Album Review: Celine Cairo – Free Fall


Celine Cairo launches long awaited debut album Free Fall
Celine Cairo took her sweet time to release her debut album. The Dutch singer-songwriter has been busy building up her career since 2010, when her first EP appeared. A few more EPs later she recorded her version of the Dutch classic ‘Iedereen is van de Wereld’ which was featured in a commercial. Cairo was gaining more and more buzz, but she majorly stepped up her game when she incorporated synth pop into her sound with the comeback single ‘Hello Love’. Free Fall presents the sound that Celine Cairo found, when she was searching for herself.

In 2015 Celine decided she wanted to ‘start over and let go completely’, she expains in a short documentary about the making of the record. The place where she could completely let go, turned out to be Los Angeles. “I was searching for who I was becoming and how that would sound.” With help of producer Bill Hefler, who worked with artists like Laura Jansen and Dotan before, and her band mates Benjamin Rheinlander, Jordy Kalfsvel en Mart Jeninga she came up with a style that delicately balances the acoustic with the electronic, the folky singer-songwriter elements with unapologetic pop melodies and productions.

The record finds this balance perfectly on the opening and title track ‘Free Fall’, which starts out with a hypnotic acoustic guitar, combined with some dark synth sounds. Celine’s warm and soaring vocals give the track that little bit extra. I literally can’t think of a better way to kick off this album as it is the perfect introduction to the overall sound and maybe even the best song on the record. Singles ‘Hello Love’ and ‘Friendly Fire’, both with great productions, the first building up to a bombastic chorus, the latter dictating the melody over a prominent electronic beat, were released at the right time with artists like Ellie Goulding and Tove Lo high up in the charts with a similar style.

On the dreamy ‘Hibernate’ her acoustic roots come to the front and there is no denying her voice still shines on this more laidback sound. The 10 tracks long album knows no filler material. Every single song has its charm and adds something unique to the mix: the melancholy of ‘Sweet’, the deep beats of ‘Quicksand’, the haunting chorus of ‘See You Now’ and the mystical vibe of ‘Who Will Take Me There’. No wonder it took Cairo so long to drop her debut album; she worked until she had the perfect mix to show off to the world and it was well worth the wait!

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