CD REVIEW The Scene

Band : The Scene
Album title : Code
Label : V2 Records
Distributor : V2 Benelux
Release date : 12/03/2012
Release : CD

Darn...even though it is quite normal for any touring band to deliver an album every two years or so, these days, I felt a little surprised at finding a new album by this, one of my favourite Dutch Pop Rock acts! Indeed, Code's predecessor Liefde In Doortocht was released in late 2009, and those songs are still floating around in my memory in a way like as if I only heard 'em first a year ago! You can still find the review (along with a nice history story) posted 23/11/2009.

Some extra info I gathered since that review informed me of the fact that to tour for the 2007 album, the band hired the services of extra guitarist Leendert Haaksma (teacher at Rotterdam's conservatory, working as session musician for several artists – plays with Lois lane, Soulvation, and is a permanent member of Anouk). To my surprise, I also found out that the songs on LID were written the modern way, each of the members composing/ recording his/her own compositions at home and then sending it all through (via Internet) to band leader Thé Lau. Thus was nót the proceedings this time around, as the material was written with all members present in rehearsals. Meanwhile (and I have no idea when it actually happened) it would seem that Haaksma was replaced by Alan MacLaghlan (who's had ties with The Scene since 1999, was married to The Scene bassist Emilie at some time, and whom still regularly played with her in other bands/ projects since they got divorced).

The new 11 songs have a very nice feel...one of comfortable recognition thanks to Thé Lau's typical husky hoarse voice, his typical poetic lyrics, and the typical The Scene sound. Not that the latter has no variation, mind you, but as Lau has such a very specific vocal signature, it's hard not to recognize him. The song “Stip” sees a guest performance for Lange Frans in a duet with Lau (whom already collaborated with the far younger Dutch Rap artist in 2010, when he contributed to the hit song “Zing Voor Me”). Another “anomaly” on the album is the inclusion of a cover of “Mooi”, written by former deus musician Stef Kamiel Carlens for the 2009 deceased Yasmine (apparently, Lau and Carlens had already performed the song together during a session on Belgian radio). At the end of the day however, each and every song on the album carries that typical The Scene sound...and you either lóve it, or do not care for it. Me, I am definitely in that first category of music listeners!

Obviously, with the album already out for almost 2 months, sóme promotion has already happened, and that is a good thing, for it allowed the band to post videos recorded during radio presentation sessions of some slightly stripped-down versions (no keyboardist involved) of the new album's material. Find those in the media section of the band's own website (www.) thescene.nu. As for my own appreciation of the band's 13th studio album, let the rating speak...

98/100

Tony.