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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 22 May 2013
I am very rarely moved to write reviews and you might think an album of 10 songs entitled 'Sad Singalong Songs' a bit unappealing...depressing even, but this is an album with some of the most emotional, heartfelt music and vocals with meaningful, intelligent lyrics that I have heard in many a year.
I had never even heard of Dutch singer-songwriter, Anouk, until a week ago when I heard her first single,'Birds' from this album and became totally captivated. There is not one poor song on this album, they are all winners in their own right...sure, some are slow-boilers, taking some time to soak into your psyche, but none should be discounted. Many, if not all of the songs have a cinematic, vignette quality about them which totally works in the context of this album.
From the ethereal and uplifting 'Birds' and 'Pretending' and the catchy,almost optimistic 'Stardust' to the sad, even dark themes of 'The Good Life' and quirky but marvellous 'Kill' about a woman's dilemma of what to do about her cheating husband. Then there are the slower melancholy but hauntingly beautiful and intense songs; 'Are you Lonely?' and 'I Don't Know Nothing.'
This is a very rare and special collection of songs which deserves to be listened to and recognised for the masterpiece that it is.
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My last (and first) encounter with Anouk Teeuwe came with her 2009 album
'For Bitter Or Worse'. It was a stunning introduction to her work. This
release is the eighth since her 1997 debut 'Together Alone' and for many
good reasons is probably her very best. Not being a Eurovision aficionado
I was more than a little surprised to find her performing the song 'Birds'
there a week or so ago which prompted me to do something I've never done
before : I picked up the phone and voted! Three times!! The song and the
performance had dignity; qualities not usually associated with the show.

'Sad Singalong Songs' is a collection of ten new compositions which flow
each-into-the-other via brief sonic segues from the enormously powerful
bluesy-Gothic opening of 'The Rules' (complete with tubular bells and a
choir of maleficent angels!) until the shattering sixties-tinged, string-saturated,
emotional conclusion of 'The Black Side Of My Mind'. The intensity of
Ms Teeuwe's incomparable vocal acuity doesn't let up for a moment. It is
an extraordinary instrument; focused, rich, raw and marvelously expressive.

Further highlights would have to include 'The Good Life' with its metronomic
tick-tock accompaniment; 'Are You Lonely', a deeply affecting melancholic
anthem sporting an especially fine orchestral arrangement and 'Kill' whose
sinuous melody and pithy lyrics demonstrate evidence of a dark sense of humour.

From top to tail a magnificent achievement. Don't let it pass you by.

Highly Recommended.
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on 23 May 2013
Birds came in 9th representing Netherlands for the 2013 Eurovision song contest. This may have been a vehicle for making Anouk known to a wider audience than just the Dutch, in which case it worked. A class album that flows from beginning to end without pause between tracks which are linked with ambient sound recordings. The songs are well-crafted with many slow burners. Anouk's wonderful voice is backed by an orchestra, whose rich sounds add to the atmosphere of the album. Stand out tracks on first hearing are "Birds", "The Rules" and "Kill" - after a few more plays you realise the album is a total masterpiece!

Don't forget to watch the excellent Youtube videos for this album of "Pretending as Always", "Birds", "The Good Life" and "Kill"
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on 13 June 2013
Never heard of her untill 2013 Eurovision. Stunned by her BIRDS offering and from then on I have searched out her music.
Very impressed and shamed that it has taken me this long to hear her work. This set is simply 'world class'. Every song is very good. I cannot say anything negative about the album. I just want more, more, more of it!
My favourite female artist in recent times has been Beth Hart; I would rate Anouk as an equal. They are different, but they each bring passion and feeling to their sounds. Cannot honestly think of anyone else out there to match either.
Anouk is magical and how she has not taken the world by storm with her music is a mystery.
This album is just about as good as it gets. Phew!!!!
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on 23 June 2013
I care not for music talent shows or the politically inclined Eurovision song contest.
However this year I found myself watching the latter for reasons irrelevant to the reader.
When the Dutch entry started her piece, there was as much laughter and neglect of the TV screen as previously. About a minute into the song the party had gone silent.
Birds is a beautifully song and was delivered in such way that I wanted to hear more from the artist and the album that produced it.
I only wish this work was promoted in the UK.
Apart from that, I would like to thank Anouk for taking part in Eurovision and myself for watching it.

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on 2 June 2013
It was worth listening to all the Euro-songs this year, as always, just on the off-chance of hearing something special.
'Birds' was it! I subsequently found the album on Anouk's website, as well as those videos with the 'omg' moments in them.
Some say that Adele sings music to 'string yourself up' by, well, this takes it to a totally different level. All the tracks are hauntingly memorable and I wake up at 5 in the morning with them in my head! I hope that these sad songs are not evidence of Anouk's own experiences as the song writer - that would be too much!
This is awesome stuff and I feel like making a thousand copies from my paid-for download and distributing them randomly through letterboxes in my area, just to share the experience of listening to something special.
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on 23 July 2013
True I'm a big Eurovision fan, and I loved 'Birds' as soon as I heard it, but it is far from typical of the contest. This is a fabulous collection of songs, woven together with intriguing ambient links to make the whole thing feel like one piece, as though it is the sound track to a film. I love listening to this while travelling around the city, making up videos in my head with the scenes around me. The tone is uplifting and melancholic, but mostly fabulously uplifting, and Anouk's voice is so beautiful. This record will stay with you for a long time and stand the test of time, buy it!
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on 28 March 2016
I discovered Anouk when she sang Birds as the Dutch Eurovision entry. Wow, what a voice! This album is a whole collection of heart-wrenching songs, but what really stands out is this sweet, emotional, soulful, tear-jerking voice. When the whole world (or so it seems) has fallen for Amy (RIP) and Adele, here is a lady who actually surpasses them (yes, really). I just wish she would play some live shows in the UK; if not, I'm going over to the Netherlands to see her.
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on 11 August 2013
Was not so enthusiastic about the European Contest song, but curious about the album. The last few weeks we've listened to it at least once a day and it's great. We have several albums from Anouk and love the tough rock babe, but this side of her is even more impressive.
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on 9 September 2013
This is absolutely lovely!!! She sang the Dutch entry in Eurovision this year (2013) and I thought what a beautiful voice. I then searched for that particular track, but ended up buying the whole album... It's truly lovely.
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