AlmostAGhost’s Best Albums Of 2010 – #25. Sophie Zelmani – I’m The Rain

some prefer the sunlight

some prefer the sunlight

#25. Sophie Zelmani – I’m The Rain

In thinking about I’m The Rain, Sophie Zelmani’s eighth album, I am struck by how similar it is to basically everything else she’s done. Artists certainly often maintain their own style, but most also branch out a bit (especially by their 8th album). Zelmani, on the other hand, does much the same thing over and over. I have heard, and love, all of her records, but none stands out above any other. She has matured a bit, but I’m The Rain‘s personality does not differ from that of any of her other albums. Normally, I would find this problematic or frustrating, but it never bothers me at all with Zelmani. I want more albums from her, and I want them all to be like this one. (And that’s what she gives me!)

I’m The Rain continues Zelmani’s use of very elemental metaphors. I assume it is because she is Swedish, yet writing in English, but her songs tend to be about love, ships, rooms, weather, time—all the basics. She doesn’t get fancy. But again, this is not a criticism: the lyrics fit the light touch of the music very well, and are even more perfectly matched to her shy, whispered vocals. Less poetic, sure, but Zelmani’s lyrics come off as pure expressions. For instance, the opening lines of “If I Could” are: “if I could give anything, I would / if my thoughts could do you good / If I could help you with this part of life, you’d get a lift / You could load your weight on me.” Not the most beautiful lines ever written, but when you hear it, you know she feels it and is saying what she wants to say. What more could you want?

I’m The Rain frequently borders on sad, but in the end is quite hopeful. She is always on that borderline. She uses piano riffs a bit more on this record to enhance the mood, and the acoustic-guitar beds on which she lays her voice can be surprisingly complicated (check that Spanish guitar on “You Can Always Long For May” below). As Zelmani sings, “some prefer the sunlight and some like the rain,” and well, if she’s the rain, that’s what I prefer.

“You Can Always Long For May”

“Interior Design”