Sophie Rimheden – what can I say... I'm starting to feel a special bond – the kind of bond you get from being a regular reviewer of a particular artist. “Traveller” is the album name, and something of a concept on this release, so the question is where is she going to take us this time?

Well from the outset it seems that the more high-tempo avenues is where Rimheden is interested in going, and it seems she has taken some passengers along for the ride too –  a host of rappers headed off by Form One and Adam Tensta, along with collaborations with Chris Kanaki, Aaron Phiri and DJ Rooftop. Rap and electronic  music? Nothing unusual there, but it is a particular combination that has literally been done to death. Apprehension is the word as I put the CD into the tray and let it play.

There is something noticeably poppy about this latest release; although the experimentalism is still there, which is nice to see; there is also something of a professional polish to proceedings. The effects that, all that time ago, I was quick to criticise swathed all over the vocals are back, but in a whole different way – a way that works.

Instead of the dreaded Cher-a-like vocoder we have cut, stuttered and effected up histrionics that sometime turn Rhimeden's voice into a cartoon characters, and the various rappers into half-crazed madmen: joyously eccentric is the word. Highlights?  “Home Sweet Home” is a great example of the marriage between Rimheden eccentricity and hip hop stylings – my head was bobbing along so much I got neckache. I have to admit, the more the album progressed the more I started to think it sounded like the results of a "what if" question, as in...”what would happen if Gorillaz had a 1-year sabbatical in Scandinavia, how would the music sound?” Luckily, there are tracks, such as “Go Away” (featuring Aaron Phiri), which just couldn't be made by an animated band...; the oompah bassline topped off with lashings of wacky vocal trickery, and a computer-generated stutter rap, absolutely nuts and a great success!

I am not prone to such gushing praise, but as I said earlier, I feel like I have seen Rimheden grow release by release, and like fine wine or mature cheese, every release is riper, more fragrant and worth that little bit more of your attention. There are no weak tracks, and indeed more invention in one track than some manage across an album.  Ms. Rimheden, a message to you; this is a fine, fine album and the best release of yours I have reviewed. I travelled and it was well worth the journey, and best of all I didn't need to send any postcards upon my return!