The six-song EP II (2014) contains the lullaby What, the stately Be Mine, the catchy Over, halfway between a church hymn and a Phil Spector hit of the 1960s, and Burns, that harks back to the singer-songwriters of the 1970s, almost a cross of Carly Simon and Kate Bush. Her impressive melodic talent is a little wasted in the single "a la mode" Dreams (2017).

Dream on (2020) invests in the atmospheric ballad (Wish We Had More Time a` la Burt Bacharach , Hold On a` la Angelo Badalamenti) and in danceable beats (Don't Forget About Me, Everybody Hurts), but without losing the pathos of her magically ethereal lullabies: Heart On Fire, the waltzing The More I Cry the funereal Who Knows, which is more Cowboy Junkies than Mazzy Star, each of them emanating heartbreak and nostalgia. It's Okay It's Alright and This Is Where It Ends are experiments in arranging her music, with mixed results. Her songs are best savored in minimal settings.

The arrangements are more prominent on The Space Between (2022), and somehow this helps to view her music as a reinvention of traditional folk styles: Honey is an astral gospel and Night and Day sounds like a Christmas carol. Clearly the arrangements are meant to move her closer to the mainstream. Hence Maybe, a more lively (almost jangling and tapping) version of her lullabies, Soon, an orchestral neosoul ballad over a syncopated beat, and Feels Like a Dream, a duet with Perfume Genius. But the artificial drumming patterns and the electronic touches need a better producer/arranger, otherwise all you get is half-baked songs like Space, with guitar twang and western rhythm.

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )