M.C. Hansen '3' - Sentimental

This is an ambitious release from Danish singer/songwriter Hansen, who from his name and appearance might be a rapper. Rather,  Hansen is a musician and writer who loves Americana. The title is due to the fact that this release is a 3 disc set. Each disc is recorded with a different set of musicians in a different location but that doesn't mean that one's rock, one's country or one's reggae. In reality all three would be classed as roots and all are focused on Hansen as a singer and writer. Some songs like Where the Secrets Grow and Hope appear on all three settings. 

The first disc was recorded in Dallas, Texas with a small combo that included fiddle, pedal steel, mandolin guitar, keyboards and percussion. It has a simple sound that which is strongly folk on songs like Never No More with its emphatic vocal refrain.

The second set was recorded in Fredericia, Denmark with a band schooled in jazz but recorded playing live in a club, no audience, no overdubs. The sound feels more arranged than the Dallas session but works equally as well in the bass, drums, guitar combination. The later is subtle and inventive and again the focus is Hansen's storytelling.

The final disc is also recorded in Denmark, this time in the Isle of Mon. This one has seven songs recorded with piano, accordion and guitars. It has a more atmospheric sound that is often stripped back to  basic and again allows the voice to be central to the process. Hansen writes all his songs in English and has a better grasp of the rhythm of the language that many a native speaking writer. He also sings the song differently in the individual settings in ways that are appropriate to the musical backings. 

The three CDs all play well in their own right or you can mix and match. Whichever way you approach this collection, the results are good enough to warrant repeated listening and to appreciate that M.C. Hansen is a talented artist who understands that a song can be presented in different ways and can give a different perspective to the lyrical emphasis of each. There is also the impression that these songs would equally stand up with just voice and guitar, but one can equally savour all the permutations of the music on offer on 3