When Ida Jenshus released her debut CD, Color Of The Sun in 2008, she got great reviews. Ida was 21 years old, and she won a well deserved Spellemannpris (the Norwegian Grammy) for the CD. The follow up CD, No Guarantees came two years later and won her another Spellemannpris. This week she releases her third CD, Someone To Love, and we may be looking forward to her third award in March next year.
Ida Jenshus showed a surprisingly mature sound on her debut CD, being only 21 years old. Her style has been compared to Emmylou Harris, and her songwriting is fresh, varied and very professional. During the four years since the debut she has developed her style and songwriting. She is now more like herself than anyone else, having achieved a mature and personal style.
Her first two CDs were recorded at the Larsville studio in Mid-Norway with Lars Lien as a producer. He made a valuable contribution to Ida Jenshus’ sound, together with her band. Her guitarist Alexander Pettersen has been with her the whole time, also being her boyfriend. Alexander has his own band, The South, and he has made one of the best Norwegian songs this year, Can’t Find My Way Back Home.
On the CD Someone To Love, Ida Jenshus has used Kaare Vestrheim as a producer. He is one of Norway’s most merited producers, with as diverse artists as Marit Larsen, Odd Nordstoga and Motorpsycho on his CV. While her two first CDs had more bluegrass and a more pure country sound, Someone To Love is more country rock, or Americana. Personally I think that has ben a smart move.
Unfortunately many Norwegians have negative opinions about country music, often without having tried very hard to accept the style. Even if Ida Jenshus already has a large and faithful audience, she has the potential to increase and expand this with Someone To Love. The production has the right mix of Westrheim’s organic production and Ida Jenshus’ distinct voice to make it an immediate favorite.
First of all, Someone To Love is a very different CD than its predecessors. Kaare Vestrheim’s production is one thing, but the songs are also different than before. They are generally more drawn out, kind of expanded. The CD is also varied, and part of it is much more introvert than the two earlier CDs. At the same time there are songs that are fresh and “poppy”, and in my ears with good hit potential. Like on her second CD, No Guarantees, Ida Jenshus has collaborated with lyricist Martin Hagfors on the CD, which makes the lyrics stand out. At the same time they seem personal. Hagfors has written for many artists, and he always does a great job.
My favorite songs from the CD are the title song, Someone To Love, If Today Was Off My Mind, Coming Down Again and Marie (What Happened To The Music?). These are also the most extrovert songs, but the more I listen to the CD, the more I also like the other songs. That is a quality in itself, that the songs grow on you.
Time will show if Someone To Love gets Ida Jenshus another Spellemannpris. That is always a lottery, where many factors contribute. But so far she is my favorite candidate.
The pictures here are from three different festivals last year, by:Larm in Oslo in February, the Oya Festival in Oslo in August, and the Steinkjer Festival – her hometown – in September 2011. They are all © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.