This is the second album from Berlin based Finnish singer Ina Forsman. Her love is sixties Soul and her first album reflected this. ‘All There Is’ is another lockdown album that forced the artist to work in a different way; in this case she took over 100% responsibility for the song-writing, and the album is more personal for that.
‘All There Is’ takes different emotions and themes and weaves authentically soulful songs around them. Opening track ‘Love Me’ is a foot-tapping joyful song, as is ‘Don’t Lose Today’ which harks backs to the days of Motown with its happy, orchestral chorus. Title song ‘All There Is’ has a vocal that combines the summeriness of Minnie Ripperton and raunchiness of Duffy ̶̶ soft Jazz brass and soulful sax, and it’s a treasure of a song.
Because they share the same roots there are distinct similarities to Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele, and vocally Forsman can hold her own amongst this rarefied set of Divas. However, the orchestra and the waft of Berlin sprinkles a little cabaret magic over it that summons up sequins and smoke. ‘Poor Heart’ has that moody cinematic, 2am Los Angeles feel. ‘Promises’ is a piano ballad that is heartbreakingly sweet about saying farewell, while ‘Dive’ is beautifully liquid.
Forsman describes her music as “cinematic soul” and that is a very apt description. Many of her songs have the potential to be soundtracks for the moody, edgy crime dramas that require a cool modern Jazz track over the outro; possibly not an accident as she says she would love to write for cinema and I suspect this album, put in the right hands, will lead to that wish coming true.
I would probably pass this album in the store ̶ the overly made-up, touched-up photo on the cover wasn’t very original and tells me little. If I heard one of the songs in a film or TV production I would certainly Shazam it. Truthfully it doesn’t fall into my usual cup of tea but I really loved it; it was fresh, summery. She’s a young singer-songwriter in the process of finding her own groove and, despite comparisons I have mentioned, she’s really getting there. She may not be a future Diva, but she could be future Oscar winner for best soundtrack... and I think she’ll take that.
Reviewer: Helen Bradley
Reviewed In Issue #99