Linnea Olsson’s second solo album doesn’t waste any time introducing itself and making small talk, it launches straight into the catchy title track ‘Breaking and Shaking’, grabbing you by the hand and pulling you onto the dance floor. But you don’t mind its boldness, you very quickly get into the groove with this bouncy Swede-pop.
The whole album is unmistakably Scandinavian - they unquestionably excel at pop music. The difference with Olsson is that she is a cellist as well as a singer. Not many cellists turn their hand to pop music. In fact, she describes herself on her Facebook page as “fantasy cello pop” - I definitely think that’s a new genre!
The cello is heavily used - you can especially hear its deep timbre in ‘I Sat Down Next To You’. She seamlessly manages to change the sound of the cello to match the songs, such as the pacier cello in ‘What’.
Her soft, effortlessly beautiful voice guides you through the songs like a close friend that you’ve known for years. She’s not forcing it, not belting it out - she doesn’t need to. Her voice has great range, going deep in places - very much like the cello.
Some of the lyrics feel a little trite like ‘I Am Younger’ repeating “I love you so much” - it feels a bit too saccharine, but that is the nature of pop music.
However, there are many cathartic songs, such as ‘I Take The Blame’ which celebrates “The total bliss of letting all of it out.” Which makes you want to march around with pride at owning your own shit.
The songs are simple, spare, to the point and most importantly, uplifting. With Breaking and Shaking, Olsson certainly does her country credit. She’s not doing anything groundbreaking, but it’s definitely an enjoyable listen.