I first read about this debut release by danish musician Agnes Obel in the danish newspaper Politiken. It received a 6/6 rating and a very positive review. Naturally I got interested and some weeks later I got my hands on the album.
From the first 2 songs Falling, Catching and Riverside you will be amazed by the quality of the songs, the voice of Agnes and the minimal but very powerful instrumentation that is being used throughout the album. On most songs there is just the piano and a few other instruments. It feels quite melancholic but it never feels really sad and it never becomes depressing at all.
I don't have any other records that sound like this one, but the best comparison I can give is some of Kate Bush's more quiet songs. Agnes has a great voice and the 12 thoughtful songs on the album are great from beginning to end.
You may think that it would take some time to get into a "dark" album like this, but that is not the case. I liked it instantly after the first play and I have only come to like it even better since.
This is one hell of an impressive debut and it is highly recommended. Probably not for everybody, but then again maybe it is. It is music that may seem depressive but actually feels good. Beautiful is a word that springs to mind. Give it a chance, odds are great that you won't regret it. Sometimes minimalism beats overkill.