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AIR (NL+E)

Artiest / Band: 
AGUA DE ANNIQUE
AGUA DE ANNIQUE Air

Na dertien jaar in The Gathering te hebben gezongen, dat in 1999 begon met het album Mandylion, vond Anneke van Giersbergen het tijd worden om haar eigen ideeën op de plaat te gaan zetten. Het resultaat daarvan is de band Agua De Annique die met Air een album uitbrengt dat is geïnspireerd op het beroep van stewardess. Het album bevat dertien songs die Anneke grotendeels zelf schreef. Haar geweldige stem draagt de muziek die verder wordt vertolkt door Joris Dirks (gitaar), Jacques De Haard (bas) en Rob Snijders (drums), terwijl Anneke naast haar zangpartijen ook piano speelt. Als je de muziek van Agua De Annique zou moeten categoriseren vallen termen als alternatieve rock en rockpop, maar ik vind dat er ook een psychedelisch element inzit, iets meeslepends en bijna iets magisch. Hoewel zeer ingetogen en sober is de muziek voortreffelijk qua sfeer die zo nu en dan op de juiste momenten wordt aangevuld met mannelijke achtergrondzang of met gastmuzikanten op onder meer trompet en fluit. Het strijkarrangement op Ice Water is smaakvol en past eveneens perfect. De sfeer op Air valt te vergelijken met Hotel, het project van Porcupine Tree-voorman Steven Wilson en Tim Bowness,  maar ook met No-Man of het latere werk van Talk Talk. Het gemak waarmee Anneke haar stem laat variëren van krachtig tot zoetgevooisd en van gewone zangstem naar kopstem is indrukwekkend. Slechts zo nu en dan is er sprake van wat steviger, uptempo werk zoals in You Are Nice of het door Kristin Fjellseth gecomponeerde Sunken Soldiers Ball, die nog enigermate aan Annekes vorige band doen denken. Van Giersbergen wordt ten slotte begeleid op de akoestische gitaar in het prachtige Lost And Found en in Asleep. Air is een buitengewoon goed album van een van de beste zangeressen die Nederland in dit genre kent.

ENGLISH:

The Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen fronted The Gathering for fourteen years. The Gathering is a gothic rock outfit from the Netherlands that started recording in 1999 with the album Mandelion. After having acclaimed international recognition as a singer and having appeared on records from internationally well-known artists as Ayreon and Wetton/Downes, Van Giersbergen felt it was time to move on and to make an attempt to put her own ideas on to a disc. Inspired by the phenomenon stewardess, she wrote the thirteen songs on Air mostly alone. Van Giersbergen also plays the piano on the album and her truly amazing voice fits her music perfectly fine. With this album she also proves to be a good and talented songwriter. Together with her the musicians playing on this album are Joris Derks (guitars), Jacques de Haard (bass) and Rob Snijders (drums). To categorize the music of Agua De Annique is somewhat difficult, but one could call it a blend of alternative rock and rock-pop, but to my taste there are some influences from the psychedelic seventies as well. Listening to her voice, singing her own melodies has got something really touching, catchy and almost magical at the same time. Most of the songs are gentle, focused on voice and melody, with only modest arrangements, but extremely well composed to create the perfect slightly mystical atmosphere. Only occasionally there are male background vocals or contributions by guest musicians on trumpet and flute. The strings on Ice Water are very tastefull as well. As far as this mystical atmosphere is concerned, Agua de Annique’s music is in the same vein as some of the tunes by Steven Wilson (Porcupeine Tree, No-Man), Tim Bowness or by Talk Talk on their Spirit Of Eden album. Impressive are the different ways Van Giersbergen uses her voice: she switches very easily from her usual style of singing to falsetto and also from very sweet to really powerful. Just a few tracks are more heavy and up-tempo like You Are Nice or Sunken Soldier's Ball, composed by her fellow musician Kristin Fjellseth, relating to Anneke’s previous work with The Gathering. At the end of this superb album, Van Giersbergen is accompanied merely by the acoustic guitar on the beautiful tracks Lost And Found and Asleep. In conclusion I would say this is an unusually good album, well-recorded and produced by undoubtedly one of the best Dutch vocalists in the genre of gothic, rock, pop and alternative rock.