CD Review: Cina Samuelson – Sing With Your Heart And Soul
by Antony Bailey for Country Music News International
Cina Samuelson, is an established and well-known country singer songwriter who hails from Sweden. Her latest solo album ‘’Sing With Your Heart And Soul’’ released in June last year is a must listen for country fans around the world and I have no doubt it is one to be revisited and rediscovered as time goes on. The album, consisting of ten tracks is perhaps her most personal one yet, and was released to celebrate twenty years as a solo act although her career actually spans four decades to date.
How Long Is Forever – 3:00
The first track on the album is what I would describe as heartfelt and sincere, especially from a lyrical perspective. The instrumentation consists of drums, bass, piano, fiddle, guitar, and vocals throughout the album. The tempo, shuffled rhythm, and instrumentation took me to Nashville for a split second as it instantly reminded me of artists such as Lefty Frizzel with songs such as ‘’Cigarettes and Coffee Blues’’ (1958) and the opening track sets the tone for the rest of the songs on the album. The dynamics are relatively the same throughout the song and the drums push the rhythm and the tempo while the 4/4 meter is present throughout the album.
A New Morning – 2:48
‘’A New Morning’’ has an eight-bar intro and sixteen-bar verse before leading into the first chorus. The song fluctuates a little more dynamically as the drum’s switches to a cross-stick rhythm in the second verse to accommodate for the vocals whereas the first verse was louder and more powerful by comparison. The vocal delivery is delicate whilst also leaving room for Samuelson to showcase her range in the chorus and show what she is capable of as a singer songwriter.
Connie And Loretta – 4:00
The song starts with a four to the floor beat before a drum fill directs the song straight into the first verse where all instruments come in together. The second verse is where the dynamics decrease slightly before increasing once again for the chorus and you could say the song, and indeed the album itself fits the bill when you think of country blues, country rock, and rockabilly. A little slice of Nashville reaching far beyond the US is how I would describe this song.
Why Can’t We Talk Anymore – 4:37
This track takes on a thoughtful approach as the decrease in dynamics and tempo combined with the harmony creates more room and time for reflection as opposed to the previous tracks on the album. The instruments from the previous tracks are present although they do not all play at the same time. The song is quite emotional and has the ability to evoke memories good and bad from a bygone era.
All I want To Do On A Saturday Night – 2:27
The intensity and dynamic increase are no surprise considering the song is called ‘’All I want To Do On A Saturday Night’’ and anything other than fast and loud on a Saturday night would be nothing but an anti-climax, right? Well, the song is everything you could want and more if you are a country fan having a few beverages and getting ready for a Saturday night. It allows the album to gain momentum again as the previous song was stripped back and gentler by comparison.
Sing With Your Heart And Soul – 4:08
The title of the album and perhaps this is track is my favourite on the album. The use of a 6/8 metre along with a drop in tempo and dynamics creates a ballad and pushes a narrative where she reflects on her past and sings about the conversations she had with her grandmother where she prepared her for the future with a few words of advice. ‘’When you’ll sing, you’ll forget all the troubles around you, music can heal and give strength’’ is one that we can all sing along to after the events that have occurred in recent times.
Give A Big Hand To The Band – 3:12
The tempo and dynamics gradually start to increase and the metre returns to a 4/4 as the rhythm section makes you feel as though you are on the train travelling through the country. Cina sings about being on the road again and the song is more upbeat. I think call and response with the audience in between choruses at live concerts would definitely get the fans in the mood and generate a contagious atmosphere.
I’ll Miss You – 4:49
Almost five minutes in length, the song is stripped back again both instrumentally and dynamically. It is heartbreak tinged with a glimmer of hope as she reflects on the death of a loved one and recalls the memories they shared. It is a song that many can relate to when she says ‘’It isn’t easy to be strong, when you are feeling helpless and so small’’ and ‘’without any cure at all’’ are lyrics that resonate with me personally.
You And Me – 3:58
‘’One broken soul, tried to run away from pain’’ is the opening line as she takes you on a swift journey of love, pain, and reconciliation from the comfort of your own home. The song is more open in the sense that instruments are not as busy. The notes are stretched longer, and the fiddle makes you feel as though the song is returning to its musical roots as she sings about solidifying her relationship.
Sweet Mama, Elvis And Me – 3:38
The last song on the album and some might say she saved the best for last. We witness a Country and Blues crossover here and rightly so with Elvis in the title. The song contains a guitar solo and instrumental section before returning to the chorus whilst the drums push the tempo as the rhythm section is tight throughout the song. I like the album very much and would recommend it to country listeners young and old. I have no doubt that Cina will continue to fly the country flag high for as long as she is on the stage doing what she does best.