The World is Saved

On first listen, The World is Saved, the latest album from Scandanavian songstress Stina Nordenstam, is reminiscent of the techno-lounge-with-little-girl-lost-vocals-broadcast-from-a-haunted-phone-booth sound perfected by Portishead. But, gradually, subtle differences emerge. From the warm, droning piano motifs of the opening track, “Get on With Your Life,” to the (real) saxophone interlude on “Parliament Square,” to the Kafka-esque lyrics of “Butterfly,” she achieves an organic sound that combines the lyrical appeal of more traditional singer-songwriters such as Suzanne Vega with the ethereal dreaminess of trip-hop. This is an album that proudly wears its influences on its sleeve, while offering a few pleasant surprises for the attentive listener.