Anneke Van Giersbergen
(Inside Out)

Yes, I’m reviewing another Pop/Rock album. But I’ve got another good excuse this time and the excuse is that it’s an album from Anneke Van Giersbergen most known for her current work with Devin Townsend, her past work with The Gathering and her additional work with musicians like Danny Cavanagh (Anathema) and on the most recent November’s Doom album, Aphotic. So with so many different musical credentials, I really had no idea what to expect from this one. But Drive is most certainly a Pop/Rock album with a healthy injection of guitar and some nice leads on opener “We Live On” as well as Lacuna Coil styled track called “Mental Jungle.” Sure, songs like “Treat Me Like A Lady” and “She” probably won’t appeal to the kind of individual who’s wanting to hear about torn out carcasses in a barely understandable helping of vocal gravel, but I’d be fool to say that they aren’t catchy. Anneke is singing about of all things, heartbreak and she’s doing it with a style and grace that the half-naked tramps in Butcher Babies could learn a thing or two from. The vocal dynamics on this record are absolutely astounding. For a woman whose voice contains so much passion that she could sing the phone book, I expected nothing less than the performance I was given. And while I’ll admit that the modern pop-influenced title track “Drive” and the album’s last two tracks didn’t offer much to me at all; it’s definitely something more believable than any of the rubbish coming out from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, and any other fake American pop acts.

To the metalhead, the punk and the rocker that will read this review; I’ll just tell you this. If you’ve got a long trip ahead of you; and your significant other reaches into their stack of CDs in the glove box or maybe in that little CD case that they have on the dashboard, make sure that this is one of the CDs they pick out for the excursion. Because if you’ve got to tolerate the Beebs, Rhianna and J-Lo, at least you’ll be able to make through the Anneke unscathed. So be thankful for that. (Eric May) 

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