First Appeared in The Music Box, May 2005, Volume 12, #5
Written by T.J. Simon
Hollandís Bettie Serveert was a college radio staple in the early 1990s, but over the course of the past decade, the ensembleís profile has dropped considerably. On its latest release Attagirl, the band, which is led by vocalist Carol van Dyk and guitarist Peter Visser, has returned to reclaim some of its past glory. The albumís consistently pleasing sound owes a tonal debt to the alternative pop of Rilo Kiley and No Doubt, with the main attraction being van Dykís clear and alluring vocals. Throughout the collection, Bettie Serveert explores a wide array of styles: Dreamaniacs delves into synth-heavy Euro-pop; Greyhound Song is a captivating blend of slide guitar riffs and far-Eastern keyboard sequences; and the title track, with its simple rhymes and intoxicating chorus, is reminiscent of Portishead, Two of the albumís songs (Attagirl and Dreamaniacs) also are presented on the U.S. release as bonus tracks in alternate but equally enjoyable acoustic renditions, and they serve to display the superior songwriting often shrouded behind Jan Sprengersí lavish production. The stale and dated Versace is the only cut that doesnít honor the discís high quality as it sounds like a lost track from Berlin, circa 1984. However, the note-for-note cover of Bright Eyesí Lover I Donít Have To Love makes reparations for this faux pas and proves definitively that Bettie Serveert is a band that refuses to be stuck in the past. Ĺ
Attagirl is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box