Ad Vanderveen burns brightly on Candle To You
The things Ad Vanderveen does with the guitar—predominantly acoustic, but not always—on his new album Candle To You simply aren’t to be duplicated, or even attempted, without extreme caution. Granted, on this outing he’s certainly brought a cast of characters including the likes of Pete Fisher on bass and percussion, Simon Moore on keyboards, Neil James Morrison on violin and viola (more on that later), and Jan Erik Hoeve on the pedal steel.
But the guitars on this piece are out of this world and, as the aforementioned roster indicates, perhaps not always attributed to Vanderveen, who’s on lead vocals on each of these 10 tracks.
But back to those guitars. Sometimes, someone—and it very well could be Mr. Vanderveen—has the nerve to make them cry, as in mournfully sob, on cuts like “Miss That World”. The pitch bends so much it could easily be a keyboard, but the sound is so pure and string-like in its orientation one would think it were some sort of guitar. Whoever, however, that sound is produced please, do more of it.
Other times there’s nothing equivocal about the guitars coming from Vanderveen which, on what’s arguably the most convincing tune, “Over Time”, bears not a little resemblance to Makaveli’s “Me and My Girlfriend”. Anyone with any questions about the latter or doubts as to its likeness to “Over Time” should (quickly) enrich their lives by listening to this ditty but, bear in mind, it’s not for those who are faint of heart.
Nonetheless, Vanderveen’s got the same energetic acoustic guitar strumming, the sinister feel to the strings (which were absolutely masterminded by Morris), and encapsulates one of the more upbeat tempos on this album just like the classic tune from 2Pac. The song—Vanderveen’s, that is—is almost out of place on this collection because of the dangerous feel to it and the cogency—if not outright exigency—of this music.
Still, for most of this LP Vanderveen simply contents himself with majestic acoustic guitar sounds, so perspicuous in their tracking and manifestation they’re a delight to hear without any vocals whatsoever—although vocals certainly enrich them. “Do What You Love”, “Following the Wind”, almost the duration of the other songs on this project fit into this vein, proving just what a wondrous virtuoso of this instrument can do.
By Duece, Breaking and Entering, US