About Female Vocalists: Part V – The Dutch Queen of Rock.
Sharon den Adel…The woman with the extraordinary colorful voice and an extremely familiar and friendly face.
Before we get to the point, let’s take a moment here and talk about a country called the Netherlands….
The Netherlands is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth, they have the most amazing flowers ‘the royal Dutch flowers’ and the most famous windmills, and one of the toughest national football teams, and one of the lowest land levels on the planet, hence their name the low-lands or Holland, simply the Netherlands which translates back to ‘lower countries’.
Holland gave us a lot of nice things, the flowers, the mills, the cheese, the mythology of the flying Dutchman, their amazing national football team which holds the nickname “the orange hurricane” or the “orange team” or in Dutch language” oranje” and a rock band called Within Temptation….
Now we can talk about the whole band on another occasion, but we are here to talk about the pillar that holds the whole band together, it’s this amazing creature with this extremely familiar and friendly face called Sharon den Adel…
Now let’s take a look on the name for a moment, now Adel can be also familiar with those who live in the Mideast because it’s a pretty much common name there and the translation is “Just” from justice.
So what makes Sharon so special then? Well, she’s not tall or short she’s of average height, about 170cm, she’s not blond nor a redhead, she’s a brunet and sometimes she dyes her hair brown, her eyes are not blue, green, white or hazel, not any special or rare color, but simply light brown, yet her beauty is unmistakable, her posture, her clothes, her makeup are what makes her special in her own way, but nothing out of the ordinary or overkilling it or anything, she’s a combination of everything simple yet glorious and beautiful. she also writes the songs for the band, which make her the perfect artist, but she don’t compose or play any musical instruments, but what she lacks in this field is compensated in million other ways.
While you look at her face, you’ll immediately get the feeling that you’ve seen her before, even though you didn’t, but she looks familiar somehow, I can’t explain this theory just yet, but this simple yet amazing face can give you up to a million looks, she has this amazing innocent look on her face of a little girl that dreams of a bright future, yet she can also give you a very serious look that can make you feel intimidated and sense a great deal of power coming from her, not to mention her performance on the stage, and that is a whole different story.
Stage performance for Sharon is something pretty seriously taken by her, her moves and gestures and voice tone depends on the song mood, a unique combination only Sharon could understand since she devised her own techniques, aside from her astounding voice, which we are going to discuss next, the “dancing gestures” she use whether in live performance or in music videos can tell you a lot about her, she can deliver a various set of feelings; feelings you might know or experienced, feelings that no one think truly existed, and pretty much describes the general atmosphere of the song, the way she moves her body, her hand gestures, the looks from her eyes will make your head twirls, combine that with the powerful vocals of her voice and you’ll experience something completely different than anything you’ve seen.
The secret weapon lies within this amazing creature is her voice, and oh my god what a voice she has, I just can’t put a label on that just yet, but a song can tell you how versatile and colorful is her voice, link the following descriptions with the facial expressions and try to imagine before you hear or see, am sure you might imagine something legendary if you just let your imagination run wild.
A song called “the heart of everything” you can truly distinct a 3-layered voice in this song only, not to mention that other songs requires other layers and colors, and something is for sure, when it comes to what I like to call classic songs, the smooth tune of music and the down-tempo requires a soft and calm voice, and that’s a kryptonite if you ask me.
Examples are many in this area, take a song called “are you the one?” for example, which she sang alone without her band on the tunes of a something like a banjo or some kind of string instrument, and a light electric guitar near the end of the song, and an escalating down-tempo voice performance at the same layer is something that will make your heart feel for her.
other songs like “the swan song” “pale” “overcome” and “say my name” from pretty much the same album with her band “the silent force” are pretty much of the similar tone used in “are you the one”, but how does all that fall in the category of rock or metal or any tough genre? well, you can’t just limit her abilities to just that, because we haven’t even discussed her operatic performance in what i like to call, symphonic orchestral songs like “Aquarius” , “caged” and “the cross”
But we haven’t talked about the 3-layered voice used in “the heart of everything” which comes from the album that holds the same name:
The song begins with a woman says “for the pain and the sorrow, caused by my mistakes….” with a harsh and thick voice describes something awful she may have done, followed by another woman saying “I’ll face it, cuz it’s the heart of everything” in a broken, yet hopeful voice, that an action will be taken to face the errors of the first woman who spoke, then comes the song’s chorus that says “open up your eyes, save yourself from fading away now……” with voice similar to the second one, but a bit different in tone, and then she repeats the above 3 voices with different tones in the same layer she began the song with, at first when I heard the song I thought it was Sharon den Adel feat. Someone else, but then I discovered the 2 main voices are her!! Then I discovered a third dimension when she repeated the line “I’ll face it, cuz it’s the heart of everything” with a more confident tone this time, different from the first time….
And if you watched her in the latest two albums, in a song like “faster” in the album “the unforgiving” and “dangerous” in the album “Hydra” would tell you that she completely evolved from her first albums styles and adapted a more modern and quicker pace of music while maintaining all her original aspects of simplicity and produced a more serious Sharon, who will stop at nothing to achieve the utmost awesomeness..
One last thing about her voice, her only experience with another music genre outside her band was when she worked with her countryman, a famous DJ called Armin Van Buuren; now that’s a real Dutch name now, isn’t it, the collaboration project was done in over a week “including writing the lyrics” which didn’t contain much words as trance and house songs don’t usually contain a lot of lyrics in it. Nevertheless, she killed it big time, and proven herself as a truly versatile singer that can perform in any genre or color under any condition.
I don’t wanna take a scientific approach when it comes to her voice, because I may ruin your listening experience and by then I may have killed the element of surprise, but all in all, Sharon is a magnificent creature filled with an awesome amount of energy that never depletes and her passion is beyond description, a simple looking yet stunning young woman with a load of feelings and emotions to deliver, and a voice so versatile and colorful that makes you think she has a certain split personality disorder or something, but truth is, she’s an experience worth experiencing.
Sharon den Adel, no words can ever describe the level of awesomeness you bring to this world, if Within Temptation was a kingdom you are their queen, and it this band is your world, you’re the queen of your own world.