May 01, 2020

Anouk - For Bitter or Worse (2009)

Country: Netherlands
Language: English
Genre: Pop Rock
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© 2009 EMI
AllMusic Review by Alexey Eremenko
Anouk appears with a serious stare and a beaten face on the cover of For Bitter or Worse, but she's dramatizing there: the record's never dark, just mature. It's also not really groundbreaking, although going platinum in the Netherlands was no fluke: For Bitter or Worse is not even the alt-rock that fueled her sole international hit, "Nobody's Wife," but instead it's a solid blues-drenched album that seems to belong in Georgia, not The Hague. A handful of tunes that set the mood of the album sound like prime Black Crowes fronted by an earnest version of Sheryl Crow with the voice amplified three times compared to the original; good hooks appearing in some songs don't hurt, either -- the lead line in "Woman" is a "heard once, stuck forever" type of chorus if there ever were one. It's not all blues-rock, however -- there are elements of alternative, disco, and that ubiquitous Northern pop in the vein of a-ha all thrown into the fray -- but the result doesn't come out as neat as can be expected: all in all, most compositions are not that catchy, and pop leanings hamper the groove, leaving only Anouk's voice to sell the songs. She handles this job well, utilizing her powerful if slightly accented roar and wail to the max, but she's too good -- too strong and loose -- for her backing music, and so in the end For Bitter or Worse sounds like a jam between Anouk and some nice band that just can't quite match her style, no matter how hard it tries.

tags: anouk, for bitter or worse, 2009, flac,

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