While Forsberg and Dido both possess similar voices, Forsberg’s music seems as if it doesn’t belong to one core genre. Heavily influenced by an array of styles, her songs are best described as jazz-inspired pop, even though that term could be used loosely.
Her introduction to music was born while living in South Africa as a teenager with her family. Forsberg was fascinated with the culture and soon taught herself piano and practiced using her singing voice. A few years would pass until Forsberg eventually relocated back to her native Sweden and would soon find herself performing with a few popular Swedish musical acts before eventually working on the material that would become her debut, Been There.
Released in 1998, Been There is Forsberg’s debut record released by Maverick Records. With a brief running time of just over forty minutes, the album carries well from song to song, never making the listener feel rushed when listening.
Also noteworthy is the interesting dynamic of the album’s conception, as Forsberg and her sister, Kajsa Ribbing, worked together to create the songs. Forsberg composing the music while Ribbing wrote the lyrics.
The album’s opener, ‘Lost Count’, became the first single and was perfectly chosen. Performed on piano and lined with Forsberg’s warm and soulful voice, it easily eases the listener to the entire record.
‘Lost Count,’ however, doesn’t quite prepare the listener to the next couple of songs that follow on Been There; both ‘Carried’ and ‘Most Of All’ follow a darker path, using a steady bassline to accentuate their chilling eeriness and providing a dim hallway for Forsberg’s voice to echo through. Still, the tracks are stand-outs.
The album closes with the lush and jazzy ‘Didn’t Treat Me Right’ which is easily one of the record’s best tracks.
Unfortunately, Been There appears to have been discontinued and is becoming very difficult to find new. Even online retailers like Amazon and the like have deleted it from their inventories.
While researching Ebba Forsberg and her music I was happy to discover that there was also a second album entitled True Love, which was released in 2001. Information on it is scarce, but I believe it can be ordered at this Swedish retailer (an English translator link is in the upper-right corner of the page).