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Great Song, Pointless Single. - 55%

Perplexed_Sjel, June 13th, 2010

Probably the only single I’ll write for the challenge and I chose this one because this is amongst my favourite songs from The Gathering, a former favourite band of mine for many years. I decided to do this one, ‘Your Learn About It’ also because I felt rather nostalgic and missed listening to Anneke with The Gathering, as opposed to simply tuning into her individual works with her much loved Agua de Annique whose last full-length album was a rather mixed bag and certainly not as good in terms of quality as the debut. This 2003 single was released after, I believe, the full-length it featured on, which was called ‘Souvenirs’ and is amongst the best albums the band had released and was probably during their prime. This single features two separate editions of the ‘You Learn About It’ song, which I’ve always enjoyed, especially for the contribution of the bass.

This addition to their discography features an album mix, which is essentially the one that features on the full-length, as expected, and a radio mix, which is also essentially the same song, but cut in length so that ingrate radio listeners can maintain attention with the slow moving atmosphere of the song. As far as The Gathering’s singles go, they’re usually very disappointing and pretty pointless and, really, this is no exception. Unlike singles such as ‘Monsters’, this doesn’t feature songs that are at all different from the album editions. Yes, okay, the song has been cut down in length, but other than that, the song is exactly the same! Same atmosphere, same vocal contribution and song writing. Nothing has altered and, as a paying customer, I’d be disappointed to receive this if I were a completist of The Gathering. Thankfully, I’m not.

The songs we’re dealing with here are the same, so I’ll talk about them as if they’re one. I’ve seen live performances of this song with one in particular sticking out in my mind. The song is played by the band in a small Dutch talk show studio, I believe and is very personal and comfortable. It reminds me of the live albums The Gathering have. The semi-acoustic one, for example, it feels very personal and as if you’re the only person there listening to them. Anneke looks stunning beautiful and, for the first time in my life, I feel attracted to her despite never being one of those people who completely adores everything about her. She tends to sound quite strong in her performances live and this transcends well to the studio because she sounds great in there, too. This single shows that, but not only this, the song and this single showcase the performance of the integral bassist and what can be done when the bassist influences the music.

I’ve always felt the bass was probably the most important aspect of The Gatherings transition from metal to rock. It’s emotive, atmospheric and commands so well with depth and an edginess that The Gathering have never lost. The vocal performance tends to be focused on a lot because, lets face it, Anneke made The Gathering what they were. Before she came, they were a miss-match of metal and gothic. Now, they’re fantastic atmospheric rock and insanely influential. This song goes to show why. Wonderful bass, light semi-acoustics, great sounding percussion and a lead vocal performance that has a lot of emotion packed into it. Whilst the single feels like a complete waste of time, it still brings a smile to my face because this is a period when the band were simply phenomenal and couldn’t be touched or beaten. A fantastic song, shame its not accompanied by some nifty remixes, or different approaches, but still, great song nevertheless.