The World Is Saved

Jul 6, 2005 at 12:00 am

The underplayed songs from Stina Nordenstram’s The World Is Saved give the singer-songwriter’s mousy voice a lot more room to show itself than it needs. In fact, except for a few scattered notes, it’s rare to hear her do anything other than sound like someone trying to keep others from listening in on her conversation. Nevertheless, the hushed voice is hypnotic in that way blinking Times Square billboards are, and before long you’re staring off into ... somewhere. That non-voice, no matter how small she makes it sound, slowly, evenly weaves its way around the sparse instrumentation. Poetics aside — and yes, Nordenstram can deftly dance her way in and around words — the girl won’t play live. More curious, her bio claims this to be her most hopeful work, though the songs are as hopeful as an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Take “Winter Killing,” on which she sings, “You’re safer with me here.” Before you agree, though, ask her where “here” is.

Cole Hadden writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].