EL PERRO DEL MAR > From the Valley to the Stars

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Sweden’s indie-pop darling Sarah Assbring, known for her work as El Perro del Mar, is highly likeable and downright adorable. For years now, Assbring has enjoyed success in Sweden, but it wasn’t until last year, with the release of her self-titled album, El Perro del Mar, on U.K.-based Memphis Industries, that she found a following in the States. Label: The Control Group
[Rating: 2.5 Stars]

Sweden’s indie-pop darling Sarah Assbring, known for her work as El Perro del Mar, is highly likeable and downright adorable. For years now, Assbring has enjoyed success in Sweden, but it wasn’t until last year, with the release of her self-titled album, El Perro del Mar, on U.K.-based Memphis Industries, that she found a following in the States. With its wistful reflections on love and loss delivered by a sad-eyed girl with a sugary voice, it went on to receive critical acclaim for good reason: It was moving, meaningful and fun. Its 16-track follow-up, From the Valley to the Stars, isn’t any of those things, unfortunately. On album opener “Jubilee,” ethereal, choir-loft harmonies and restrained church organs prepare us for a spiritual experience that is never manifested. She gains ground on “Glory to the World,” the album’s best song, and seems sincere on “You Can’t Steal a Gift” and “How Did We Forget,” but, somewhere along the way, her simple lyrics aren’t powerful enough to penetrate our souls thus can’t stir them. Despite her best efforts, and our highest hopes, From the Valley to the Stars isn’t as uplifting as its title suggests.

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