With a mass of red hair and a voice which dovetails at the point where Karen Carpenter and Minnie Riperton meet, Marie Ingerslev really should be better known than she is now. Her first album was recorded under the band name of Mary; presumably to capitalise on interest outside her native Denmark. Certainly, it was a fine album and ‘The Other Side’ continues the upward curve with a record that soothes the heart and the head.
Equally well equipped to deal with soul, jazz and folk music, Ingerslev’s main calling card seems to be Carpenters-style soft rock. The first three tracks are arranged imaginatively; ‘Goodbye Old World’ and ‘I Search A Place’ feature the brightest of choruses whilst the song which divides them, ‘Lock’, meanders through a psychedelic soul journey.
On other tracks Ingerslev meanders just a little too much; take the over-emoting on ‘Daily Life’, for example, or the lengthy title track; which moves pleasantly through ambient waters but its experimental nature doesn’t make the best use of her talents. To make up for it there’s always the warm, jazzy textures on ‘This Glow’ to enjoy, which serve as a fabulous showcase for her relaxed but powerful vocals and for ‘Ice’, she proves capable of carrying the melodies with her voice alone.
‘The Other Side’ falls short of perfection but it’s a mark of Ingerslev’s quality that even on the most unambitious settings she still sounds classy; her performance never overbearing but always capable of transmitting spine-tingling spells with the minimum of effort. To be fair, though, her band are just as important in creating a record with an authentic aura of a time which often gets overlooked by today’s artists.
The Carpenters, Minnie Riperton