Agua De Annique

Picture of Agua De Annique

Air

Agua De Annique - Air ©2007 The End
1. Beautiful One
2. Witnesses
3. Yalin
4. Day After Yesterday
5. My Girl
6. Take Care of Me
7. Ice Water
8. You Are Nice!
9. Trail of Grief
10. Come Wander With Me
11. Sunken Soldiers Ball
12. Lost And Found
13. Asleep

No doubt metal fans still quibble and bicker over the direction The Gathering took post Nighttime Birds. Their subsequent releases explored sounds one might expect more from the 4AD record label than Century Media (who, lest we forget, got their start releasing such grumpy death metal bands such as Morgoth or Unleashed) with varying degrees of success. In my estimation, the band did a fair job in the style, at least initially, but slowly morphed into a relatively harmless and entirely dull band by the time 2006's Home was released. That forgettable and meek album was the last to feature longtime vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen, who departed the band to form her very own solo project Agua De Annique.

Unfortunately, rather than revitalize her career, she chose to continue writing and performing music that is even less memorable than Home.

Bluntly put, this 2007 debut is an exercise in unobtrusive, bland alternative rock that could easily be played in the grocery store of your choosing. While I absolutely do not expect Anneke to return to the fields of Mandylion or resume playing atmospheric metal, I truly hoped she'd play something that wasn't quite so safe and suburban. I know we all get older and sometimes we find ourselves turning the volume knob down, but there has got to be a limit to just how much we retreat into conservative musical safety. The songwriting on Air is just entirely forgettable. One can't fault the musicianship and Anneke's singing is, as usual, quite pleasant, but there's utterly no edge to this music whatsoever.

For me, Air is convincing proof that Anneke Van Giersbergen has swerved permanently into the land of irrelevant mediocrity. Move along, everyone, there is nothing more to see or hear.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2011

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