Christine Guldbrandsen
click on image to visit artist's website
image © Øystein Klakegg 2007

Christine Guldbrandsen

album reviews and artist reflections

an exclusive in-depth feature

interview © Mauri Osterholm 2007
reviews and HTML © Russell W. Elliot 2007
images © Øystein Klakegg 2007
and Bent Renè Synnevåg 2004
used with permission
Formatted for 800 x 600 or larger windows
Last updated: 10 September 2007

Christine Guldbrandsen is an emerging 21-year old singer songwriter from Norway with three full length releases already to her credit. Her most recent album Christine has drawn significant interest from audiences worldwide although the album uses entirely Norweigian texts. Her first two albums, Surfing in the Air and Moments, by contrast were sung in English.

Christine's life is now devoted to music. Her work is divided between studio work, concerts, events, and the day to day administration of her career. As you will find in our interview below, she participates in every aspect of her singing career, including the office work, both because she learns a lot about the business, and feels it is the right way for me to do things.

When describing her private life Christine regards herself very much as a normal girl with normal interests. Her leisure time is divided between family, friends and daily chores. Our feature concludes with reviews of her three full length recordings.


Musical Discoveries: Christine, Thank you for your time for Musical Discoveries audience. How are you doing today?

Christine Guldbrandsen: It's my pleasure! I'm doing fine, thank you! Lot's of exciting things happening, and that's great.

I was positively surprised when first time listened to your new album Christine. This is awesome with nice harmonies. How do You feel about the result?

Thanks a lot! I am very pleased with the result. I think the album has an atmosphere and expression that suits me in a great way. I really hope that the listener gets a sense of who I am musically through the album.

Christine Guldbrandsen
image © Bent Renè Synnevåg 2004

From where do you get the melodies and themes for all songs?

Well, to create the melodies is sometimes an easy process where the inspiration just seems to be present in the studio. Other times it takes a lot of time and hard work, but I really enjoy the process!

Have you had a look at what people say about you on the internet? The comments are endlessly -- "Christine did it again ... amazing voice ... it's so clean and soft ... she has the worlds most amazing voice ... think the world needs to open their eyes ... Christine is an angel born to earth" -- and this continues. What do you say about this?

Besides the messages I receive on my homepage, I have not read much of what people are saying about me on the internet, but I'm so grateful for all the lovely words, and so proud and thankful that the audience like my music! There's a lot of kind people out there!

How did you start your personal singing career ?

I started singing in a choir when I was three years old and met my producers when I was thirteen. We started to work together, and slowly tried to find a musical style that was mine and that suited my voice. And when I was seventeen, I was fortunate enough to release my debut album in Norway. A dream come true!

Please tell us about your musical background and education.

I have been singing all my life, or at lest most of it (smiles). Besides being fortunate enough to team up with people who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to work a lot in the studio and live when I was very young, I have been studying singing with different teachers throughout the years. But I am planning to use more time studying music in the years to come, besides focusing on my career. I think this is quite important.

How do train your own instrument, your voice?

I try to rehearse every day and I take lessons to make sure that I use my voice correctly, and off course to develop it and get a stronger expression.

Christine Guldbrandsen
image © Øystein Klakegg 2007
  Christine Guldbrandsen
image © Bent Renè Synnevåg 2003

Who are the artists you find yourself listening to all the time?

I listen to various kinds of music, but to mention a few: Enya, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Tori Amos, Bjørk, Eva Cassidy, Sarah Mclachlan and many more.

Music made together with known Norwegian composer Kjetil Fluge has shown to be a good choice for you. Please tell us how did you teamed up and decided for your first album Surfing in the Air?

I started working with Kjetil when I was fourteen and we used the following years to find a musical style that I felt was mine. Together we have found a mutual musical understanding that I think is the right one for me. We have been working together for nearly eight years now, and I really hope we will continue for many years to come!

If you would not sing this kind of music, then what would be the alternative ?

That's a very good question, I guess a more classical approach to my singing would have been the first choice. But then again I like to work with different musical styles, so I don`t know for shure what my choice would have been.

What kind of message or impression you want to deliver to audience with your music?

  Christine Guldbrandsen
image © Bent Renè Synnevåg 2007

I would like to tell the audience something about my musical heritage, and also try to express some feelings about the beauty and emotions that hopefully lies in my music. I really hope my melodys and the colours that I paint on my albums gives the listener a sense of Scaninavia and Norway, both in the music and in the lyrics.

Do you have another career outside music, if this can be shared?

No, I don't have a career outside music. I try to give a hundred percent and have complete focus on what I do.

Your song "Dansekjolen" has got lot of radio play at NRK (Norwegian Radio) supporting your career. Please tell us something about your future plans. Where do we have the opportunity to see and hear Christine next ?

Well, I really would like to be able to present my music to a broader audience outside Norway. And hopefully I will be able to do so in the years to come. It's a dream that I really hope will come through! We are working hard to make that happen. At present I am doing some concerts and quite a few events in Norway. In addition I work on new material in our studio.

Thanks Christine for this excellent insight into your background and career plans!


Surfing In The Air
image © Sony Music Entertainment Norway
EPC513890 2, 2003

image © Sony BMG Entertainment Norway
EPC 519491 2, 2004

image © MBN Music Business Norway
50042-2, 2007

Christine's debut album Surfing In The Air was recorded when she was just seventeen years old. The eleven light pop-oriented tracks illustrate the crystalline soprano texture of her voice. Solid rock instrumental arrangements never overwhelm the vocal layers. In addition to a lovely illustrated lyrics booklet, a music video to accompany the album's title and opening track derived from the "Walking In The Air" classic, is included as a bonus.

In addition to the worldwide pop tracks, the album included Scandinavian-style arrangements that are certain to broaden most listeners' tastes. Use of ethnic flute and other traditional instruments adds to the texture of "My Secret" and "Invisible Friend." Christine, rather than entirely self-harmonizing with addintional vocal layers is accompanied by backing vocalists on most numbers. And while the instrumentals are tremendous, Surfing In The Air is primarily a female vocalist album.

The album blends pop, rock and ballad tunes with Eurovision Song Contest-style tracks. With Christine's lavish vocals soaring above lush instrumental arrangements, "In Your Embrace" and "The Far End" are certainly among the album standouts and the strongest ESC-style numbers on the album. Other numbers are more sparsely arranged permitting Christine's vocals to carry the entire song. Such is the case with the lovely tracks "Fly Away" and "The Search" whose string solos are just superb.

Listeners will be delighted with the Scandinavian style pop tracks that have been included. "The Sign Of The Ring" clearly combines the best of traditional with the best of pop to deliver a very memorable track. And Christine delivers the most sensitive ballad with distinctive vocals and very little accompaniment in "Low" picking it up a notch with harmony layers and rich arrangements in "The Pretty One." The album concludes with "Dreams," where new age styled arrangements support crystalline vocals sung in Latin and English. Crystalline vocals and lush instrumental arrangements contribute equally to an outstanding debut album!


Christine's second album on Epic, recorded right on the heels of her debut, is entitled Moments. The eleven track CD is joined by a lovely booklet with photos (but without lyrics) that illustrate a maturing and very pretty young woman. The CD continues to illustrate that her voice is equally pretty. The recorded material is gentler. Arrangements are far more orchestral but share the lush quality of the artist's debut album.

The first thing listeners will notice of the album, especially when comparing it to Surfing In The Air is the more classy recording style. Perhaps to appeal to a broader audience, rock and pop references are not overwhelming, but that's not to say that songs are without guitar or other instrumental solos. Christine's vocals are crystalline and the recording demonstrates a prowess granted to few artists. She has settled well into her soprano range with tremendous power and emotion. Crisply delivered, "Feet On The Ground" is a radio friendly pop number. The warmly arranged and cinematic vocalise "Mist" is a standout likely to be overlooked by the uninformed.

Enthusiasts will again be delighted with the blend of modern and traditional Scandinavian instru- mentals. The upbeat pop number "Because Of You" has lovely vocal harmonies, again supported by additional artists, and is an album standout. The Bette Midler Grammy Award winning song, "From A Distance" is covered tremendously by Christine on this album and will draw significant attention to the artist worldwide. The lightly arranged tracks "Silverlight," "Autumn Dawn" and "My Angel" highlight Christine's vocal power.

The track "Between The Lines" is a stunning West End number. Christine's soaring soprano works well atop piano melody and orchestral washes. The album concludes with a Norwegian language bonus track entitled "Sommernatt Ved Fjorden." The theatrically styled vocally intensive track is a rich duet that illustrates Christine's vocals at their most crystalline opposite tenor Rein Alexander. Moments is a superb follow-up album!


The third album by Christine Guldbrandsen and first on her new label is aptly entitled Christine. The three year gap from her prior release has distanced the artist from mainstream pop and rock to produce a project best classified as progressive Celtic. The artist's development from pop to easy listening to progressive Celtic is evident in the instrumental arrangements. The transition has been made thankfully loss of emphasis on Christine's powerful and crystalline vocal texture. A combination of traditional and modern instruments works well with the primary change to Norwegian lyrics.

The songs on this album span a wide range of styles, from ballads with choir and piano to richly arranged soundscapes. Christine has written several of the songs in collaboration with her creative team. Among these is the standout track "Alvedansen," Norway's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. This popular song was reworked for the album. Apart from one Norwegian folk song the rest of the album is new material. And every song was obviously prepared with Christine's stunning crystalline voice in mind. Enthusiasts will be pleased with the booklet that accompanies the CD. In addition to a wide range of stunning artist photos, full lyrics are provided in the booklet.

Artists can often deliver more emotional content when singing in their native tongue and this evolution has worked well for Christine. To broaden her appeal worldwide, she should consider balancing English with Norwegian in the future. Following the upbeat "Dansekjolen," Christine moves into a tender piano backed ballad entitled "Langt Bortenfor." Strings add additional color to the number. The cinematically styled English lyric "Journey's Song" and choral "Dove" are an album standouts.

The combination of traditional instruments and modern arrange- ments work perfectly to support Christine's far ranging vocal power. Improvements in emotional delivery are evident track to track in upbeat folk numbers, sweeping West End styled tracks and very light Norwegian ballads. Bravo Christine!

Some will find Christine Guldbrandsen's crystalline soprano voice similar to Sharon Den Adel of Within Temptation. Indeed both voices are stunning and individually stand alone. Presently the best source for Christine's albums is her website store. We will all certainly look back in years from now at an extensive body of this artist's further recordings. Russ Elliot in New York

Return to website contents