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Christine comes crashing

img  Tobias

Rock and Pop are not normally our thing, but we'll make an occasional exception, if artists and albums truly stand out. When Christine Anderson wrote us a mail, we didn't have to think twice.

Actually, we've been following Christine's career for some time now - as a Classicaly trained pianist/songwriter with a lively interest in both Beethoven and the Beatles, she always had that little tad more versatility compared to most of her colleagues. Back in 2005, when we did a first interview with her, she mentioned that she had just set aside time for composing and was about to hit the studio. Interestingly enough, the results of that very composing streak will remain hidden in the safe for a little while yet, as she did away with everything preconceived and recorded "Live Summer Session 2005" in one long, dazzlingly creative... err... live summer session. 18 pieces found their way to the disc, which saw her come ever nearer to the style and the standard of one of her all-time favourites, Billy Joel. In the pop department, she offers a treasure chest of excellent songs, with "I'm a Defect too" standing out as bitter-sweet ear candy. What makes the album special, however, are her instrumental tracks, which, for a change, are not just supplements to the vocal performances - after listening to the almost ten-minutes of "Imagine Infinity" you might just be able to fullfill its title's request. Reactions were enthusiastic right from the start.

Let's take a short jump back. After all, Christine already had a hit once before, without actually yet making it to the big screen. The song was called "Superman", it was taken from her debut EP "Pianist Envy", which she sold via her website. "Superman" was a number one at "ArtistBlast", one of the offsprings of MP3.com and a site which offered free downloads by as yet fairly unknown acts to its visitors. The success translated to a fair deal of media attention and articles and interviews followed suit. The fact that a Classical pianist would record pieces with Drums, Bass and Guitar was unusual and Christine's diary offered some material for stories as well, offering reports on her latest rock concert attendances as well as personal insights into quantum physics. Despite the quality of the songs, Anderson now claims that she had not, at this point, truly discovered "her voice".

The main difference between "Pianist Envy" and "Live Summer Session 2005" is, of course, that Christine has stripped down arrangements to the bare bone, relying on nothing but her piano and her voice. And in this naked and direct approach, she has come closer to her true persona than ever before. Which is a cliche as much as a banality, of course, as are comparisons with Tori Amos, which are bound to come up (just as much as comparisons with Kate Bush plagued Amos for years on end). The difference is also, that these songs are, despite all their urgency, more calm on the inside. Which comes as no surprise, as the new album was actually composed on the fly, with just a few scetches prepared in advance and pieces taking a definitive shape as the "tape rolled". For sure, this is her most personal effort and could even make life easier for her. After all, in our talk one year back she mentioned that "the hardest part about being an artist, for me, has been that a lot of my peers don’t understand where I’m coming from." They should know now.

Since the release of the album, everything has been moving a lot faster. A street team has been formed to spread the word about Christine's music, there are talks about a marketing deal with mobile phone operator AMP'D, which could culminate in a sponsored college tour and she has hit the studio again, this time dabbling in Jazz, as well as Classical Music and Rock. To document these wondrous times, she has also shot a long "Behind the Scenes" Video, which comes in two seperate, strictly limited volumes and on good old-fashioned VHS and features "hours of video footage during rehearsals, songwriting sessions, studio sessions".

Even if Rock and Pop are not your thing, you should check out Christine's site without thinking twice. In her own words: "It takes a lot more than just the right notes and just the right dynamics to capture an audience". It looks like she's got it.

Homepage: Christine Anderson


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