Vanilla Ninja can be considered reformed. Until now the girls made their living as the most popular Estonian girl band. The most important thing is that Lenna (vocals, guitar), Piret (vocals, guitar) and Katrin (keyboards) are a trio. A trio, which rose and with a new record label began another path. Creative work showed great result on the “Love is War” album. For half a year Vanilla Ninja worked on this CD. They wrote almost all of the lyrics on the album! The girls together with important people in the music world created an unbeatable team. New instruments, new songs and new experiences only strengthened the group.
“Dangerzone” single can be a warning sign, which shows the listeners to be ready for a rock experiences. “Love Is War” is the appropriate title for the album. It shows their love to the rock’n’roll lifestyle, which is not only about the stage, but also about music charts, which are considered as a battle field in the music business. “All this album is a huge move, as our future performances to promote the album will be” said Lenna. Piret: “During last year we really fought for our existence as well as this album. Our addiction to music, without which we couldn’t live, gave us the power to fight. For this love, we still fight”
New songs? The powerful “Dangerzone” and “Kingdom Burning Down” are cruel references to their past career. Murky “Black Symphony” will thrill many listeners. “Black Symphony” was, according to Lenna’s words, difficult to write. “Some songs you can write in two hours, others take three days” Piret adds. “In the lyrics, there has to be a good idea and thus no need for help from more than one person. It must not be too crowded when writing”. Vanilla Ninja don’t have simple metaphors in their songs, but they have deeper meanings and interpretations. For example, when listening to “Rockstarz” we can tell that this song is simple and written quickly. But that’s not right! This track is about forgetting the problems and relaxing. Ironic meaning of this song is about an opinion of people, who don’t know girls personally, but tell lies about them. “The Band That Never Existed” has similar music structure. “It’s probably the song which lyrics were written the longest. We were trying a lot, because it was supposed to explain our reflection about new good bands, which there are a lot of them, but unfortunately human jealousy can’t allow them to exist and the neighbours even make things worse” said Lenna.
“Every song is dedicated to someone. They come from the deep of our hearts and that’s influenced by our private and business lives. The songs have a special meaning. I direct this to special people but I don’t want to talk about this. Every song has an important meaning for us” – said Lenna.
“The album matches our ideas exactly. Everything comes from us and that’s why it’s better to perform the new songs as they are ours. It’s completely different if somebody writes a song for us and we have to interpret it somehow. But now we can sing our own songs which are much more sentimental. It’s also much easier to understand the meaning of the song. If I wrote the lyrics by myself I know what I’m singing about” said Lenna.
On “Love Is War” album there are also references to pop-culture icons, from Pat Benatar to Madonna, but even though Vanilla Ninja didn’t compose any song in pop style! The style of these icons was shown in some ballads like “Spirit Of The Dawn”. “Pray” has wonderful sound, something between the typical ballad played on the piano and soft woman’s guitar. Also, the one song which finishes the album, “Silence” seems to be like that too because of the orchestral arrangements and a great, strong voice. “Love Is War” – a professional album, showing the real love to music was released in May, 2006.
Released: 13.05.2006, 19.05.2006, 26.06.2006
Notes: Japanese version has 2 extra tracks: “My Name” and “Love Is Just a War”
MP3 Samples and lyrics: here
Professional reviews: Melodic.net | MetalMaidens | Stylus Magazine
Our review of “Love is War” (by Johannes)
Kingdom burning down (3min 59sec)
The opening for the new album starts very calm with some echo effects. Then it gets more power until the chorus begins. The change between calm and powerful is the significant aspect of the song. The last verse is very calm like a ballad but the ending is forceful again.
Dangerzone (Long Version) (3min 17sec)
The synthesizer effects are great in this song, and is very fast with a conspicuous melody. The last verse is a bit quieter but still powerful. Striking in the long version of the song is the guitar solo in the end.
The band that never existed (3min 15sec)
This has a gentle atmosphere and melody. The second verse is a bit faster than the first one. In the end the enhanced guitar tabs are remarkable.
Rockstarz (3min 25sec)
Distinctive for this song is the 80’s style with the high pitch of voice and a hilarious chorus. In the last third of the song it goes over to a ballad part which introduces the ending with an intensified use of guitars.
Shadows on the moon (3min 03sec)
The verses of this song are very slow but the chorus is the opposite of it and is powerful. The outro of the song is determined by violins.
Black symphony (3min 46sec)
The song has a very dark touch. The verses convey a feeling of coldness. The chorus is also dark but filled with more emotions and forceful beats. The last verse introduces the ending with more powerful drums. The ending is full of atmosphere with very dark sounds.
Pray (4min 34sec)
The song is a ballad and starts with the sound of falling raindrops. The verses are accompanied with beautiful piano sounds and violins. The chorus is full of emotions and maintains the style of the verses with a bit more power. From the middle of the song until the last third the sound is strong guitars. The song ends as it began with the sound of falling raindrops and the piano.
Battlefield (3min 07sec)
This song starts neither powerful nor quiet. During the chorus it’s more powerful. The last part is quieter but then goes over to the chorus which is this time like a canon with an abrupt ending.
Spirit of the dawn (3min 52sec)
The beginning of this song is very interesting. It’s a whisper which introduces a great acoustic guitar. The mood of this song is soft. The chorus is almost like the verses with the acoustic guitar. In the second verse the drums are flowing in so the song gets more power which is also audible in the following chorus. The last verse is the most forceful part of the song and this level is almost kept until the end, which is very calm again.
Insane in vain (3min 17sec)
In this song the verses are quite short but have a very strong bridge and a fast chorus. The last verse is a bit longer and calmer but leads over to a bridge with remarkable guitar sounds and the chorus. The ending is filled with dark guitar sounds and very high pitched screams.
Bad girls (3min 11sec)
The start of this song is kept in a radio style. The melody is accompanied with the sound of clapping hands in the chorus. The ending in this song is also abrupt.
Silence (4min 31sec)
The ending of the album is a very strong, beautiful and sad ballad. The introducing melody is played by violins. The verses are accompanied by the piano. In the chorus there are violins and guitars. To the start of the chorus the song gets more power. After the last time the chorus is played you can here the melody played in a more powerful way. After that the song ends very calm.
All in all, the new album shows a wide spectrum of music. It has powerful and fast songs as well as ballads. Except from dark tones there is also pop rock in the typical style of Vanilla Ninja on the album. You can feel that the band has changed in some ways but still cleaves its previous style.