East West, 1996
Her first two albums could have been accused of being too sickly, with the wispy high voice and the lush jazzy arrangements. But "Dynamite" is a big change in direction for Stina. This album does away with the delicate jazz balladry, and goes all indie, with most of the songs now accompanied by a distorted guitar. Stina's voice sits delicately and rather spookily on top of this fuzzed-up backing. There's sometimes a few industrial noises added in to this new colder style. The occasional orchestral colour is blended into the sound in a subtle and understated way, as in "Almost a Smile". There's nothing wrong with this change in direction, but somehow she is not quite as convincing in this darker guise. The quality of the songs is patchy, they seem more like half-improvised meditations on the lyrics. Maybe that was the intention, but it makes for much less satisfying listening than "And She Closed Her Eyes".
December 15, 2003