After spending time as a singer in several bands, Norway’s Annette Larsson decided she needed to express her own feelings in her own way and so went solo. She came to the United States and made her way to Nashville where she was able to find the ideal situation for the direction she wanted to be headed in.

Annette Larsson’s dream was to create an album of Country music, a genre of music she fell in love with while living in Norway. With the musicians she met in Nashville, Larsson began recording her debut album. Along with Larsson, the rest of the musicians who have brought her music to life include both American and Norwegian musicians who came together to create a unique musical blend that is unmistakably Country while still containing a slight international edge to the music that makes up Larsson’s debut release. That album, entitled Leave Me Behind, is now available.

Leave Me Behind by Annette Larsson begins with the track “Sucks to Be You”. In the song, Larsson sings of breaking free of a relationship that was very one-sided and now being happy to be able to breathe once again. The track begins with a mix of mandolin and violin that combine to create the basis of the music of the track. That musical basis has a very folk-like feel to it before the track transitions to a more modern-day Country feel. The unique musical approach mixed with the lyrics about being an independent woman should easily appeal to listeners of today’s Country music radio formats.

The album continues with the song “Mean As You”. The song features a large amount of modern Country-Rock sound with the electric guitar playing as big a part in the track as the fiddle while still containing an equal amount of classic Country flavor of songs from the late sixties/early seventies. The slight duet sound of Annette Larsson singing with Wes Hightower also gives the track that classic Country flavor familiar to fans of songs that feature duets between Tammy Wynette and George Jones and/or between Dolly Parton and Porter Waggoner.

The feel of the album changes slightly on the title track of the release. “Leave Me Behind” will remind many of music from Bonnie Raitt. The music of the track has a very Bluesy feel to it while still retaining the Country flavor that the listener has become accustomed to from the previous tracks. The Blues/Country combination comes courtesy of the electric guitar from Brent Mason and the steel guitar from Paul Franklin. The alternating of the two sounds from Mason and Franklin along with the addition of the keys from Asbjørn Nørgaard help to give the track a lot of depth to the music of the track and that helps make “Leave Me Behind” one of the highlights of the new release from Annette Larsson.

Annette Larsson’s Leave Me Behind continues with the song “Hot Headed Woman”. The song easily reminds you of something that would have been released by Dolly Parton several years ago. The music has a classic Country style that goes along with lyrics that have a timeless feel to them. This is one of the tracks that prove that Larsson can hold her own in today’s Country music scene.

While “Hot Headed Woman” takes Larsson’s music back to the time of classic Country music, the track “If That Ain’t Country” sounds like something that would definitely fit with today’s Country music radio formats. The song sounds like something that Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood or even Reba McEntire would have recorded for one of their releases.

Like many Country artists, Annette Larsson’s new release also comes complete with a track that could easily end up being a “crossover” track. The song “Leave Me Behind” has just the right sentiment that Country fans, and music fans in general, could get behind. The song could easily fit right beside Dolly Parton’s version of “I Will Always Love You” or Whitney Houston’s version, depending on format.

Throughout the ten tracks that make up Annette Larsson’s album Leave Me Behind, there is plenty of music that will satisfy fans of Country music. And just like Keith Urban before her, Larsson proves that you don’t have to be American to create Country music that sounds authentic.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin Rating: **** (four stars)

To hear just a taste of Annette Larsson’s music click here.

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