The interesting thing about dance singers is that most of them, wherever they end up calling home, have an impeccable English accent. This is not the case with Leana. If anything, this different accent makes the tracks on “Faith in Myself” that much more special. However, this does not change the fact that a track like “Faith” is perhaps one of the worst to lead a dance album off with. The track, which is done with a slow tempo and a slow development of the style that Leana would exhibit throughout the disc, may introduce Leana well but does not necessarily get people up and dancing all that easy. The dreamy dance of Leana are bolstered by the inclusion of a rapper during “Make It Through”.
This may be the style of music that people call dance in the Nordic countries, but this sounds either like Ace of Base on tranquilizers or like a tweaked-out Bjork. This is no “Paris to Berlin”, that is for sure. But is what Leana does on “Faith in Myself” bad? I would have to say no, just for the fact that Leana comes up with dance tracks that are differentiated with each other but still containing enough in the way of common style for listeners to keep listening without dropping out. In this vein, Leana changes things up considerably when “Dance With A Stranger” starts up. First, it is a dance track in the normal vein; secondly it brings Leana into a new style and thirdly it has some of the same stretched-out synths that have presented themselves a number of times previously on the disc. This track is still not the ultra-quick dance tracks present in Dance Dance Revolution, but follows an earlier tradition that comes more out of disco than anything.
Leana gets points for having one of the most innovative dance albums that I’ve ever heard. Leana should also be lauded for trying to break out of a paradigm that limits all forms of creativity; it is no surprise that the album has done so well on the dance charts, as it represents nothing less than a revolution in the genre. Here is hoping that Leana does not get into a rut that ey can not escape after the success of this album. It will be hard to continually innovate, but there is enough talent shown on this album that future releases should be at least that impressive.
Top Tracks: If, Natural Born Lover
Leana – Faith in Myself / 2006 Swedish Diva / 15 Tracks / http://www.leana.com / http://www.swedishdivarecords.com / Reviewed 16 July 2006