ANE BRUN — Rarities

Album: Rarities

Artist: Ane Brun

Label: Balloon Ranger Recordings

Release Date: October 08, 2013

Ane Brune 11-3

www.anebrun.com

 BY LEE ZIMMERMAN

 It’s hard to say whether Ane Brun is prolific or simply making up for lost time, but since beginning her career less than a decade ago this Scandinavian songstress has released what amounts to an album a year with astonishing consistency. And now, on the heels of a greatest hits of sorts that appeared earlier this year, she now offers a collection of rarities to fill in the spaces in-between. A double album of 20 songs that somehow were previously neglected, it includes unlikely covers of Dylan, the Beatles, Bjork and even Beyoncé, each rendered in a style that’s pretty, precious and yet never cloying.

 Disc one finds Brun sounding like the quintessential folk poetess, equipped with a soaring soprano that puts her the same category as Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins and Sandy Denny. And given the intimate settings she opts for here, those comparisons become even more defined. Accompanied by little more than the soft strum of an acoustic guitar, embarrassingly beautiful songs like “Halo” (featured another Swedish songbird, Linnea Olsson), “1 Thing” and “Orphan Girl” break down the barriers between artist and audience, melting hearts in the process. If any one example was needed, one would only have to point to her vulnerable version of the Fabs’ “From Me to You,” a take that turns Lennon and McCartney’s original boastful revelry into a quietly urgent yet irresistible plea.

 On disc two, Brun goes into Kate Bush mode, adopting a quirkier stance courtesy of opulent arrangements that rely of strings, vibrant instrumentation and richly pulsating tempos. It’s only slightly less seductive than the other disc, but at the same time, it’s even more intriguing. Expressive and inventive, it shows Brun possesses that Euro flair for diversity and divergence. Her take on Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me” actually redefines the original and quite literally makes it her own.

 Who can say what triumphs lie ahead for Brun, or even how long it will take for the rest of the world to succumb to her charms? Yet, this one thing is certain. If these cast-offs are this good, it certainly speaks well of her entire cache. Which now, by the way, appears to be entirely essential.

 DOWNLOAD: “She Belongs to Me,” “From Me to You,” “Halo”

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