Review Summary: nothing spectacular, but still pleasant.
When Maarja Kivi (one of the lead singers) left the Estonian pop rock band, Vanilla Ninja, in 2004, the band replaced her with Triinu Kivilaan who was only fifteen years old. The official reason for choosing Triinu was because she supposedly looked like Maarja; they clearly ignored what talents she may have possessed and used her strictly to pretend that Maarja was still a part of the group - her inclusion was barely noticeable at all. She never spoke during interviews, she only partly sang lead vocals in one song, she wasn’t included in many filmed live performances, she barely appeared in the band’s massive collection of music videos, and so forth. Thankfully, in 2005, Triinu parted ways with the band as was inevitable. It turns out that they should have allowed her to sing more often.
I had no idea what Triinu’s solo music would sound like, considering how little she was highlighted in Vanilla Ninja, but I am pleased to say that Now and Forever
doesn’t suck. If anything, it proves that she can do just fine on her own. You wouldn’t expect it from the youngest of Vanilla Ninja, but Triinu’s solo album is shockingly mature. The music sounds level-headed and is barely influenced at all by Vanilla Ninja. It is extremely radio friendly pop rock/alternative rock and is much less about aggression than it is about contemplation. Extremely romantic contemplation at that: “Your life is like a thunderstorm, I saw your lightning flash. Where is the girl I used to be since the day you captured me. You turned my whole world upside down, that’s just the way you are”.
As stated before, Now and Forever
is an extremely romantic album, and there is much to the music that cascades this feeling. Acoustic guitars, and especially piano compliment the music and give it a conventional, yet cheery sound. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but it’s still easily digestible. Overall though, the highlight of the album is Triinu herself with her unique vocals. Her voice is surprisingly deep, and also considering her smooth delivery, she has the voice of a showgirl. With such a voice and also with the style of her music, the album is easy on the ears. That really is the selling point of the album, and if soothing female vocals sounds like heaven to you, you may find Now and Forever
angelic enough to listen to.