Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Lene Marlin: Twist the Truth

Norway's biggest pop act continues her wade through mawkishness and malaise but with a ray of light here and there.

Lene Marlin is one of Norway's biggest pop acts. She doesn't have much of a profile outside of Europe but you will have heard her big single from the turn of the century, Sitting Down Here. Think back - you probably mistook it for The Corrs. She also wrote the rather mawkishly cautionary title track on Rihanna's third album, Good Girl Gone Bad. Between them, these two tracks set out her stall: politely jangling, rudely finger-wagging mope-pop with a Nordic chill in its bones. Her new album, Twist the Truth, sticks to the formula, albeit with some starker arrangements and a wider macabre streak. You Could Have reproaches the listener for failing to protect an unnamed "her" - but from what? Between the murkily figurative lyrics and some garbled diction it's difficult to say, though talk about screaming and scars suggest it was pretty horrid. You Will Cry No More, on the other hand, talks up death's release ("Your fight has ended now", you lucky thing) over a soft marching beat and a backing of sweet-voiced male harmonies. It sounds faintly like the Beach Boys if the Beach Boys were tired of life. There are rays of light. Have I Ever Told You, for instance, gives thanks for "all the good things you gave me" over playful brass and a nimble Buddha Bar bass line. Before long, though, the clouds are gathering and we're back to pain, rue and shivers of acoustic guitar. If there's any justice, Marlin will be showing up on a Wallander soundtrack some time soon.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National