In much modern music, Svengali-like producers exert an inordinate amount of control over an album’s sound. That’s not the case here. Gardiner’s voice is central to California‘s mood and feel. Come Find Me Again‘s overlapping vocals flitter deftly around a light percussive rhythm, while the cool harmonies of Fading Hours delicately ebb and flow beneath RMJC’s sparse, restrained production. California has a generous sprinkling of tranquil tunes that are so serene they could pacify a class of hyperactive tearaways. There isn’t a bad track here, although nitpickers might argue that Gardiner and co. should’ve expanded the album’s sonic palette. There must be another side to the Swedish songstress’ super-chilled persona? Perhaps we’ll find out on her next CD.
[one_half]Natalie Gardiner’s Slowly Softly video