AN PIERLE "Mud Stories" (1999, Warner Benelux - WEA - 3984 29796 2)
Songs (click on the -icons
for a small audio-sample) 1.
3. Mud Stories
6. Sad Lover
7. Siamese Twins
10. God in a cage
11. Mad Dog Watch
12. Pleasant Times
- An Pierlé : vocals, piano
All music & lyrics by An Pierlé (except 12 : lyrics An Pierlé & Julee Cruise)
Recorded at Victoria, Gent and The Castle, Moortsele
Produced by Karel de Bakker & Jo Bogaert
Artwork : An Pierlé & Mathilde Geens
"To bring you my love" by PJ Harvey, "The Silos" by The
Silos, "Live, Alone in America" by Graham Parker, "Engelberg"
by Stephane Eicher, "From here to Eternity" by Nick Cave, "OK Computer"
by Radiohead, "Mud Stories" by An Pierlé. Musically speaking,
these albums are about as far apart as two nuclear plants in the ideal landscape
of a greenpeace-activist, but the thing these albums all have in common is that
they have found a way to my highly personal shelve with "masterpieces".
They all have found a shortcut to the place where my cold shivers of musical enjoyment
An Pierlé did it with a headstart
: a year or three ago she rolled into my life with her well-known Tubeway Army-cover,
with a voice that could hardly be heard past the third row and then suddenly was
so loud you couldn't make your "wow!" heard by the people surrounding
you, with an attitude towards her piano equal to that of a bull-fighter in a corrida,
and with a smile so tiny, but so sweet that my (buy not only my) heart melted
there and then.
Over the years, that soft spot had hardened somewhat (album kept on being postponed,
a bad gig at Marktrock, a fast but devasting review when the album finally was
released ...), but that was only until the day "Mud Stories" finally
landed in my cd-player. And now I am a man in love, and I want to tell everybody
who wants to hear it : An Pierlé has made the most beautiful, most touching
and simply the best cd that I've heard all year.
Perfection is not of this world, and also not in this case : for me "Fish"
(not really a song), "Nebraska" and "Mad Dog Watch" (too much)
weren't really necessary. But all the rest is dazzling, simple, honest, sweet,
theatrical, raw, furious, horny and wild.
With a first listening, each song does have a passage that makes you go "hmm,
I wonder where this is going", but after a few times this seems to be there
with a purpose : first she builds up a delicate tower of cards, then she starts
banging on the table, and then lets you look triumphantly at the parts that are
still standing. This angel has an axe instead of a bow-and-arrow to get to your
Let the rest of Belgium fall in love with Mathilde, my choice is made : "Leve
An Pierlé!! Vive An Pierlé !!".
And your opinion?
Did I get it all wrong, or was I spot-on ? Do you want to share your opinion about
this cd ? Send it in, and I'll put it up here !
This Album in the Press
- Dirk Steenhaut in Metro, De Morgen, 6 okober 1999 : "Mud Stories
is just as sober as it is mature, with emphasis on nothing but her voice and percussive
piano-playing. So nothing impedes the songs of speaking for themselves. They sound
at times hectic, energetic and wild, and at times meditative and subdued. A colourful
fairy tale with a dark edge.".
- KPW in Stage, november '99 : "We have had to wait much too long
for this debut of An Pierlé. ... Wij have been under her spell for a long
time, and her repertoire is well-known to us ... but since then, there hasn't
been much of change, and we would've liked to see an evolution ... Live it all
fits her like a glove (dancing on a tight atmospheric rope), but on cd we wanted
more than what's on it. Naked is fine, but a little dres here and there could've
been even better".
- MVS in Humo, 19 oktober '99 : "Mud Stories didn't exactly caught
our attention in the most compelling way. Although it certainly tries to put it's
tiny claws in your memory and soul. Maybe she even tries too hard. She shrieks
and snorts and scratches and jumps onto the wallpaper like a cat with a badly
digested mouse on it's stomach. ... This is the kind of artist we usually run
away from as hard as we can."
- jl in Rif-Raf, november '99 : "One moment held-back and nice
like a kitten, and the other moment restless and scratching like a cat. This playing
with emotions and melodies that leave a lasting impression, makes Mud Stories
an intriguing album. Especially Siamese Twins, Tower
and Pleasant Times
carressed (jl)s ears. And that's something Tori Amos has never been able to."
- Tim Coene in Teek, november 1999 : "The constant changes in tempo
could possibly get to the nerves of listeners who are unfamiliar with this material,
but will be cherished all life long by the more adventurous types because of the
passion that speaks from the songs. Nice debut."
The lowest price is in yellow, the highest in red. This price comparison doesn't
take things into account like deduction of shipping expenses when ordering more
than 1 cd, bonus points, differences in guarantees ... Shipping prices are those
for customers in Belgium.
Have you seen this record elsewhere on the net, do you own an online-CD-shop
with Belgian products in it, or if there's something wrong with my calculations
: let me know.
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