Anyone's Daughter - Wrong

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Inside Out
Catalog Number: SPV 085-60982 CD - TF V
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:21:00

Progressive rock band? You'd be hard pressed to think so listening to this release from Germany's Anyone's Daughter. If someone said they were soft rock group with R&B tendencies, then you'd have no trouble believing it. Of course, this is Anyone's Daughter of the new millennium, and they make no claims of being the same as their former selves. And with only two of the original members still in the band, they aren't entirely their former selves anyway. Not that this is wrong, just true. Are you the same as you were 20 years ago?

At various times during this 11 track release I thought of Sade, Billy Ocean, Richard Marx, and Michael Bolton, and that it was sometime in the late 70s, early 80s, especially in "Without You (The Way It Was)," where you will find a hint of Asia in this otherwise syrupy ballad that soars to Gino Vanelli-like heights (think "I Just Wanna Stop"); a soaring guitar solo makes this not just a syrupy ballad, but a syrupy power ballad! (I have to admit, the pop-rock side of me really likes it, but then I liked Vanelli's song, too. So there!)

Sade? Billy Ocean? Yes, I did say that, too. Oh not that vocalist André Carswell sounds feminine, here or anywhere, but that the percussion (Peter Kumpf) at the opening and interspersed throughout "Out Of This World" reminded me at times of Sade's hit "Sweetest Taboo," though the vocal line is different (and sounds like Billy Ocean?at times). If you don't get that reference, just think of a crisp, smooth-jazzy, block-like percussive tattoo? sharp snickers, maybe? (No, not from you; I mean from the sticks on the drums). The song gets heavier that than suggests and includes some deep throbbing bass (Raoul Walton) and some parpy keyboard phrases (Matthias Ulmer) that are this band's only "link" to progressive rock (even if that's of a "neo" persuasion).

There were moments when Genesis (late 80s and on), Echolyn, Man On Fire and Marillion came to mind, as well, the latter in a particularly parpy, Kelly-esque keyboard phrase (see above). A pop-prog version of Echolyn (early period) can be heard in "Miscellaneous," even down to the Weston-like vocals, though with the addition of widdly keyboards. The Man on Fire reference comes in, naturally, because both bands give pop-like accessibility to progressive arrangements (MoF moreso).

There are a lot of different music styles here on Wrong, and most of the references are not to progressive rock artists at all. That doesn't make Wrong wrong or bad, just? don't expect "classic progressive rock." Whatever that means to you. The "progressiveness" of this band is in the arrangements, even as the music seems simple and effortless? once past the first track. "The Wrong" is a dark and moody, lament-like piece about injustices. It goes from dirge like slowness to an explosion of guitars and drums ? coming out the other side as something that reminds me of late period Genesis (a bit). There's lots of energy through the mid-to-latter part, including a parpy, too parpy at times, keyboard solo that almost gives a nod to Emerson, and a reburst of the guitar/drums attack. It's emotive, but? just doesn't do anything for me. It seems? forced, in a way.

The album gets better, but less prog leaning, beginning with track two, the previously mentioned "Miscellaneous." "Happy Go Lucky" is, as you might expect, a happy go lucky-styled song; an upbeat, toe-tapping rocker that seems just a tad too happy for its own good. Well, in the "serious" world of prog at least? this would be the equivalent of giddiness. There are what sounds like a hint of violins in the mix, which, along with the acoustic (or acoustic sounding) guitars adds to the Midwest rock feel this piece has. Not country, but it wouldn't be out of place as the house band at a county fair? There's "Far Away"? if your girlfriend (or boyfriend, I suppose) or mom likes Josh Groban, then she'll like "Far Away," a balladic piano and vocal piece not quite as syrupy as "Without You." I'll admit that, I like it, too, but find it a little too soft and "lovely" (precious?) to be prog. Until? until the 3-minute mark where it gets beefier, more Kansas-like in its "epicness," without losing its direction or momentum. But that's only the last minute ? wish that section lasted longer.

Though you might think you're in store for another piano ballad (a la Billy Joel or Bruce Hornsby) with "Your Time," instead things get heavier (in Anyone's Daughter terms). I don't know if someone else is singing lead here, but the even the vocals are "heavier," darker. Oh, it's still pop-rock-prog, and this reminds me of a lot of the pop-rock of the 80s, despite its Stevie Winwood-inspired keyboard solo. It's catchy and danceable ... just like prog should be? No; besides, as I said above, I don't think AD are trying to be progressive rock.

Perhaps their proggiest moment comes with "Helios Reloaded," at least the first half-minute or so of keyboard wizardry (not to Wakeman, Emerson, et al., heights, however); maybe I should have said "a keyboard fest." After that, it gives way to rocking like Big Country without the bagpipe guitars, which BC had abandoned pretty much after that first album anyway. Other than vocals, keyboards are the lead instrument, bass and drums the main supporting cast here.

My favorite track is "Fade Out," a warm, attractive, mellow, acoustic-based song. It's instrumentally rich, and might be termed progressive folk (which brings to mind Steve Unruh), with a tango-like, Latin-flavored arrangement. It builds slowly, adding elements subtly? I quite like this song and would say it's my favorite. Well, actually I did say that. Twice.

In any other context, on any other site, I'd be telling pop music fans that this album has a little of everything - ballads, rockers - with a bit of an arty flair. And it would probably get 3.5 or 4 out of 5. If you are looking for the Anyone's Daughter that seemed Genesis influenced in their early years (and were looking forward to that model at RoSFest (and appearance since cancelled)), then you will be disappointed again that Anyone's Daughter aren't very progressive. The funny thing is, it's not because the music isn't good. It is, it accomplishes its goal (aside from the first track) and doesn't pretend to be something it's not. So, genre expectations aside, this is still a pretty good release? and also gets 3.5.

The Wrong (7:28) / Miscellaneous (6:12) / Happy Go Lucky (4:27) / Far Away (4:36) / Fade Out (5:30) / Your Time (3:58) / Out Of This World (5:44) / Without You (The Way It Was) (6:05) / Helios Reloaded (4:05) / Out Of This World (Radio Edit) (3:50)

Andr? Carswell - lead vocals
Uwe Karpa - guitars
Peter Kumpf - drums
Matthias Ulmer - keys, background vocals
Raoul Walton - bass

Adonis (1979)
Anyone's Daughter (1980)
Piktors Verwandlungen (1981)
In Blau (1982)
Neue Sterne (1983)
Live (1984)
Last Tracks (1986)
Danger World (2001)
Requested Document Live 1980-1983 (2001)
Wrong (2004)

Genre: Rock

Origin DE

Added: November 18th 2006
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1198
Language: english


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