There’s no doubt that the Eurovision fans in Dusseldorf loved Nadine Beiler – and not just because she led Austria’s return to the Song Contest and took them confidently out of the semi-finals and into the Saturday night show. Where the general public had different ideas. But anyone who can belt out a wonderfully uplifting version of “Hallelujah” in the Euroclub, and even make “Merci, Cherie” a sing-along number (at the Macedonia party) is going to be remembered with a very fond heart.
That’s why her second album “I’ve Got a Voice” is going to be a bit of a surprise to those coming to her fresh after the Song Contest. If you’re expecting a diamante encrusted hour of diva power, you’ll need to loop “The Secret of Love” twenty times. That track awkwardly stands out like a sore thumb in this contemporary R&B box of delights.
At least I think it’s a box of delights. I’m not the greatest connoisseur of the modern version of Rhythym and Blues, but much like Reality and Fantasy from Raphael Gualazzi, this is an album that I’ve had on in the background while working away on the software that runs ESC Insight. There is one key difference here – my brain hasn’t latched on to any of the songs to keep them in my head. I’ve not caught myself singing a lyric under my breath.
Once the songs start playing, I think “oh yes, it’s this one!” so they are memorable, just not strong enough to have any of the compositions leak out of my brain.
What is there is the amazing voice that made Sharleen say back in December last year that Beiler was going to be singing for Austria. The soaring vocals are liberally sprinkled throughout the hour – not surprisingly Beiler really lets loose with the angry angst in the title track of the album, “I’ve Got a Voice.”
My problem with the album is actually pretty simple. Everything seems to be locked into the same tempo, with the same bass guitar plod underlying all the tracks. There needs to be variation through an album to give it a feeling of vibrancy and energy – there’s nothing here to make the album feel alive.
Unlike the Beiler that was on show in Germany, this album is almost like a musical wig – what you heard on stage isn’t what you get when you unwrap the long player. Given that, I actually enjoy the album, so if it’s a bait and switch it succeeds in its goal to bring your ear to something new.
Everything about the album is above average, it’s well put together, it’s multi-layered in instrumentation and vocal tracks, yet it doesn’t feel fresh. There’s a certain sense of steady as she goes through the fourteen tracks (plus a dance remix of her Eurovision song). To make this stand out, Beiler needs a little bit more life, a little bit more passion, a little bit more variation. She has a voice, but I think Beiler still needs to find the right genre.
I’ve Got a Voice, by Nadine Beiler, is published by Serious Entertainment and is available to .