Bert Heerink, Better Yet, 2009
Singer Bert Heerink first showed up on my radar as the singer of Dutch Hard rock hope Vandenberg. Their third album Alibi still ranks as one of the best albums ever made in our tiny country. After that he switched to commercials (even had a hit with one) and joined Kayak a few years back.
And now it is time for a solo release. With the help of German producer and songwriter Michael Voss no less. And here comes my biggest complaint; despite liking almost all mister Voss puts on the market, in this case I feel he gave Bert Heerink too little room to show his own identity. Everything, from the songs, to the backing vocals, to the sound of the album, sounds like a Voss product. And as this is supposed to be a Bert Heerink solo release, I feel this is falling a little short. And understand me well, this is still a nice album with quality material. But I just think it could have been sung by almost anyone.
And yes, maybe it is because of Heerink himself. I do remember the rumors after the sad demise of Vandenberg that Ad Vandenberg was the one creating everything, including vocal lines. I don’t know, I just wished they would have gone for a more original approach. Some proof of that this is possible can be found in the last 4 to 5 tracks. To sum it up, not essential, but worthwhile if you like Mad Max and sorts, or decent melodic rock in general.
Personal play tips: Restless Heart, Precious, Significance.