(01 October 2008) Aussie-born pop singer/songwriter Sandrine Daniels has released her second album Dark Fades Into The Light (Nettwerk (USA) 06700 307812 2, 2008). She is likened to Dusty Springfield in sound, and she sings with a rich tonal and sensual quality. Sandrine incorporates elements of classic sixties pop into her memorable melodies that have a more contemporary edge. Her first album, Trigger, was released in 2004 in Australia which had darker sounds than her current album. In comparison, Dark Fades Into The Light is a collection of more poignant, emotive and heartfelt tunes. All these light-hearted and upbeat set of pop songs were written by Sandrine and produced by Grammy winner and husband Malcolm Burn. The album was recorded at his studio, Maison Bleue Studios, in Kingston, New York.
"I came up there with a pile of songs," according to Sandrine. "Wurlitzers and vintage keyboards were what I was into playing at home. When I got there, I started playing Malcolm’s pianos – real pianos – and found them so great to play and write on. Every day I would get up and play the piano and write a song and Malcolm would be like, "That’s pretty good; we should record that." In the end, he really believed in what I was doing, so we did the whole album. Half of the songs were ones that I'd come over with; others were ones I came up with on the spot."
The opening track is "Let The Love" which is a lilting and upbeat tune. She employs hooks in the melody to make this catchy song memorable. There is an ease to the music that sets a soothing level of comfort to the listener. The simplistic style continues with "Love and Pain." The gentle pop sound, backed by guitar and piano, lends a snug and cozy feeling. "Immortal" is a more reflective and meditative song, with a slower paced beat. Sandrine uses her lovely and subtle tones to set the mood for this introspective piece.
She changes pace with "Inertia." This percussive song has a more contagious and repetitive beat which carries off the idea of "freeze frame" and a state of lethargy perfectly. The mellow "Red Shoes" resonates with a tender and heartrending sound. Her vocals have a raspiness and jagged edginess at times that enhance her emotive sound. She segues into the more upbeat and pop sounding "Don't Forget About Me."
A beautiful guitar intro and sensually sung lyrics are the highlight of "Prove Me Wrong." Sandrine's luxuriating sound is touching and very engaging in this track. She changes tempo with the gentler "Save Your Kisses." Her storytelling has a whimsical feel with the lilting inflections and modulations in the song. "Where Do We Go" takes the listener back to an almost 60's sound with its beat and tempo. This toe-tapping melody is certainly catchy. This song received important coverage in France in a television advertisement by the French retailer FNAC.
The soothing tones continue in "It's OK" and the slow-paced, sometimes whispered "Eleven." Sandrine's delicate approach to her vocals comes across with emotional tenderness that the listener can relate to quite easily. She continues with the soulful "Deep Freeze" and expressive, lyrical and somewhat folksy "Julietta." Lush tones abound in "Sea of Love." This sensitive and romantic melody swirls, ebbs and flows like the soothing sounds of the sea lapping up on the shore. There is a complete relaxation felt through the sound which is mesmerizing. She closes out this album with the laid back "Late Night Insomnia."
Sandrine does not fail to please with her North American debut album, Dark Fades Into The Light. Each song leaves an impression on the listener, weaving her warm and natural sensuality into her music. Her vocals reach out with an emotive touch bringing a genuine feel to her recordings.
Her soulful sound combined with her sixties pop components give Sandrine an inspiring and insightful contemporary musical style.--Audrey Elliot in New York