This is one of those ‘if only’ moments. You see, these instances where you wish that you or someone else would just have taken the path to the right in this fork of the road. Yet, for some bizarre reason, you or the other guy did not do that.
Just so happened with Within Temptation on Resist. If only they would have taken a different route, the right, the decisive one. Kind of what Sharon den Adel did, when she went full-tilt solo with My Indigo.
This record kinda floated about the RockmusicRaider office suite for a long while. Now, after the straightforward revelations on the latest WT album, the RMR deck crew got curious.
And totally astonished at what they found.
You will read it all over the opinion pieces on the net, and it is true. This is a beautiful album made by a master of songwriting. My Indigo is authentic, direct, vulnerable, and strong. If that makes any sense. I can fully buy into Sharon den Adel‘s thought process that she needed to take a few steps back and reflect on herself, the past, and – surely – the future.
It happens to the best of ’em to suffer from doubts and writer’s block. And what better for someone creative to take a step back and go for a set of songs to give voice to those thoughts.
Truly, My Indigo is nobody’s awful copy.
But, there is also no denying the Gothic and Symphonic Metal roots of Sharon den Adel. As you are constantly reminded of some of the acoustic stuff Amy Lee of Evanescence produced lately. Nobody can really blame her for that either, right?
I have seldom seen such a crafty selection of tracks that combine Pop Rock with Folk Rock in quite such a way. Finely tuning the instruments and song structures to suit the theme of the track, which lends much-needed variation to a genre that is difficult to manage.
Need some proof of that?
Check on Indian Summer and listen to the subtle references by sound to theme and landscape. I just love it. This sounds like what Train should have done when they decided to go softer. Not this sugar-sweet garbage they presented in the last album.
My Indigo by contrast is forcefully embedded in pop, true. But none of them pop queens come to mind. To the contrary, this is so well done, Folk Rock masters like Passenger raise to the forefront. Or again the craftiness of Mighty Oaks with the reflective thoughtfulness of young Joshua Howlett. Not so much on folksy songwriting, but more on the thoughtful lyrics part. It is as if Pop Rock is a road of sorts and Folk Rock the infamous tour bus moving forward on this highway of theirs.
The aforementioned Indian Summer comes to mind, of course. I really like the fine nuances in there, and how they use the tune to tell a story. This is – by the way – one of the strong suits of the album. My Indigo gorges with examples of how to use melody to support the lyrics. This goes contrary to many Folk outfits that mainly use lyrics to put the point across, with the guitar kind of accompanying the voice.
Crash and Burn and Black Velvet Sun both shine with a subdued crustiness that kinda stands out from the crowd as well. Star Crossed Lovers always gets me to listen up with its intense lyrics and somewhat dramatic song structure. This is again a track where the tune supports lyrics and vice versa.
Now, let’s stop the gushing.
Sharon den Adel is one of the singer/songwriters I respect the most. You may not think so after my review of Resist, but I truly mean it. For this album, this girl shed her constraints WT imposed on her, and out came tracks straight from the soul. This and her additional multiple talents really created a truly amazing record.
My Indigo is strong, personal, authentic, and true. The record never pretends to be something else, it just is. And it is in that aspect that the beauty of My Indigo resides. A list of tracks that never bores you, and never overwhelms.
The songs just are, like a fresh stream of water in a mountain forest. Music to be consumed on a beach at sunset. Or if you don’t have that, quietly at home will do as well.
But quiet it must be. Well done, I love it.
Ed’s note: And congratulations – the record made it onto the Intermittent Digest – Tome IX!