Anneke Van Giersbergen - 'Drive'

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Anneke Van Giersbergen - 'Drive'

A brilliant and insanely infectious release.

At present I've not managed to get past track one which is quite frankly mesmerizing. So it's difficult to say what the rest is like but I'll get there...No not getting anywhere...Eeerrr nope not yet...Well after therapy I finally got there; it was like something out of 'Evil Dead II' where my hand was reaching for restart but I managed to forcefully restrain myself...!

This loss of sense is down to the latest Heavy Rock/Melodic Metal feast from Anneke Van Giersbergen; it's an album Jon Bon Jovi wishes he could write 'These Days'. 'Drive' kicks off in sensational style with 'We Live On'; a truly uplifting song with a chorus that'll not only blow your socks off but your underwear too. I could outdo Gordon Ramsey in expletives describing this colossally tasty chorus. The title track is equally catchy with bass-fuelled verses that are reminiscent of Duran Duran... That is until Giersbergen hits the "ee-oos" and launches into another scintillating chorus. If two repeat button breakers weren't enough there's also 'Mental Jungle' with its Eastern melodies and wails, powerful progressions and massive chorus. Just when you think you've reached the home straight it's cold turkey time again with 'Shooting For The Stars'. There's a Country liveliness to it with The Edge-like guitar and beautiful vocals that all roll into another delicious chorus. Even if your senses survive these there's still the geeky, fun and energetic 'You'll Never Change' and the dirty progression of 'Treat Me Like A Lady' with its funky chorus. Not unlike Jovi there's also a Country slanted ballad called 'My Mother Said' which is full of piano and acoustic/slide guitar that wouldn't look out of place on any Suzy Bogguss album. This orgasm-inducing rollercoaster finishes with 'The Best Was Yet To Come' with its fat, effects-filled, filthy riff and positive chorus.



Now I've had a lie down let me say that I think this is a sensational album with more hooks than a Peter Pan convention. 'Drive' has ten songs of different heaviness, pace and structure as well as plenty of varied emotions that are all bound together by Giersbergen's sumptuous voice. She really delivers a stellar performance, showing a remarkable range that cements her place as one of the top female vocalists. I have seen comments stating that 'Drive' is still too commercial and poppy for her earlier fans and that is probably true (it's a mixture of Pink, Delain and Mary Chapin Carpenter), but only existing fans can individually make up their mind on this. For me, this is a brilliant and insanely infectious release that should be on the radar of the majority of Fireworks & Rocktopia readers. It certainly goes into contention for album of year and it'll be repeatedly played, although not right now because if I hear 'We Live On' I'll need medicating...oh no I just pressed one...DOCTOR??!!!?!

Dave Scott

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