"Shimming, Warm & Bright is the third album from the exquisitely talented Norwegian group Bel Canto, who really deserves to be well-known. Bel Canto is this: an ethereal and angelic lead vocalist Anneli Drecker, a blend of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, mysterious balladry, low on hooks but possessing a somber majesty nonetheless.
Before the recording of this release, Geir Jenssen left the group to tackle his solo career. Perhaps because of this, Shimmering, Warm & Bright is dressed in less frosty tones, although the music remains beautifully solemn as always. Leading the album is the mystifying "Unicorn," juxtaposing soft keyboard textures with an effective techno backdrop. Over it all is Drecker's beautiful voice, her melodies cool and enticing. Elsewhere, her voice may take on a feisty, infectious enthusiasm, as on the spirited title track and the droll of "Spiderdust." But she is at her best when singing the album's spellbinding slow songs. "Waking Will," lyrically and musically, is like a walk through someone's twisted dreamscape. "Mornixuur" is the album's stunning finale, a ballad whose intensity carefully mounts. Also of interest are the beautiful songs where Drecker sings in foreign tongues, like French on "La Temps Dégagé" and German on "Die Geschichte Einer Mutter." I don't know why, but beautiful female vocalists singing in other languages are very pleasing to me. While much of my praise descends on Drecker (and she deserves it all), the group's other member Nils Johanssen is also remarkably talented. He has a unique ability to create electronic rhythms with all the vivacity required of Drecker's ambitious vocal melodies. His synthesized sonics lend beauty to the group's sound, and his occasional acoustic guitar possesses tremendous aural depth even with just a few simple chords.
Perhaps Norway is a gold mine of great singers, because Roy S. Khantatat also hails from that country, and he's incredible too. But I digress... Shimmering, Warm & Bright is an album you need to buy before it goes out of print, like their first two albums. Don't miss out on this unique and magnificent group!" amazon
3.Waking Will (5:16)
4.Shimmering, Warm & Bright (3:18)
5.Sleep In Deep (2:45)
7.Le Temps Degage (4:43)
9.Die Geschichte Einer Mutter (6:54)
Anneli Marian Drecker (vocals)
Nils Johansen (producer, programming)
Luc Van Lieshout (flugelhorn, trumpet)
Andreas Eriksen (piano, percussion)