May 5, 2006
Probably the most straight-forward mainstream pop/rocker on the album. Comparable to R.E.M., Counting Crows, Graham Colton Band & rising stars The Fray. But nonetheless, unmistakably a balladeer. The lyrics are deep and yet recognizable. A song that could do well as a single on mainstream radio. The verse builds up to the chorus nicely. And who can’t agree to them when they sing:”Things do look better in the morning, without all the grudge”? Not the best song on the album, also not the most creative, but a great song, and a great way to attract listeners to the album.
This song has kind of a bitter nature, and you can hear that in the song. Bitterness & self-pity are central in the lyrics. And that’s something that speaks to a lot of people. This song has a catchy, easy to remember chorus. It shows a balladeer is not yet another band that writes honey-sweet, poppy love songs but that they actually manage to display different messages & emotions in their songs. Again, this is not the best song on the album, but it is very strong and very well-produced. Marinus’s vocals sound vulnerable on the right times and there might be a little crack in his voice one time in the song, but that little imperfection makes the song even better.
All I Wanted
One of the very best tracks on the album. Also, the first track that Robert Kirby wrote string arrangements for. Very subtle and emotional song. And it’s the introduction of the character Robin, who we hear more about later on the album. Marinus’s vocals equal emotion on this track. Lyrically this song is top quality too. “And all because all I wanted the best of both of us” is the main line in the chorus but it says enough. If you read the lyrics it looks like the story of someone who’s about to break. And a balladeer manages to capture that emotion in this song. Amazing, in one word, amazing.
On the one hand this song refers to Coldplay’s “Parachutes”, on the other hand it is a love song. You can hear the Coldplay influences sometimes, though the intro reminds me more of Simple Minds. Very interesting alternative pop/rock song. Fairly up-beat, with a little more soaring vocals. They lyrics are also interesting since this is a love song. “Your hand on my knee, more on than off, distracts my pedal foot, as we fall in love with Parachutes“. This is a very interesting song.
Sirens is one of the more personal songs. It grabs back to an event in Marinus’s past. Inspired by a car accident when he was 8. He tried to write this through the eyes of the father and it turned out remarkably well. This is one of the very best songs on the album. Actually using swearwords, which is something you don’t really expect with the image of the band. The song kinda gives you the feeling like the main character is calling someone else to attention, like:”listen to me, I’m saying it’s like this, and it will happen like this”. But then in a way to reassure someone, not out of pure anger. The song actually displays different emotions, fear, insecurity, trying to convince, relief, etc. Very diverse and interesting song. Very well performed.
One of the many German song titles on the track. The song’s in English though. Basically a piano ballad. “Just lay down your arms, you’re under my care, close those eyes, goodnight”. Not only sweet lyrics, also an enchanting voice make you get goosebumps while listening to this. And hearing it live is a magical experience, I tell you. I had the privilege of hearing this band live several times and everytime I’m impressed by what they can do. And when Marinus plays solo on the piano I get goosebumps every single time. His voice is filled with emotions and the piano accompanies him perfectly. And one time, when he did a piano ballad solo, I saw tears in his own eyes, and that was like one of the purest things I have ever seen in music.
For me, there’s no doubt that this song is the very best song on the album. String arrangements by Kirby and emotionally loaded vocals that bring the amazing lyrics alive. Here‘s a link to the lyrics of the song. Especially these lines struck me immediately:”But what really helps is the knowledge that it’s nothing but the time it takes” & “I’m sure that grudge exists (especially his..) and that mine will make a brilliant song”. And a brilliant song it is. You’ll have to listen to it yourself and then I am convinced you agree with me that this song is one of the best song in the last 5, maybe even the last 10 years, if not one of the best songs ever.
This will be the 2nd single off the album. With a chorus that reminded me of The Cranberries the first time I heard it. It’s one of my least favourite songs on the album, but it is fit for radio, I guess. And it’s definitely still a great song. It definitely has the emotion and the strength a good song needs. And the lyrics are pretty recognizable too, even though they threw in a little German. “Come on now, show me that smile” is something everyone says once in a while, to their friends, their loved ones. Well, maybe this beautiful song helps you to see that smile. :)
This German city appeared in the lyrics of All I Wanted already, but here it is again. Another piano ballad. “And then there was, a flood of tears, a questionnaire answered with a silent treat”. Isn’t that brilliant lyricism. Well, the song’s only 1m21, so it’s over before you know it, but it’s a great interlude.
This, in my opinion, should be a single. Very catchy, very beautiful and very deep. String arrangements by Kirby again, Copper Shades displays an unworried mind/innocence. “Then in an act of love you’d pull me close and check my orange-colored water wings, you’d turn the engine off and somewhere in the back we’d both jump in for a swim”. This song always gets stuck in my mind. Almost as much as lead single “Swim With Sam” does. So yeah, this song got enormous potential, but maybe it’s something they are gonna hold up their sleeve for a little to let it come out on the right time.
Swim With Sam
Lead single for the album. Got a lot of airplay in the Netherlands, and also got airplay in Belgium, Germany, Austria & Ukraine. Inspired by a book by Adriaan Jaeggi (Held van Beroep), this song got very big. And that’s very understandable, cause Swim With Sam is amazingly catchy, has an addictive melody that you really won’t be able to get out of your head. The lyrics portray the Sam from the book very well, according to the writer (Jaeggi) and that’s another compliment for this band. Intelligent use of vocal harmonies & piano, this uptempo pop song is a great introductionary single for the album.
Again a reference to Germany, with the German word for Fall/Autumn. This is another ballad. Production is awesome on this track, cause Marinus’s vocals are basically all you hear, with a little guitar accompanying him in the back and later a little piano. You can hear how strong the vocals are. It kinda sounds like an unfinished demo sometimes, but that is exactly what this song wants to be. A great way to finish up the album.