Oslo 2010, and everyone’s eyes are not on our eventual winner, but on the bronze medal position, Paula Seling and Ovi, bringing Romania their second third place at Eurovision. We’ve already had a listen to Ovi (This Gig Almost Got Me Killed), now it’s the turn of Paula Seling.
Believe is very much a sunny album – it’s the sort of album that gets a release in late June, probably featuring in the feel good movie of the year staring Anne Hathaway and Michael Ironside, and sits in the stereo in the car for a long drive. It might not have anything that stands out on its own, but put together this is a really nice way to spend an hour.
Take the title track, Believe. There’s some nice jangly guitars to open, but nothing that would threaten Journey, let alone Terasbetoni. A little R&B wail to set the scene and Seling is on her way with heartache and being all emotionally strong and fragile at the same time. Its not a backhanded compliment to point out it’s very Beyonce, it’s a genuine thumbs up
What I love is that there is no constant to the songs. There is no reliance on a formula, each song has it’s own identity, and nothing feels like filler.
Well, no constant beyond Seling’s voice, which uses the album (her first in English) to showcase her strengths and vocal variety to great effect.
The whole album is much slower than I expected, more soulful rhythm and blues than high energy dance floor filler. Not that this is a fault – I’ve a sneaky suspicion that a few of these songs would make fantastic remixes for the club scene. Autumn in Bucharest is almost there, if we’re being honest and looking for solid source material – it even has the obligatory “funky sax” in the background. And Get Up Now might even be quirky enough to make the leap without any magical DJ work.
This album feels like Paula Seling wearing a lovely floaty summer dress, on the beach, with the sun going down (even if the album had shipped with a plain cover, that’s the image I get). Many of us, who only know the leather cat-suit wearing dance infused Seling, are going to be surprised with what’s on offer here.
Believe, by Paula Seling, is published by Seling’s own label, and is .