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On disc: Agua de Annique

Pure Air - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Pure Air

Pure Air
(Agua Recordings / Jammm - 2009)

Many metal fans know Anneke van Giersbergen from her days with The Gathering, but in summer 2007 she left the band. But even as she wanted to focus on her family she didn't gave up music and presented in 2007 Air, her first solo album. Musically she is now offering some singer / songwriter stuff with a pop appeal. Now she has recorded an acoustic album with songs of her debut, songs she did with other bands and artists and some cover versions. And so she kicks off with the Damien Rice cover The Blower's Daughter where she is joined by Anathema's Danny Cavanagh. The songs focus on her beautiful voice and she is only supported by acoustic guitar or piano - some are recorded with the whole band, but the guys stay in the background. At Beautiful One she is joined by Silkstone singer Niels Geusebroek for this melancholy tune. I don't know Frank Boeijen, but Anneke's version of Wild Flowers is simply enchanting! A song like Day After Yesterday also shows her jazzy roots, even if just slightly... Very interesting is her acoustic version of Ayreon's Valley Of The Queens where she is joined by Arjen Lucassen. The flute creates a different atmosphere and this one differs a bit from the previous songs, just beautiful. Another highlight is her Wetton / Downes cover To Catch A Thief which feat. John Wetton. Brillian! More stuff like this, please! Anneke's cover of Alanis Morissette's song Ironic, is quite cool. Acoustic guitar and Anneke's voice - and I confess, I prefer Anneke's version! Somewhere is a masterpiece, the voices of Anneke and Sharon del Adel fit together perfectly. After Witnesses it's time to come to an end and the closer is a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's The Power Of Love! The bombastic tune is stripped down, a touching acoustic version which some might not recognize as a cover version... Even if it was a smash hit for Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Well done!
Actually the 2nd half of the album is more convincing - at least to me. It shows more facets, perhaps a different track listing would have been good... Anyway, Anneke's voice is enchanting and everyone who likes her voice and is looking for some music to relax, to breath easy, should give it a try!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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