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Agua De Annique - Pure Air (CD)

Agua De Annique
Pure Air
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 13 February 2009, 10:30 AM

The story of sweet Anneke Van Giersbergen is well known due to her Metal past with the Dutch band THE GATHERING. I am using the 'past' term since Anneke has already made some steps that seem to separate her from Metal scene. Indeed, her debut release Air under the new moniker of AGUA DE ANNIQUE has nothing to do with Metal. But her expressional vocal along with her honest and sparkling on-stage presence has opened a new artistic field especially during the latest acoustic shows. I had the chance to watch Anneke is one of those unplugged shows and I was amazed; her straightforward connection with the crowd boosted the electricity that was (definitely) 'missing' that night. So, taking into consideration the unexpected (at least in that degree) response to all this acoustic happenings 'convinced' Anneke to create a similar album entitled Pure Air.
In her official webpage Anneke states that she wanted to re-introduce herself in as pure as possible and to perform the songs totally stripped down. This is exactly what you will find in Pure Air; the songs are based on her vocals with the main company of and acoustic and sometimes minor percussion and keys. Even though this is a 'weak' album in terms of energetic compositions the tracks are delivered with high quality vocals that will also impress all the distrustful listeners. Anneke is accompanied by some very good friends of hers who share the vocal duties making the result kind of temping. One of these collaborations is the one with Marike Jager in the almost depressing Day after Yesterday from theAir album. The two voices blend perfectly together and actually make ou forget about the missing electricity and distortion. Of course, from this compilation Valey Of The Quenns could not be missing; this song was originally released in the amazing concept album Into The Electric Castle as a 'product' of Arjen's mind under the name of AYREON. Arjen does not sing here but holds the acoustic guitar like he did in some of the aforementioned unplugged live shows. Other guest appearances are from Danny Cavanagh (ANATHEMA), Niels Geusebroek (SILKSTONE), John Wetton (KING CRIMSON and ASIA) and Sharon den Adel from WITHIN TEMPTATION in the beautiful ballad Somewhere. It would be a shame not to mention the breath taking cover version to Alanis Morrisetie's Ironic; this one with the powerful lyrics is totally lifted in a higher level under Anneke's timbre and expression.
As in the Air review you won't find any rate here; this is not a Metal album and if you are not familiar to Anneke's work then you better start with her THE GATHERING. For the rest of us who deeply respect this most influential artist then Pure Air will find a place in our record collection.

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Tracklist:
The Blower's Daughter (feat. Danny Cavanagh from ANATHEMA)
Beautiful One (feat. Niels Geusebroek from SILKSTONE)
Wild Flowers
Day after Yesterday (feat. Marike Jager)
Come Wander With Me (feat. Kyteman)
Valley of the Queens (feat. Arjen Lucassen from AYREON)
To Catch a Thief (feat. John Wetton from KING CRIMSON and ASIA)
Ironic
What's the reason? (feat. Niels Geusebroek)
Yalin
Somewhere (feat. Sharon Den Adel from WITHIN TEMPTATION)
Witnesses
The Power of Love
Lineup:
Anneke van Giersbergen - Vocals,piano
Joris Dirks - Guitars
Jacques de Haard - Bass
Rob Snijders - Drums
Record Label: JAMMM
     


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