Reviews Zone

Inger Marie, Five Minutes, (Stunt Records),15th December 2023



4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



Norwegian singer Inger Marie Gundersen, (known as Inger Marie) adds a sixth album to her catalogue when “Five Minutes” is released by Copenhagen-based Stunt Records in two days’ time – her first album for five years.

The nine-track album was produced by Espen Lind, who also delivers guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals across the album. Espen has worked with Beyonce and Taylor Swift among many others, and is a composer and TV personality in his homeland of Norway.

Also contributing are Torjus Vierli on piano, organ, and keyboards; Tom Frode Tveita on bass; Martin Windstad on drums and percussion; Kristian Frostad on pedal steel, lap steel, and guitar; Erlend Viken on fiddle; and Tore Johansen on trumpet.

Inger and Espen collaborated to select the songs on the album, all covers, with Inger describing those songs as “nine small stories about big things.” The material is a broad church of styles and genres, and pretty much all nine songs are a snug fit for Inger’s distinctive voice and approach.

A less-is-more modus operandi, with sensitive treatment from the players and the vocalist; and smart arrangements of material that dips into pop, jazz, rock, blues, musicals and the Great American Songbook. It is very easy to listen to, but do not be mistaken that this should be filed under “Easy Listening” and background music.

The Gretchen Peters-penned title track opens proceedings – a song from her 2012 album “Cruel World” – with a gentle piano bubbling underneath Inger’s laid back and whispery vocal delivery. It is soothing and lovely. I do feel that the vocal needs to come up higher in the mix though. Kristina Forstad’s restrained pedal steel adds much value to this one and to more tracks in this set.

Second cut, “Sailing” is the Rod Stewart hit, written by Scotland’s Sutherland Brothers – Iain and Gavin – who recorded the original version as Sutherland Brothers and Quiver. This version is as chilled as ice and Inger’s vocal builds and builds. More swooning pedal steel.

The rest of the album delivers Paul McCartney’s “My Valentine”, from his 15th solo album, 2012’s “Kisses On The Bottom”, Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers’ “We Kiss In A Shadow”, from their 1951 musical “The King and I”…

A highlight is Inger’s interpretation of the Jagger and Richards’ Rolling Stones track, “Wild Horses”, and this is now my favourite version of this song apart from the original. Well, I say the original, but a wee factoid for ya: “Wild Horses” was written by Mick and Keith with Gram Parsons, and first released in 1970 by the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Apparently The Stones didn’t like the demo to do it themselves. But they reconsidered and put it on their 1971 album “Sticky Fingers”, and also released it as a single. The song is an inspired choice for Ms. Inger Marie.

Some smashing twangy guitar work on Bill Fay’s wonderful song, “Thank You Lord”. Bill (William Fay) is now 80, an English singer-songwriter and pianist whose early releases were on the Deram label in 1967. Following the release of his second album in 1971, Fay was dropped by the label.

His older works were re-issued in 1998 and 2004/2005.  This song is from his 2012 album, “Life Is People”, his first album new material since 1971. His sixth album, “Countless Branches” was released in 2020. A very good choice for Inger is this one. Bill is a new name to me though and I need to check his stuff out.

Mark Knopfler’s “Why Worry” comes from the Dire Straits smash hit album, “Brothers In Arms” in 1985. Jon Brion’s “Little Person” is from the 2008 movie, “Synecdochie, New York” soundtrack, a film starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Jon Brion has composed scores for films such as “Hard Eight”, “Magnolia”, “Punch-Drunk Love”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “Lady Bird”, “Chrstopher Robin”,  “I Heart Huckabees” and many more. He is also a respected record producer.

Closing the collection, is “Narrow Daylight”, written by Diana Krall and her hubbie Elvis Costello. The whole set is very, very laid back and there are no up-tempo songs here at all.


It may be an acquired taste for some as on the surface it can seem a little slow and maybe even melancholic. But play it twice and some more, and you’ll get it like I did. First play I was not sure.

But I gave it a second chance and the right moment in my day/evening to let it soak over me, and I got to appreciate the simplicity of Inger’s voice, and the approach by her and the producer, to not be afraid to be as chilled and as laid back as it is.

It works. I like it. You may too. Try it for size. Different is good…

  • P.S. Quirky thing; check out British actress Lesley Sharp’s photograph on-line and and compare her to how Inger looks on the album cover of this new record. Doppelganger, or what?



Words: Emma Ledwell




1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’





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