Review Summary: The Dutch female vocalist Trijntje Oosterhuis deserves worldwide attention. This compilation showcases her versatile career, including material from the band Total Touch, great songs in Dutch, original material and several pop/jazz covers from the likes o
Trijntje Oosterhuis is one of the best pop/jazz singers from the Netherlands and she deserves a big shout out to the world. So this new compilation with the stuff she did in the last 15 years is a great way to do that. She is also known as Traincha, which makes is possible for non-native speakers to pronounce her name right to some extent.
Trijntje started out as the lead singer for the band Total Touch, which she co-founded with her brother Tjeerd Oosterhuis. Tjeerd is a skilled musician and is by now a good producer as well. This compilation contains the Total Touch singles Somebody Else's Lover, I'll Say Goodbye, Standin' Strong Together, Touch Me There, One Moment Your Mind and Love Me In Slow Motion from the two albums the band made in the 90s. The sound is kinda R&B from that decade, but the songs still are as strong as I remember them from back in those days. Strong vocals from Trijntje and her magnificent background vocalists on top of catchy songs. Good stuff.
She started singing as a solo artist by singing songs in Dutch. There's De Zee which is the 'title' song for the opening of the Amsterdam Arena, the football stadium of Ajax Amsterdam. It was followed by a duet with Marco Borsato called Wereld Zonder Jou, which would have been a great single when she could have sung it with a male vocalist who could actually sing. It still is a decent song, though. Next there is Vlieg Met Me Mee, which is the title songs for the Dutch film Abeltje, about a small boy traveling to New York and Africa in an elevator. Great song, even when Trijntje performs it nowadays. You can forget about the film, though. Very special is Ken Je Mij, which is a song Tjeerd wrote to the lyrics of father Huub Oosterhuis. The lyrics actually are a poem Huub wrote when Trijntje was born. Great song with a very emotional story. Further songs in Dutch are Nu Dat Jij Er Bent, which was recorded in honour of the birth of the Dutch crown princess Amalia van Oranje, and Brief Aan Jou for which Trijntje provided the chorus to this song of the one of the two rappers for the Dutch Opposites. All these songs prove the greatness of Trijntje’s voice as well as the fact that she should continue to record in Dutch as well.
Trijntje released a couple of solo cd’s with her own material, but is well known for her interpretations of other people’s songs as well as her jazz concerts and Blue Note recordings. She recorded cover albums with songs from Stevie Wonder
(For Once In My Life), Michael Jackson
(I Want You Back and Music & Me, the album was recorded as a way to express her grieve to the death of MJ), Billie Holliday
(God Bless The Child) and Burt Bacherach
. The last name is a bit special. Trijntje recorded an album with Bacherach covers together with The Metropole Orchestra, called The Look Of Love. Burt Bacherach heard the recording and was so impressed he wrote a new song for Trijntje, which lead to a second album with the new song Who’ll Speak For Love as the title track. Both albums show perfectly why the songs from Burt are so good and what a fantastic singer Trijntje is. One more shout out: the magnificent The Metropole Orchestra, which is the best orchestra in the world for these kinds of recordings ranging from pop and jazz (both as a full orchestra as well as the big band version) to classical. If you don’t believe me, ask the numerous artists that have recorded with them in the past, including Elvis Costello
, Moke, Ivan Lins and Within Temptation
The compilation contains further duets with Lionel Richie (love the song, but once again should have had a better male vocalist), Frank McComb (nice song, but the weakest song from the big band album Sundays In New York), Raoul Midon (a bit dull) and Herman Brood (should have been left out here, this song does do nothing for me).
To prove Trijntje is nowhere near retirement, the album includes a couple of new songs. Good Day is a nice upbeat song written by Jamie Cullum. Ain’t Who You Are shows some signs of Total Touch and Since We Got Back The Power is the kind of soul ballad Trijntje does best.
So there it is, a great introduction to Trijntje. This album contains some songs that are so so, but since it is a double album it is worth every penny (or euro cent, as we say in The Netherlands). It shows Trijntje as a very versatile singer, with a unique place in the Dutch pop/jazz scene.
Must listen: Good Day, I Say A Little Prayer, Ken Je Mij, Everything Has Changed (Imaani’s Song), One Moment Your Mind and We’ve Only Just Begun.