Release date: April 20, 2018
Rating: outstanding (4)

Line-up:
Sharon den Adel – vocals

When it comes to music, I seem to have a split personality: One part is drenching herself in the darkest music she can find and never smiles and the other one listens to light, happy music and drinks green smoothies. So it is no surprise that it took some time for me to get used to the idea that Sharon den Adel, the frontwoman of symphonic metal band Within Temptation, otherwise known for her signature angelic voice and her gothic ball gowns, has released an alternative pop album. Seeing Sharon den Adel dressed like a fashion blogger at Coachella on the cover of “My Indigo” rather than wedged in a corset didn’t really convince me of this record, either. But you know what they say: You should never judge a book by its cover, and this is the best example.

If one were to be unfamiliar with the background of this record, it would very easy to assume that it is just one of den Adel’s whims (like that one time she painted a black strip across her forehead for a show 15 years ago or her mostly dreadful choice of clothing on the “Elements” DVD), but it turns out it was crucial for her development. It represents two years of emotional and artistic healing, and that is something that should be respected, no matter the genre of the end product.

Let me give you an impression of how “My Indigo” sounds like. On the surface, it is the perfect mainstream summer soundtrack. It even makes my black and dusty soul dream of hot sand under my feet, salt on my skin and beach parties somewhere at the Mediterranean sea. Just listen to tracks like “Indian Summer” or “Star Crossed Lovers” and you will understand. Truthfully, though, “My Indigo” compiled of surprisingly impressive, pensive work by a world class singer, as shown in songs like “Where Is My Love” or “Safe And Sound”.  A large part of this album is acoustic, and the dance-y moments, as well as some distinct 80s synth pop influences, are actually well-incorporated in the overall sound and enhance the light, yet doleful atmosphere of “My Indigo”. Den Adel sometimes even goes flat out on tracks like “Lesson Learned” and “Black Velvet Sun” – just like we know and love her.

Sharon den Adel poured her heart out on this record, and it is touching in such a different way than Within Temptation’s music has ever been. I once heard someone say that Sharon den Adel can sing anything and sound phenomenal meanwhile, and after listening to My Indigo, I can only agree. If “My Indigo” isn’t proof for den Adel’s restored creativity, I don’t know what is.

Tracks:
01. My Indigo
02. Crash And Burn
03. Out Of The Darkness
04. Indian Summer
05. Black Velvet Sun
06. Where Is My Love
07. Someone Like You
08. Star Crossed Lovers
09. Lesson Learned
10. Safe And Sound

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