Album review: Iamamiwhoami - Blue
PUBLISHED: 11:30 24 November 2014
Swedish audiovisual artist Jonna Lee has come up trumps with the year’s most joyously complex pop record.
It might not be anything so biblical as a bushel, but Jonna Lee has certainly been hiding her light under something.
There’s the imagery. Some 19th Century terror of nature creeps through her videos. Abominable snowmen chase her through forests and car parks; fountains pummel her; she climbs glaciers and breathes underwater.
Then there’s the voice – that oft incomprehensible drawl that is at once her greatest draw and her biggest barrier to widespread appeal.
Now, for the first time, she’s allowing her songs to take centre stage.
Printing their lyrics in the album artwork she concedes that, yes, we were struggling a bit with those.
There’s no DVD this time, but the films that play in your head as the record spins are breathtaking.
During Blue’s best moments you almost dream that this is ABBA’s long-lost swan song. Shadowshow is so reminiscent of The Visitors it’s as though that doomed Swedish quartet sent their final masterpiece through a wormhole to spend its paranoid, seductive glory on strangers.
Elsewhere, Sophie B Hawkins smiles during Blue Blue; OMD drop in for elevenses as Vista gets going; and Lee dives deep to some uncharted portion of the seabed where Hunting For Pearls has lain perfectly formed since 1984, or 1992, or 1920...
But with the veil lifted, Blue’s biggest revelation is that Jonna Lee has been making pop music all along. Whether she’s been singing into her hairbrush or into the ether, she’s pulled off the best pop album of 2014.