A Breath of Fresh Air
Apparently Anneke van Giersbergen felt restricted in The Gathering upon her departure from the band in 2007. She’s clearly let her creative juices flow since then; listeners who have her fifth full-length, Drive, at their fingertips, see her display a happy-go-lucky attitude usually only found in mainstream music. But the question remains: how does the album compare with her earlier releases? Let’s find out.
Indeed, what makes Drive so sweet is a feeling of freedom that each song embraces from the get-go, forgoing any concern of more “serious” listeners scoffing at its reliance on the famous pop hook. Most pop music enjoys the ability to change moods in a blink of an eye and Giersbergen’s work is no different, thanks to her smooth vocal range and knack for writing relatable lyrics. Her finesse in creating melody capable of reeling in listeners for days on end is absolutely phenomenal as well, making Drive an album unafraid of the repeat button.
The lead single off the record, “Drive,” wraps everything that makes the release addictive into only about four minutes. That’s perhaps the album’s greatest strength: quick, short bursts of fun suitable for literally any mood. Giersbergen no doubt knew this, too, because attention to detail is continuous across Drive’s 10-song roster.
From “Drive” to “Treat Me like a Lady” to “The Best is yet to Come,” Drive doesn’t grow stale, either. The placement of songs is precise, and there’s never a lull between tracks. In other words, each song is similar in quality, giving the impression of a well-executed formula implemented to the fullest.
Ultimately, Giersbergen’s latest effort is as strong as any other modern pop record focused on songwriting. Wonderful hooks and lyrics to which the average person can associate remain its forte. These aspects point to where Giersbergen poured countless days and nights into crafting a consistent product. Although Drive is decidedly different from her work with other bands, it’s safe to assume that Giersbergen has the recipe for success down pat. Recommended.