With just a guitar and a voice it's easy enough to make a couple of good tracks, but to repeat this across a full album is an achievement that few truly manage. Most artists who try, fail. Their albums tend to become dull, middle-of-the-road and repetitive. To create a full-length acoustic album where the listener doesn't find themselves longing for more, requires incredibly strong songwriting accompanied by vocals and musicianship that can carry the weight of these songs on their own. The likes of Laura Marling, Bon Iver and Jose Gonzalez have mastered this, their voices and playing produce a rich atmosphere and most importantly a powerful sense of emotion that more than make up for the lack of instrumentation. On her self titled debut, Sweden's Sumie shows that she's more than capable of being that good, but sadly she struggles to do so consistently.

The guitar throughout is reminiscent of fellow Swede Gonzalez. This similarity is most evident on the wonderful 'Hunting Sky' and 'Burden of Ease'. Her playing is droning and hypnotic with subtle adjustments throughout. Conversely, her voice is soft, rich and carries a similar allure to Portishead's Beth Gibbons. This is just about the best compliment that one could bestow upon a female vocalist. Despite her vocal prowess, in the end it's the consistency of her songwriting that lets her down.

Sumie's songwriting lacks variety. Each song brings to mind a Jose Gonzalez guitar line, but unlike Gonzalez her songs are of a very similar tempo throughout. At no point does she let her voice loose and at no point does the record surprise you. A beautiful song as it may be, 'Speed Into' is just crying out for a key change or dramatic crescendo. A sense of drama and daring would go a long way in making this good album into a great one. As the album nears its close, 'Midnight Glories', 'Later Flights' and 'Sailor Friends' blend pleasantly enough into the background, highlighting her lack of inventiveness.

All in all, Sumie's debut is far from a bad record. The first half in particular contains some of the best acoustic music that you're likely to hear this year. But as was always likely, it feels like she's played it a bit safe and a lack of musical ingenuity means that she can't carry her potential through an entire album.