about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_annekevangiersbergen_drive001006.jpg
Something of a prolific solo artist since parting company with The Gathering in 2007, if including 2009's 'Pure Air' acoustic covers album and a couple of live records, 'Drive' is Anneke van Giersbergen's seventh full-length release, but only the second purely under her own name since she ditched the 'Agua de Annique' moniker and assumed full autonomy for last year's rather stunning 'Everything is Changing'. And said album is indubitably a hard one to follow such was its magnificence. But, then again, everything Anneke releases is drenched in sonic gold and, with a voice to melt the hearts of millions, she could, quite frankly, sing a recipe for Chilli con Carne and make it sound awesome. So what of 'Drive' then? Well, she's now signed to renowned prog label Inside Out. It's a shame, however, they weren't a little more meticulous when proof-reading the press release accompanying this promo as I'm informed on a sheet headed 'Drive' that this is "...the as-yet-untitled LP...". Oh dear! Still, it's the album that's under scrutiny here, not the label's proof-reading skills. And, by fuck, what a hard-rocking, upbeat, up-tempo, melodically hook-driven beast of a record it is. Using her live band for the recordings, with whom she also shared some of the songwriting (along with the album's producer, Arno Krabman, too), it's the most relentlessly up-tempo series of tunes the talented Dutch lady has released yet. Virtually abandoning the balladic in favour of rocking it out (save for a moment of mid-album down-tempo poignancy in the form of 'My Mother Said'), it's upbeat, sonic optimism and feel-good party music throughout with an undeniably infectious energy. Of course, Anneke's known for injecting her music with a melancholic depth as and when songs require and, here, there is a mild dose of melancholy although it's only mildly flavoured with such this time around. The upbeat nature of the music far outweighs any melancholic twang. With no filler whatsoever, every track's a winner - skilfully composed, arranged and recorded, and loaded with Anneke's unique voice that adds all kinds of emotional depths to the songs. Ultimately, 'Drive' is yet another twist in an ever-interesting, unpredictable solo career that sees Anneke progress her aesthetic in, effectively, a new direction. But that's the essence of a genuinely progressive artist. As is her progressive hair (which I labelled as such during a recent interview, much to her amusement!) although it's hair that reflects the music's rockier intent. As indicated by her visage, this is a no-nonsense exercise in musical gusto, chock-full of anthemic and timeless rocking numbers that'll have you addicted from the off, and hitting play again and again. Stunning.
Inside Out
Review by Mark Holmes
23rd Sept 2013
1) We Live On
2) Treat Me Like A Lady
3) She
4) Drive
5) My Mother Said
6) Forgive Me
7) You Will Never Change
8) Mental Jungle
9) Shooting For The Stars
10) The Best Is Yet To Come
"...a no-nonsense exercise in musical gusto, chock-full of anthemic and timeless rocking numbers that'll have you addicted from the off..."