The concert life started moving again in 2022, the flow of new albums was great as always. For those who couldn’t follow it all: these were the highlights.
1. Stromae: Quantity
The fact that Stromae called off his self-imposed retirement was part of the best musical news of the year. on Amount he brings the sound of someone who has gone to battle with his demons and emerges victorious from the boxing ring. Darkness and light alternate in his lyrics at a rapid pace. Like his musical guises. Perhaps what Stromae does best in the world is make styles collide. Stromae drives you like a Formula 1 driver at a sprint pace along all the corners of his possibilities. Classic harpsichord, rap, baile funk and then a chorus that seems so plucked from Jacques Brel. To make you dizzy, but in a blissful way. Read our review back.
2. Rosalia: Motomami
She debuted in 2017 as a singer who breathed new life into flamenco, but today Rosalía, who comes from near Barcelona, deals mainly with pop and R&B. She still sings in Spanish and is a big star in the US, where people usually don’t like pop music in a language other than English. Motomami, her third album, features spectacular music that’s good for dancing, but also compelling at home. Typical of her status in the new world: Pharrell Williams is one of the producers of MotomamiThe Weeknd sings along (in Spanish!). Read our review back.
3. Paolo Nutini: Last Night In The Bittersweet
Paolo Nutini let eight years and two months pass before he released his album Corrosive love succeeded. The wait was not in vain. Last night in the bittersweet turns out to be a fantastic tour of festival rock, soul, blues and psychedelia with some breathtakingly good songs on it. soul ballad Through the echoes e.g. Over short instrumentation, Nutini (35) shows what a ridiculously good singer he is. Also memorable: shine a light. Played hypothermic, but initially with a menacing undertone. But a glorious chorus transforms that shade into full sun. Nutini’s fourth turns out to be his best work to date. Read our review back.
4. Froukje: Outrageous
It was – again – the year of Froukje Veenstra. She toured the Netherlands, performed at Pinkpop and Lowlands and delivered Delirious a formidable mini-album. Then she perfected the formula she broke through: cool, driving electro with warm-blooded and resourceful lyrics. The absolute prize track turns out to be the duet with the second Dutch pop woman of the year: S10. He came 11th at the Eurovision Song Contest on his own and sings with Froukje without a face, a duet for pop heaven. If, for two decades, radio retrospective lists of the best songs of the twentiesstate Without a face there is no doubt about it. Read our review back.
5.Kendrick Lamar:Mr. Morality and the great steppes
Expectations were high for it Sir. Moral & The Big Steppers. Kendrick Lamar—considered by his fans to be capable of winning a Nobel Prize one day—followed his praise Damn on with an ambitious double album that highlights all ends of his musical spectrum. A journey of discovery through deep grief (United in grief) and surprise guest appearances. That of Beth Gibbons of Portishead is most impressive. At her side, he also dares to mention a childhood trauma where a family member ‘touched’ him. Unfortunately, things are less subtle on the field Aunts’ diarieswhere Lamar often raps about “gayscalls Caitlyn Jenner a “he.” Read our review back.
6. Lucky Fonz: Celestial Bodies
Lucky Fonz is a fan of Bob Dylan, but also loves gabber music. These extremes converge Celestial bodies, the provisional highlight of the Amsterdammer’s already rich oeuvre. Singer-songwriter music and pounding electronic tones are, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, best friends here. The music of Talk about it sounds almost carnivalesque, but the lyrics are as serious as anything. Lucky Fonz’s persuasive advice to the listener: be open about any psychological problems you may have – he knows all about it as an expert by experience. Read our review back.
7. Taylor Swift: Midnights
On her tenth studio album—her fifth in five years, not counting her re-recorded earlier work—Taylor Swift takes her sound in a new direction for the fifteenth time. After the – also very successful – acoustic folk pop of Evermore and Folklore she now chooses modern electropop. The material themes remained the same. Swift never hesitates to lay her soul on the table. Broken relationships, the pain of growing up and other doubts about life dominate the dark lyrics, which coincide beautifully with the instrumentation of piercing synthesizer beats. Read our review back.
8. Tim Knol: Lightyears Better
Up the paths, into the avenues! Losing weight by walking a lot is now called the Knol method here at home. It will be a long search in the Netherlands for a musician who has covered as many kilometers on foot in recent years as singer-songwriter Tim Knol. Good for the body, but certainly also for the mind. How is he now? Well, Light years better So. And it can be heard on the album with that title. Americana in the Dutch way, delivered with even greater confidence than before and convincing in every song. Also very nice, especially live, is Knol’s current backing group The Wandering Hearts. Read back: Tim Knol on the album.
9. Benjamin Herman: True Love’s Flame
Jazz that pop lovers can also enjoy. The highlight of this album by saxophonist Benjamin Herman is a glowing cover of Finally I’m free, originally a rare ballad in the repertoire of the disco group Chic, but best known in the version by avant-garde musician Robert Wyatt. In addition, have True love’s flame mainly offering cinematic music: adaptations of existing pieces from films by David Lynch and Roman Polanski, but also own compositions for (yet) existing films. Will you also listen to this, film directors from the Netherlands. Read our review back.
10. Angel Olsen: Big Time
All the good times is the name of the song with which singer-songwriter Angel Olsen opens his sixth and clearly best album. Any suspicion that there’s a cheerful song hidden behind that title is killed within a few bars. The whole album Big Time is a serious matter, where grief is a great source of inspiration. Shortly after each other, Olsen lost both parents, and there were more problems in her life. She writes and sings it in more than melancholic songs, which have one foot in country and the other in folk music. Read our review back.
The best classical performances of 2022
1. Joey Roukens: Bosch Requiem, November Music (Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ)
Joey Roukens wrote the annual Bosch Requiem for November Music. A perfect balance between modern and traditional music. In sixty minutes we seem to travel through an entire cycle of life, but we start at the end instead of the beginning. From dark, gloomy atmospheres we move towards a hopeful ending in the form of a lullaby. A blow.
2. KCO/Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner: Brahms’ Gesang der Parzen (Concert Hall)
A wonderful concert is a celebration, but for real added value, one wonderful moment can be enough – enough for the mind, for the week, for everything. There was such a moment with John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the closing line of Brahms’s Gesang der Parzen vibrated a sound that gave you chills, a pure sigh from the English choir. Divine.
3. Danish String Quartet: Der Tod und das Mädchen (Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ)
They were teenagers and loved classical music, one thing led to another. The strings taught Haydn to study and worked on their intonation. The Danish String Quartet is now an indispensable part of the world’s stages. In Amsterdam, the men played Schubert’s Der Tod und das Mädchen, intensely, directly and with great depth. The pinnacle of string quartet playing.
4. Iván Fischer: Entrée Essentials, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (Concert Hall)
Ta-ta-ta-taaa! “Now you get music that scares you,” says Iván Fischer. Full of enthusiasm, he accompanied a room full of an audience of under 35 through Beethoven’s Fifth. The audience hung on every word. As if the occasional chats weren’t entertaining enough, the orchestra was also in top form. Afterwards there were drinks and dancing in all corners of the building. Interested in classical music for young people? Entrée has the formula for success.
5. The Underground: NITE (Bostheater)
Club Guy & Roni, NNT, Slagwerk Den Haag and Asko|Schönberg teamed up for The Underground. An interdisciplinary performance where the audience lacked eyes. The nihilistic protagonist was played very strongly by Sanne den Hartogh, surrounded by extravagantly costumed musicians and energetic dancers. Together they formed a collective middle finger against conformist society. Extra bonus points for Brendan Faegre’s exciting music.