Reviews Zone

Hanne Boel The Trio: Norwegian Recordings (Stunt Records) Out now…


4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



With more than two and a half million records shifted, Hanne Boel is Denmark’s she best-selling female artist of all time. For 30 +years, the award-winning artist has been at the top of the Danish rock-pop scene. Starting with “Black Wolf”, her 1988 debut, she has released 21 albums in 36 years. Does she ever sleep?

Good news for her fans; Hanne shows no signs of slowing down with the release of album # 22, “Norwegian Recordings”. After a recent tour in Norway with her regular band – Jacob Funch and Jens Runge -the plan was to make a new studio album, but after hearing recordings from the live concerts, it was clear to everyone that the material was too good not to release. So they decided to let the live vocals remain untouched and make only minor change to the backings.

They interpret 10 tunes from Hanne’s songbook and pair them with new presentations of songs selected from outside her immediate musical world. “We were pleasantly surprised and incredibly proud of the live recordings when we listened back to them after our latest tour. I was pleased to hear myself sing, and it’s a gift when you can relax in your own company.

“Studio recordings have an unfortunate psychological effect on me, where I miss an audience’s atmosphere and energy. Recording the same song multiple times can paralyze my spontaneity, and the possibility of constantly correcting and optimising, creates breaks in the flow. My flow is natural and in the moment at live concerts, which comes through on these live recordings, Hanne explains.

“Less is more” was the policy during the fine-tuning of the production, and thus, only minor details have been added to the tracks to support the already impressive vocal performances. Hanne continues: “We decided to live with the small ‘mistakes’ that, for me, also create an organic calmness in my delivery – which then allows me to listen to myself with acceptance and appreciation”.

The result has become what Hanne, Jacob, and Jens have dubbed “a nocturnal album” – with calm, refined arrangements, tasteful instrumentation, and classy guitar playing .The material on the album has primarily chosen itself, she explains: “Some are songs from my past, and some are newer songs, and then we play songs by other artists as well. This is how we’ve always created the repertoire for our live performances.

“We simply chose the 10 best songs we had live versions of for the album. That’s why there is a version of a song like, ‘Light In Your Heart’, which is from back in 1990, and ‘Between Dark and Daylight’, from the album of the same title, which is just three years old.

“There are new things that have yet to be recorded [in a studio], and I have to mention our treatment of one of my favourite songs, ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’, originally released in 1973 by Roberta Flack and later introduced to a new generation by Lauryn Hill and Fugees in 1996.”

Hanne’s previous version of “The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan” from 2017…

On the new album, we have Hanne Boel on lead vocal [all sung in English]; Jacob Funch on acoustic and electric guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion and vocals; Jens Runge on acoustic guitar, dobro, Chinese koto and vocals.

Hanne’s voice sits in its own lane, with dramatic, theatrical and emotion-soaked delivery and a naturally pronounced vibrato. Perhaps in the ballpark of Marianne Faithful, Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen or Jacque Brel. Even the road-worn and lived-in vocal of the late and great Johnny Cash on his last recordings spring to mind. [With that thought; how about Hanne giving us a country album next?]

Mostly ballads. My favourites of the set: “The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan”, the 1974 song from Dr Hook & The Medicine Show and covered by Marianne Faithfull in 1979, penned by Shel Silverstein. [Hanne should get her own latest version released for radio.] Plus, I enjoyed Hanne’s own song from 1990, “Light In Your Heart”, which features some lovely guitar work.

  • The album is issued on CD, vinyl LP and digitally. Tracks: Standing On The Edge Of Love / Between Dark And Daylight / Killing Me Softly With His Song / Don’t Look Down / When The Day Is Done / Come Into My Garden / Blood And Thunder / Let’s Go Out Tonight / The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan / Light In Your Heart.



Words: Louise Graeme



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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