October 3rd saw the release of Undo My Heart, debut album of Norwegian singer/songwriter Tini. It’s incredibly rare to find an artist’s voice so exquisite, with a musical backdrop that doesn’t overwhelm the piece, whilst still doing justice to the focus. This wonderful blend is what truly sets the album apart; each of the ten tracks feels delicately handcrafted to perfection, with a range wide enough to showcase her abilities in all manner of ways.
Like something off an advert or movie soundtrack, album commencer Send My Star sparks a powerful feel-good vibe into the record. Filling up with passion as the song takes hold, the track blossoms into an infectious piece anyone would want to dance or sing along to; there’s no doubt in my mind why this was selected as a single, with the sheer positivity and optimism oozing from it leaving you hooked. A soft electro-pop backing supports the sound, but takes away from the attention her vocals deserve, only coming into their own on the following tracks.
With a wider range shown even in the opening lines, You Can’t Have It Both Ways displays a new level of talent in Tini’s work. Soft and wise, the direct address ropes you into the track, and it’s not until she references herself with, “You can have me / Or you can have choices”, that the story-telling aspect of her work comes into play. Albeit a little repetitive, this settles in the mellowed-out sound that the rest of the album takes off from, with title track Undo My Heart continuing the calm. Even as this track begins to very gradually build up, the vocals remain as captivating as ever, intertwining the same power.
Solitary Me is the first track that would exist perfectly happily without the backing, with Tini’s enthralling voice introducing the track and guiding it along. There’s an obvious sense of independence in the song, and despite a few cliched lines that feels too cumbersome in the usual elegance, it’s a masterpiece. Upbeat, fun vibes return in Window Shopping with the cinematic quality accompanying the energy and a vintage hint to the zest. Again, there’s the addictive desire to dance along wound into the beat, picking up the mood of the record.
Another piano number opens the second half of the album with Parallel evenly splitting the talent of the vocals and instrumental, and stretching her vocal dexterity even further. Akin to K. T. Tunstall, Running Out Of Reasons holds a grounding sense of acceptance and emancipation, with a decisively clear pre-chorus pulling in focus. At under three minutes, it does feel a little incomplete, and a few forced rhymes let it down at moments, but there’s still a power to the song.
Taking the opening guitar option, All We Ever Had Is Gone grows into another cinematic track; underlying percussion implies a dramatic crescendo which is never truly satisfied, and another early finish at a touch over three minutes continues an unfinished feeling – more so an abstract collage of sound is created. For once, a romantic longing is thrown into Alongside Me, with the sense of hope prevailing through. Although this would be an apt close to the record, Always forms a simple and beautiful finale to a powerful album.
Every track on this is a triumph in itself, and there’s no better way of saying it than this; Undo My Heart is mind-blowing.