Even though the name sounds quite German at first sight, this review of Modern Age, the new album by Vanessa Peters, is by a Texas artist. The album, however, has been recorded in Italy, as Peters was in Europe, ready to tour, just when the pandemic cancelled her planning. Modern Age will be released on 23rd April 2021.
Vanessa Peters – About The Artist
Vanessa Peters is an independent singer-songwriter, who is doing an Americana sound somewhere between folk, rock and pop music. She was born on 16th September 1980 and grew up in Dallas, Texas. She was originally aiming to become a novelist, but started to write songs when she moved to the Tuscany region in 2003. The result was Sparkler, her debut album. At this time, she also toured with a band called Ice Cream on Mondays, with whom she overall released three albums. On her solo career side, thre are six albums and two EPs so far. Her recent release before Modern Age was the 2018 album Foxhole Prayers.
Vanessa Peters – Modern Age – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 40 minutes.
1. Modern Age
The eleven stage 2021 trip through the world of Vanessa’s music starts with the title track of the album. Modern Age is a really nice melodic rock track. A catchy main riff and the vocal performance of the Texas lady drive this song – they are indeed doing a good job in here.
2. Make Up My Mind
The gentle and warm voice of the singer-songwriter just makes you listen to the album – the second song Make Up My Mind does not make a difference. This song is a bit of softer than the opener (which I feel is a nice fit). The song feels very deep and touching – really good song with a classic touch:
‘Cause most of us are as happy as we wanna be
Oh what a curse, that I can never decide
‘Cause I’ve considered every possibility
Now if I could just make up my mind.
Folk? Indie? The beginning of Crazymaker gives a much stronger flavor of these two elements of the music of Vanessa Peters. The song is very melodic, the short main theme riffs in the first two songs are replaced by very melodic guitar sections in here.
4. Valley of Ashes
Watching headlights coming round the bend
And I’m waiting for you to come around again
And now come back
To the valley of ashes
Valley of Ashes comes with a nice hook, which almost spreads a spirit of blues music to the song. On the other hand, this fourth one is very rhythmic (the press kit states the drums are inspired by AC/DC…) and allows quite some presence to the instruments. Nice one.
5. Hood Ornament
Hood Ornament is one of my favorites of the album. It is a rock song with a pop-ish touch. The guitar licks are pushing steadily and support Rip Rowan, who is doing the rhythm.
6. The Band Played On
So what else are we gonna do?
We can’t give up just ’cause the bastards won
I’m going down with the ship and they’ll say
The band played on, the band played on
The band played on and the band played on
The next song on the album is another lovely listen. The powerful voice of Peters just makes you listen to the songs carefully, while the melodic part reminds me of 1980’s pop ballads.
7. Never Really Gone
This part of the album comes with songs, which I – individually – love to listen to individually. But I have to admit, listening to Never Really Gone, I hope for that one of the next songs is more different. This middle part of the album features very good, but also very similar songs. Let’s see.
8. The Weight of This
The Weight of This starts promising in regards of the hope to have another kind of song. Finally, the song stays in line with the initial expectation after the first verse. This song feels more genuine, but also a bit darker. The guitars are back in supporting the rhythm and thus feel to ensure that the story never ends. Thanks.
Yes is an angry track about how Vanessa feels she is perceived by the public. The song feels like the wish to break out. The song has a strong touch of indie / alternative rock. Even the sound of the track heads to an angry direction.
10. The Try
But I don’t know how everyone else carries on
Well I don’t know what they have figured out
And maybe it’s not that hot, and we’re not about to die
And we could save ourselves if we’d gather up the try
Powerful drumming, a vocal performance with a straight message and smashing guitar riffs in the chorus – The Try is not that angry as its predecessor, but it’s got energy for sure. One of the best vocal performances of the album to me.
11. Still Got Time
What’s better than finishing the album with a song which stays in your head after listening? Vanessa Peters found the right option for this grand finale. Still Got Time has a bunch of elements you listened to in the ten songs before – and especially the chorus has quite some potential to be sung on by the listener for some minutes.
Vanessa Peters – Modern Age – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Vanessa Peters – Modern Age – My View
Modern Age left no doubt while listening – from the very first chords, I really enjoyed listening to Vanessa Peters. The album could have more variety, but the Dallas lady does a very good and relatable job. The slightly monotonous middle part prevents a smashing rating – but this album is definitely a recommendation for rock music lovers, who love powerful female voices and a touch of folk.
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