(30 December 2006) Denmark's Tina Dico makes her debut count with the epic and beautiful In the Red (Defend Music (USA) DFN80008, 2005). While critics around the world fawn over major label artists like Coldplay and U2, this little indie has beaten them both to the coveted number one spot in her native country.
Tina Dico is perhaps best known for her work with Zero 7. She quickly made a name for herself as the co-writer and vocalist for two tracks on the producer's sophomore effort, When It Falls. She also spent nearly all of 2004 in front of Zero 7 fans as she toured with the band.
That was then and this is now though and Tina Dico's latest solo effort, In The Red proves her powerful force in music. Her beautiful voice is accentuated perfectly by her strong songwriting, bringing to mind a number of artists but never manage to sound like any of them wholeheartedly. We recently had the chance to talk with Tina about In the Red and more. Read the results of our interview with Tina completed earlier this year.
While it's tempting to think, "pretty girl, singer/songwriter, nice voice--must sound like Fiona Apple or Tori Amos," don't fall prey to the cliché we have created around female singer/songwriters. Tina Dico offers a sound that is comfortably accessible and brilliantly poetic without the angst of injustice and girl power bubbling underneath.
Musically this is a singer/songwriter oriented album, placing the utmost importance on Tina's soft, yet powerful voice, as well as her intimate lyrics. There is a country influence as well that permeates many of the songs. The subtle influence comes across in much the same way that it does in Sheryl Crow's music. It's definitely a country influence, yet it doesn't necessarily sound like a country song. You can also feel some electronic influence (of the ambient variety, not the dance floor variety) in certain spots.
"Room With a View" is one of the many highlights on In the Red. Its semi-straightforward acoustic guitar and voice approach really highlights Dico’' naturally soulful voice. The title track is sort of a down tempo anthem that feels heavy, yet at the same time manages to offer a message of hope amidst the pain.
"Nobody’s Man" is one of the few angst ridden songs on the album. On it Dico offers a pushier sound while keeping with the intimate feel of the rest of the album. The opening and ending tracks are key features of any album and In The Red opens with one of the album's weakest songs, unfortunately, but redeems itself somewhat by closing with one of its strongest.
"Long Goodbye" takes the album out on a high note with its domineering vocal work and off-kilter timing. It is easily the most victorious sounding song on the album and you feel good when it ends. Overall this is a wonderful album that plays brilliantly from the first song to the last. Fans of artists
like Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, and maybe even fans of someone like Kate Bush will find a lot to love on Tina Dico's In the Red.--Mark Fisher in West Virginia