Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The third album in this reissue program is SHINE, produced by Steve Lillywhite and originally released in 1984. SHINE reached the Top 10 on the album charts in Sweden, Norway and Belgium, and the Top 20 in The Netherlands.... more »
The third album in this reissue program is SHINE, produced by Steve Lillywhite and originally released in 1984. SHINE reached the Top 10 on the album charts in Sweden, Norway and Belgium, and the Top 20 in The Netherlands. The album features songwriting contributions from artists such as Kirsty MacColl (also a backing vocalist on the album), Stuart Adamson of Big Country and Frida herself (the song 'Don't Do It'). Notably, SHINE also includes 'Slowly', the last new song by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to be recorded by either of ABBA's female vocalists to date. The featured bonus tracks are 'That's Tough' - a co-composition between Frida, her son Hans Fredriksson and Kirsty MacColl, which was originally the B-side of the 'Shine' single - and the 12-inch extended mix of 'Shine'. Universal. 2005.
A valiant effort
bestcdhead | 03/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While not for all tastes, this second English-language solo album from Abba soprano Frida is overall a strong effort to express her vocal talent and wide-ranging musical taste. Several songs on this album would have played perfectly on American 80's FM radio if they'd ever been given the chance. "Chemistry Tonight," "One Little Lie," and the title track are all prime examples of catchy synth-pop which follow right along with where Abba themselves left off. On the other hand, "Twist In The Dark" is a rather awkward attempt to express paranoia over a failing relationship. A good lyric is marred by a fumbling melody which seems intent on tripping over itself. More middle-of-the-road fare such as "Heart Of The Country" and "Slowly" (the latter penned by Abba alums Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson--Frida's former husband) add a sense of balance. "The Face" is one of the most angst-ridden vocals of Frida's solo career, effectively capturing the eerie uncertainty of a relationship gone sour. All in all, this is an uneven album, but not one to be easily dismissed. While not as strong as her "Something's Going On" album, it certainly maintains its overall focus, even if the picture itself is a bit fuzzy."
A star shines ...
Søren Jensen | Copenhagen, Denmark | 12/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's always remained a mystery to me why Frida's 2nd international album failed to set the charts alight. I immediately loved the album when it was released back (when I was 10 years young!). This is bombastic production with big drums, synths all over, sharp guitars, all showered in neon light and pink gloves - this is 1984. Whereas Frida dealt with the hurt of divorce on "Something's Going On" (1982), this record is much more straight-forward pop, yet I see ABBA/Frida-fans in general have surprisingly different opinions on the songs here, there are no huge favourites, nor no unanimous dislikes. Personally, I enjoy the record from start to finish. The powerful title track opens the ball - this was also the flagship single but faired disappointingly, perhaps because the unusual structure of the song (nearly no part was repeated identically) made it less instantly memorable. It was the last track recorded for the album as they felt they lacked something "a cut above the rest". "One Little Lie", the second track, is an excellent power pop track too, and rumoredly tipped as the intended first single. "The Face" has a haunting melody with its 60s rock feel. It's not difficult to imagine Suede could have recorded this 10 years later. "Twist In The Dark" is probably the oddest track Frida has ever recorded - with its heavy pace, thunderous drums and soaring guitars, this is quite interesting. This was chosen for the 2nd single in France - the confusion the album created resulted in no less than three different choices for the 2nd single, depending on which country you were in. Most countries opted for the wonderful mid-tempo ballad "Come To Me" which is one of my favourites with its sweet melody, Frida's melancholic vocal and the pleasant ABBA-esque "oooh" backing vocals. Sadly, in 1984, it went nowhere. The B-side of that single (and closer of side 1) is "Slowly" by Benny & Björn. Originally a leftover from "Chess", this wouldn't have been out of place on "The Visitors", but this is perhaps a less convincing performance by Frida, and one of the songs I enjoy the least on the album. In the UK, they chose "Heart Of The Country" for the 2nd single, a haunting song written by Stuart Adamson of Big Country. This has always been one of my favourite songs of the album. "Chemistry Tonight" is arguably the least interesting song on the album, just enjoyable album filler, but no more. "Don't Do It" marks Frida's debut as a songwriter and a pleasant ballad which I also always liked a lot, although in 1984 her hurt didn't appear all as deepfelt as in 1982. No surprise since she'd just fallen in love at the time! The album closer is the eery "Comfort Me", a low-key, sinister track, and as another reviewer mentioned, not without similarities to "Like An Angel ..." from "The Visitors". All in all, "Shine" is a much better album than its reputation. I hope Universal will soon release a remaster with the 12" mix of "Shine" and its rocky B-side "That's Tough" (another Frida co-write) + the videos "Shine" and "Twist In The Dark" of course!
An artist standing on her own
Darren Stuart | Howey-in-the-Hills, FL United States | 02/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One man's trash is another man's treasure - I'm fascinated by the variety in the opinions expressed by my fellow reviewers on this album. Personally, I think is album is one of the 40 best CD's ever recorded.
Frida was clearly interested in making an album that stood apart from the sounds of her former group. Hooking up with Steve Lillywhite was a brilliant move, not only because of his production but because of the involvement of Lillywhite's wife at the time, Kirsty MacColl. MacColl co-wrote three of "Shine"'s tracks and blessed a few tracks with her signature multi-layered background vocals. The late, great, severely under-rated MacColl is the secret to "Shine" giving Frida a sound all her own.
I won't go into every track, but I truly love three tracks - "One Little Lie," "Slowly," and "Heart of the Country." Frida was clearly disinterested with commercial success (and with her fortune already firmly established, who could blame her?) and wanted to sing songs that spoke to her heart. While these three tracks particularly speak to my experience, the whole album bears close listening (although I agree with other reviewers regarding the album art - atrocious!)
Try this out - be prepared for a darker sound than ABBA had (although "The Visitors" was of a similar tone). Sadly, this was Frida's last English-language solo album, but it has stood up over time and still sounds wonderful."