No. 9

Wende Snijders

Brigadoon / Flow, 2009

http://www.wende.nu

REVIEW BY: Peter Vissers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/26/2009

After singing in French, Dutch and even South African for many years, chansonnière and singer-songwriter Wende Snijders released her fourth studio album this year, this time performing in English.

Her previous albums, which consisted mainly of French chansons, were a huge success in the Netherlands. Now, with her English album, she attempts to fulfill her international ambitions.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 No. 9 might not be what fans of her previous albums hoped for, and here’s why: Wende decided to do something completely different. She did not just change the language of the songs -- instead, she switched to a completely different genre.

 

The true Francophiles are probably slightly disappointed by this, but I’m not at all. The different language and style provide a welcome change.  No. 9 contains some great songs but has its less impressive moments too. The album opener, for example, is a slightly sentimental and tiresome mood-setter. Another wearisome track is “Yes, We Can” -- it’s very cheerful and probably full of good intentions but it’s a little too monotonous to be truly interesting. I can imagine it’s a great track to listen to when you’re very jolly or drunk, but when you’re not in such a mood I would recommend skipping it.

Fortunately, the amount of stunning songs on No. 9 greatly outweighs the amount of less impressive tracks. “Roses In June,” the first single from No. 9, is experimental and exciting. The song structure is great and the dreamy vocals perfectly match its restless atmosphere. “Hey” is an extremely unsophisticated, but hauntingly beautiful tune. Its lyrics are very naïve and lucid, but charming nevertheless. “Sycamore Tree” is an interesting waltz. It’s cheerful and melancholy at the same time and has appealing lyrics. “Break My Heart” is another beautifully arranged song that’s really worth a listen. I can't deny hearing bits of Joni Mitchell every now and then.

The new album from Wende Snijders feels uneven in places, but overall is quite enjoyable.  No. 9 isn’t revolutionary -- it’s just really good.

 

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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