Review Summary: Dutch & new. Room Eleven releases her first album as a jazzbossafolksoul-combo. Catchy, jazzy, bluesy and a little bit poppy. But most of all: it makes you press repeat.
So the Dutch can actually do something good?
Agreed, you don't hear that much from Dutch bands. It's a shame, because there are lots of bands in the Netherlands with quite a bit of talent. But I guess they all miss that little something. Room Eleven does have that little something. It's that extra thing that you get at gigs. It's that extra thing when you hear the word Room Eleven. It's that extra thing that makes you think: lets press repeat.
Lets introduce the band first, then the album. Without a band, there isn't an album. Right? Well, it all started with Janne in year 2004. She walked into the Utrecht Conservatorium with a note; she walked out without a note. A few weeks later, Arriën responded and Janne found herself a likeminded guitarist. They started writing songs together and knew there was something more going on, so they made their line-up complete with Keys (Tony), Double Bass (Lucas) and Drums (Maarten).
Room Eleven is now signed at Universal. After being signed, the five started to work on their first album. Before it was finished, it was almost sure that it would be loved throughout the Netherlands. And so it was. We're looking at an album that is quite outstanding for Dutch (and world wide) standards. Now I'm taking you for a journey through the album.
A good album almost always has a kind of story running through it. It's like a good book, you start to read it and you want more, more and most of all: more. Room Eleven understands this and the album certainly has a kind of 'more, more, more' vibe into it. It starts with taking your shoes off and making you sit comfortable during the intro-song 'All Right'. Right after this, Room Eleven wakes you up with their catchy hit 'One of These Days' and from there on, you will be taken through the story of Janne with other up tempo songs like ‘Come closer’, ‘Somedays’ and ‘Could that be you?’. But also songs like ‘Sad song’ and ‘Pressing’, which are a bit slower, are on the album. All in a good mix.
Lyrically, you wouldn't expect something like this from an artist who has English as her second language. But here lies one of the secrets of Room Eleven. Janne's lyrics are about doing the dishes alone (or togheter?), waking up (when you don't want to) and on top of that, she also wants to be your guitar. She knows how to write her lyrics and does this well. Combined with her voice that can let you sleep in, wake you up and fall in love in one sentence, it's a pleasure to listen to. Add a set of good musicians to this and you know it's going to be OK. And it is. Room Eleven knows when to use certain instruments, to create certain vibes. The quality of the bandmembers makes you listen to the album for a few times, before you can hear all the stuff they've done. And then, there is still more..
Seen as a whole, Room Eleven has an album like a fresh breeze during the hot summer. You can sip your cocktail with Room Eleven in your CD player, but don't forget to press repeat! Janne and her men take you on their journey, which they call 'Six White Russians and a Pink Pussycat'. For the quality of the album they made, I would swap the cocktails in the title for a few others which are better known. Think along the lines of a Cosmopolitan or a Mojito. Not yet a classic, but very good nonetheless!
Haven't heard it yet? Be quick! www.roomeleven.nl and www.myspace.com/roomeleven