The Various Voices of Hoover(phonic)

Up until today, I thought that Geike Arnaert was the only singer Hooverphonic ever had. I was wrong. Pleasantly wrong, at that.

Their original lead singer now goes by Suzanina, but on  A New Sterephonic Sound Spectacular, she went by Liesje Sadonius. A quick Google search finds that she has a 4-track release, Heavenly Juice. I can’t find a CD for it on any of the normal CD-selling sites, but it’s on Amazon and iTunes. The title is perfect for the music. It reminds me of the first time I had a fresh off-the-tree peach. Nothing store-bought or chemically treated, this peach was succulent, flavorful and alive. Eating it was the closest thing I could imagine to fruit-utopia. Suzanina’s music reminds me of the peach. It’s just as succulent, the music explodes on my ears like the peach juice on my tastebuds, and it really is just that heavenly to listen to. To quote my wife as she’s sitting behind me playing Tetris on her phone, “Man … you really do find some cool music.” Yes I do, sweetie. Yes I do. 🙂

Did you know that Geike Arnaert has moved on from Hooverphonic? I mean, I knew … but did you? She’s working on solo material that isn’t going to be out for a while, but I’m excited to see what she comes up with. She didn’t have a very large role contributing to Hooverphonic other than her vocals (but what she did contribute was divine), so what she comes up with musically is leaving me extremely curious. Her site is “currently under construction,” so keep an eye out for when it comes back up.

Meanwhile, Hooverphonic is alive and well. With the departure of Geike, they picked up Noemie Wolfs. They released The Night Before in Europe late last year. Amazon has imports, but that’s it. Truthfully, this CD probably won’t appeal to the Blue Wonder Powder Milk Hooverphonic fans, but make no mistake about it–this CD is good. Unfortunately, that’s about all that can be said for it. It’s definitely more organic and stripped down than past Hooverphonic CDs. In place of synthesizers and keyboards, we’re given pianos, actual guitars and strings. It’s not a bad combo, but it’s such a departure from the group who, for 12 years, has been giving us sound-sampled synth-pop. To shift gears like this is almost the equivalent of throwing the car in reverse and backing away from where they should be heading.

Ahh … but there’s the rub. I’m putting my expectations of what I think the band should be producing. And make no mistake about it–I am most definitely not in the band. If I were to listen to this CD without a band name attached to it, I would definitely rate it higher than I currently do with the Hooverphonic brand affixed. Which kind of makes me question my rating system. I mean, that’s a total bias. And I really need to leave that at the door.

Anyway, there ya go. Hooverphonic. Gotta love ’em.

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