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CD Feature/ Christine Anderson: "Live Summer Session"

img  Tobias

2004: Christine is just stuffing a roasted chicken and we talk about her love for Pop, Rock and Classical Music, about the four „B’s“ in her life (Beethoven, the Beatles, Broadway and Billy Joel),  about connecting with an audience and about the duty of keeping the great works of the past alive. She announces the recording of a new album. In another Interview, she has just discussed the progress of a collaboration between her and one of the members of extreme metal formation Slipknot. As the chicken is roasting together with “bell peppers and purple potatoes”, Christine’s life looks close to being perfect.

2005: The album has somehow run into problems. Anderson is more than once being offered to sell her soul in order to become famous. Noone seems to care for her pleed that she’d rather be “respected and understood a hundred years after I die” than selling millions of records. It is becoming increasingly hard to make ends meet. In dire straits, she puts up a simple microphone in front of the piano in her living room and records an entire album in one single take. Largely improvised, it contains 15 songs, two interludes and an almost nine minute long instrumental. Lyrics are expectedly bitter, bruised and beat-up: “I'm a Hollywood Trainwreck, a gorgeous disaster, a pitiful hazard and a beautiful nightmare”, she confesses, as well as “I'm a defect too”. Fantasies of violence rear up their had as she plans to assemble an army to smash the american dream to pieces and kill little Bobby Hunter “just for the thrill”. And the always problematic man/boy theme is being explored a little closer in her refusal of slippery-as-an-eel highschool hunks (“Shine him up and take him home to meet mama!”) as well as deep discussions into “what is wrong with ordinary men”. All of this comes as no surprise giving the circumstances and lots of other artists have recorded this type of personal demo to rid themselves of fear and frustration, only to safely hide the tape in a shoe box ever after. What could not be expected, however, is that “Live Summer Session” did not turn out to be the typical bad-mood record after all. Instead, songs stand proudly upright despite the lyrical lament, tender and fragile occasionally, but full of hope, good spirits and life. And melodies are in fact uplifting, powerful and damned-hard to get out of your head.

Every little assymetry in the right hand, any slightly mishit note only goes to deepen the experience: This album is not about perfection, but about finally “being a real person”, about a moment in time, when everything feels right or wrong enough to herald a change. They don’t make records like this any more and neither will Christine – as sales for “Live Summer Session” keep climbing and climbing, she’ll be able to realise her original ideas in a professional fashion. Time for tears, then? Hardly, as this only opens new and fascinating possibilities. 2006? Is anybody’s guess.

Homepage: Christine Anderson


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