The third CD from Amsterdam's Birgit (Schuurman) is the first to hit U.S. shores (where she's now touring in support). It shows a light, accessible R&B-based pop sung by a vocalist with a pretty voice.
But despite her lovely vocals and the lush production, it's not a particularly ear-grabbing album. The songs are in a vein along the lines of what the late Latin singer Soraya did, or young Brit popster Natasha Bedingfield's recent chart-busting debut. But none of the songs on "True Stories I Made Up" approach the hits those two singers produced; there is no song anything close to Bedingfield's "These Words" or Soraya's "Llevame" ("Lead Me"). Birgit is clearly aimiing at the same hook-laden approach to pop music with her songs here (most of which she co-wrote), but the best track on the album is a cover of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights."
And while one should grant her a bit of slack on the lyrics as English is obviously not her first language, it's still almost painful to hear her sing "I'm not just anyone/I'm unusual" over and over on "Not Just Anyone."
The most notable thing about the album is the occasional use of Eastern-sounding string instrumentation, giving some of the songs an almost-Chinese patina.
Mostly, though, what is here is anything but unusual: truth is, the album could have been done by just about anyone.
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