Pieter Nooten - Here is Why

by Paul Downey Rating:3 Release Date:2010-09-27

The problem with 80s artists making a comeback, is usually that their sound will be completely out of step with modern day music. Sometimes this can be forgiven as creative genius, or the moulding of something abstract and unique.

Sadly this is not the case for Pieter Nooten (formerly of 80s band Clan of Xymox) on his latest album Here is Why. In parts the instrumentals are quite poignant and beautiful, but by half way through the track listing, the repetitive sound becomes quite predictable as every sound starts and ends the same.

The variation between tracks is only really distinguished by instrumental tracks such as 'Glow' and 'Cold Water', while other tracks use the vocals of Yvetter Winkler. Unfortunately, her voice more often than not is possibly too powerful for the sombre and ambient sounds.

It is clear that Nooten went into the studio with a direct vision for his project, and his project alone; he has confessed that he doesn't listen to modern music which is maybe one of the reasons the record doesn't have any flow to it.

No one is expecting a dance floor monster from Nooten, but some variation in sound and themes in the tracks would have been appreciated. The themes explored here such as 'Darkened Haven', 'Lonely', 'Gone Gone' become almost pitiful by the closing track, as the record is clearly meant to depict a dark place in the mind. This is something it achieves at least.

Here is Why can safely be put in the 'background music' section, which in itself tells you all you need to know about it.

Overall Rating (0)

0 out of 5 stars
  • Guest

    this album gets raving reviews everywhere! you obviously haven't grasped a single note of the subtle, intimate and highly restrained music of pieter nooten. indeed, at your age you'd rather go bounce up and down some teenage dance floor somewhere around your area and leave music that digs a bit deeper to a some what older and experienced audience/music lover.

  • Guest

    This review is from: Here Is Why (Audio CD)
    Here Is Why is one of those works of greatness arising out of the ability of taking the listeners into an inner core of composer's being. Pieter Nooten's wavelengths characterize gentleness and ambience, and we were allowed to enter their harmonies again. Here Is Why could be called a 2010 sequel to 1987 Sleeps With The Fishes. The same peaceful sadness surrounds us and overwhelms our continuous listening. Pieter's study evolves and progresses into the area of human voice, having mastered the orchestration and string rock chambers so beautifully 23 years ago. However, we are taken back into masterful arrangements of his previous collaboration with Michael Brook. Pieter Nooten is one of those geniuses who defy the laws of time and are able to distort it for us. His new album is like our lives. Yes, things do change for a moment and we feel like we are somewhere else, only to find ourselves back in our own field more and more familiar to us as years go by. Beauty can be very simple and unpretentious and so it is here.

    However, this is not music for everyone. You may end up being very bored by the limited approach. After all this music was put together on Pieter's computer. Pop voice lines and melodies wrapped in the climate of Sleeps With The Fishes and baroque harmonies, mixed in with Pieter's older Clan of Xymox special effects and with remnants of...Labradford. Yes, there is some minimalist approach interwoven here. Do not put this album away prior to listening to it a few times at least. This music will grow on you if you allow it to... Many beautiful songs here but if you really want to get into this music fast, try playing Everywhere You Are or Left Lonely on repeat for an hour or so. Just a single song over and over again.

    I find this album to be one of the most interesting of all 2010 albums I have heard so far. The amazing thing is that my other favorite Spiders In The Mind Web was composed by Pieter's old band member. You guys ended up not getting the World Cup but you are certainly going places in 2010. Congratulations and please start working on your next project... Perhaps together?

  • After listening to this work I can conclude that he needs the input of Michael Brook. Without his input this whole album sounds uninspired and really boring.
    Clearly he is not the talented of the bunch he left behind with his efforts on Xymox. After a more then 20 years silence of Nooten( or is it Nuts or Nutville as stated below ?) I expected way more.
    I read he did all the work on his lap top and that might be one of the reasons why all sounds so restricted.
    I am sure Nutter will comment on this review but I cannot make it better then it is , sorry. I already sold my copy on to the 1 dollar charity cause.

  • Guest

    someone with such clear enmity must hold a personal grudge against an artist. why else write something so immature and unpleasant, especially if of ALL the sympathy and good reviews this album has received, this one is the ONLY vicious one there is to be found. one wonders what inspires such a person. it could be a disgruntled xymox adept.... so please folks. google on and read a real review with content and understanding of nooten's talent, who -after all- was the biggest composing force behind the first Xymox records!

  • One thing you are guranteed with Soundblab is that the writers will listen to the music and form their own opinions. Unlike other publications that will scour the internet first to see what the general feeling is towards an album.

    Every review is simply a matter of opinion, I suggest you get over it.

  • Guest

    it would be very easy to let it go, if if wasn't so unnecessary. why review an album with music you simply don't have the esthetic refinement or maturity for to understand or even comprehend? yes. i am one of nooten's biggest fan, true. i just cannot grasp the idea that someone would go out of their way to write such nonsense about an album with such delicate, authentic, original, minimal and intimate (never pathetic of sentimental) music!! it you don't get it, leave it be. and if you want to pan it, you must hold a grudge, i cannot explain it other wise! reviewers are a sad bunch!

  • Look at this way, friend. By repeatedly commenting on this review you're actually drawing attention to it. Is that what you want?