Nianell - Sand and Water

2010-03-23 09:56
 
Sand & Water
 
Sand & Water sees the Namibian singer songwriter moving in a bold new direction. For starters, it's a double album: there's 11 songs for her English fans and eleven for the Afrikaans faithful. There's also sixteen new original songs written and composed by Nianell herself. And then there's that bilingual billing: Sand & Water. Yes, it's a smart marketing choice that bridges both her fan bases.

The English disc is a bit of a schizophrenic listen. "I Hold The Sun", "Until I'm Home" and "Only Time" are all typical Nianell showcases: enchantingly beautiful vocally driven ballads with a touch of the 'oh so sentimental'.

Unfortunately, she drops a stitch or three in her adult contemporary quilt. Just what she was thinking trying her hand at teen electro pop tunes and piercing auto-tuned vocals on "What's the Matter" and "I'm So Tired" is anyone's guess. Cher she isn't.

Undeterred, Nianell sets about redefining the criteria for being an adult contemporary pop princess. She also embraces her urban rock, if you can call it that, on power ballad "Till You're Gone" which sounds eerily similar to Eternal's "Angel Of Mine". Weird, I know.

Unsurpisingly, the familiarity of the all-Afrikaans disc is going to come as a relief to die hard fans. Listening to her soar through lyrics like "Ek is ‘n vrou, wat wil lewe sonder vrees" on self-empowerment duet, "Ek is Vrou (Die nasionale voelgoed liedjie)" with sister Riana Nel is a comforting reminder that feel good songs about upliftment and spirituality are still her forte. 


Her three and a half octave vocal range, "angel tongued" timbre and happy marriage to her business partner may have Rooi Rose and Sarie readers thinking she's the "perfect package". Then again, beauty and the "perfect package" lies in the eye of the beholder.

What to read next: Kalahari

Amandzing 2012/05/13 3:40 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Searching for a video of, What’s the matter, I happened upon this review. I completely disagree with its contents. The arrangement is dance worthy at the least and breathtakingly refreshing from a singer whose soul seems permanently rent asunder with broken hearts and promises. The driving bass, the overlay backing vocals (done by Nianeel herself), the trippy dance rhythm and the piano accordion in the background, will surprise and delight new, younger, and young at heart fans without alienating die-hards. In the back cover of Sand & Water Nianell laments about the lack of commercial success. The songstress could do worse than bang out a few more like, What’s the matter, or, I’m so tired. She has a tremendously powerful voice (four octave btw) and doesn’t let it free nearly enough. Angel Tongue and, Isn’t it, are just two examples of what she is capable of. I do agree that Nianell is not Cher. Thank God.
Andre 2012/06/03 8:08 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Excellent
NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.