Album Review: Anneke van Giersbergen & Danny Cavanagh - In Parallel (2009)


18 mai 2012, 21h48m

Anneke van Giersbergen & Danny Cavanagh - In Parallel

This semi-acoustic live album is the result of a unique cooperation between the amazing singer Anneke van Giersbergen of Agua de Annique and the very talented musician and singer Danny Cavanagh of i.a. Anathema and Leafblade. They knew each other for over 10 years before they started working together and did their first duo live show in Tilburg in the Netherlands on the 2nd of January in 2008. After a small tour together in Scandinavia, they returned to the Netherlands and recorded the songs on this album during two shows in Tilburg in March 2009. And the result is a very special, unique and beautiful album. I am very glad I bought it from Anneke's webshop in November / December of 2010 and even more because also this one is signed by Anneke! The album consists of songs written by Anneke van Giersbergen, mostly from her solo career, but also one old song from The Gathering. And songs that are written by Danny Cavanagh and were previously released on albums from Anathema. Besides that the album contains a number of covers. All songs are performed in a semi-acoustic setting, by the both of them, without any additional musicians. The album itself is packed in a kind of digipack with a small booklet with some pictures of Anneke and Danny, taken during their live performance. It also contains a nice message from the both of them to the buyer/listener of the album, with a little bit of background story on the album. These kind of personal messages are always very nice in my opinion. I also like the front cover of the album with the coloured smoke. It's simple, but beautiful and it fits with the acoustic sound of the album. The album starts with a cover from Massive Attack, called Teardrop, beautifully sung by Anneke. The original has a more tripping, electronic sound, but I definitely prefer Anneke's voice. She continues with You Learn About It, an old The Gathering song from their album Souvenirs. Although this was never one of my favourites from The Gathering, it sounds very beautiful in this semi-acoustic setting. Her voice sounds so frail and light above the tones of the piano, which is the only instrument that accompanies her. After he's introduced by Anneke, Danny starts with Temporary Peace, a song from Anathema's album A Fine Day to Exit. This song had a beautiful atmospheric sound and great poetic lyrics. Anneke continues with Yalin, from her first solo album Air. Also this melancholic songs fits very well on the album. Overall the album mainly consists of sad, melancholic songs, combined with very sweet love songs. The next one, Songbird, is of the latter type. This overly sweet love song is a cover of Fleetwood Mac from the 70s and it sounds very much like the original. Though this acoustic version is more clean, with only the sound of vocals and piano. And also this time I prefer Anneke's voice compared to the original one. Also Danny does a Fleetwood Mac cover, called Big Love. This is actually the only song on the album which I don't like. Especially the sound of the guitar is getting a bit on my nerves. This cover doesn't resemble the original one, which is a much more rhythmic song, but also very dated. Next song is Damien Rice cover The Blower's Daughter, sung by Anneke, with background vocals of Danny, who is also playing the guitar. The same way the song was released on Anneke's album Pure Air. This is just a very beautiful song, which fits very well with Anneke's voice.

Danny continues with one of the most sad Anathema songs: One Last Goodbye from the album Judgement. He wrote this song for his mother who died about 10 years before the recording of this album. This song is so full of emotion that it almost makes me cry. Next song is also a great melancholic Anathema song: Are You There? from A Natural Disaster. Then it's Anneke's turn again with Day After Yesterday, one of the best songs from her first solo album Air, in my opinion. It is followed by another Anathema song: A Natural Disaster (from the album A Natural Disaster), on which Anneke sings the vocals that Lee Douglas is singing on the original version. This song is so very beautiful and showing such a lot of emotion. Anneke's voice fits really well, although I could not make a choice between her and Lee. Overall I think Anneke is a better singer, but Lee's voice is great too and fits so well with the Anathema songs, especially on their latest album. I saw this song performed live by her and it was really great. Just as great I think as this version with Anneke. The voices of her and Danny sound great together as well. One of the highlights on the album in my opinion. Trail of Grief from Air is the next song Anneke sings. Again a melancholic song with a kind of mysterious atmosphere. I like this version better than the one on Live In Europe. The sound of her voice is more clear on this one. A beautiful song and full of emotion. The album continues with Flying, again from the Anathema album A Natural Disaster. A really great song that I also saw performed live during the last Anathema concert. The album ends with a cover from Dolly Parton, the famous Jolene. I really like this song and it's great to sing along. I hope I will have the opportunity to see her perform it live someday. Especially the last chorus together with Danny is very great. The album ends with Anneke thanking the audience and a big applause. After listening to this album I really hope Anneke and Danny will plan more of these duo concerts in the Netherlands again. This album, with two of my favourite artists performing together, is unique and really special to me. But seeing and hearing them in real live would be even better.

Best tracks: Teardrop, You Learn About It, Temporary Peace, Yalin, Songbird, The Blower's Daughter, One Last Goodbye, Are You There?, Day After Yesterday, A Natural Disaster, Trail of Grief, Flying, Jolene

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