Nine-T-Nine – Time And Water

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

AOR has its home in North America. This refers to keyboard-heavy, written-out rock music with professional vocal and sophisticated production. Flagships of this music are bands like Boston, Bon Jovi, Foreigner or REO Speedwagon. This list could be extended arbitrarily. But AOR is also popular in northern Germany. That’s how Nine-T-Nine from Hamburg committed themselves to this music. The band was founded in 1999. From the founding year, the band name was derived. Since then, many live performances have given them an ever-growing fan base. I saw Nine-T-Nine live in 2016. So far only one album has been released. Ten years after the band was founded, “Keep The Flame Alive” was released. Now a decade has passed again. In September, the successor “Time And Water” will be released. During the recording, the band was plagued by staffing worries. On drums and keyboards, former members helped out.

And where AOR is on it is of course also AOR in it. And Nine-T-Nine master perfect that, as you can convince yourself in “Long Way”. The vocal duo Corina Elvers / Sharky harmonizes perfectly. Unfortunately, the songstress is often heard only in the background. Gorgeous guitar hooks and rhythmic drumming provide the right sound for the two vocals. In the background discreet and song-like keyboard sounds can be heard. And the skillfully played guitar solos are obviously not missing. With “Give It Up (Heart Over Mind)”, the keyboard instruments then come more into the foreground. Piano and strings introduce this great mid-tempo anthem. I do not quite understand the meaning of “Prelude C. P. F. L.”. A prelude is an instrumental work with an opening or leading character. But if this introduction is almost a minute longer than the song it is supposed to initiate (“Can not Pay For Love”), the dramatic arc that has built up so far is gone. As a ballad, I would not classify the Prelude either. These will come later. “Can not pay for love” itself is again classic AOR-smasher.

“Home Alone” is one of the ballads already mentioned. Beautiful change of voice between Corina and Sharky. Here the chanteuse can briefly show that she a golden voice she has. The musical accompaniment is provided by epic strings and a short but great guitar solo. In “My Way” initially dominate the acoustic guitar before powerful electric guitars starts. And with “Take Me Away” it gets really rocking again. For this, the Hamburgers have also produced a video. With “The Crossing” follows another instrumental interlude. Here, the band has done better than before. The transition to the longest song of the album “Through The Storm (Shoreline II)” I find quite well. And this does its name proud. Stormy guitar riffs accompany the singer. The quiet middle section with guitar solo is then probably the eye of the storm. And the back of the storm is characterized by an interplay between keyboard and guitar. For me, this song is the absolute highlight of the album. Then let Nine-T-Nine with “Midnight” really crack. With “Just When I Met You” the second (power) ballad follows as another highlight. With the straight rocking “Heat Of The Night” as well as the 2019 version of the ten year old “Light My Life” (CD “Keep The Flame Alive”) the album ends.

On the album cover you can read “Contra omnes obstantia”, which means “Against all obstacles”. And against all the obstacles Nine-T-Nine has produced a timelessly beautiful AOR album. I wrote it recently in another review, this sound filled big stadiums twenty or thirty years ago. But it is still a beautiful reminder of the music of my youth. That’s more than seventy minutes of fun and pure joy.

NINE-T-NINE – Take Me Away:


  1. N. – Drums / aktuell: Markus Kuhn
    Carsten Schulz – Bass
    N. N. – Keyboards
    Oliver ‘Turner’ Sztukowski – Guitars, Vocals
    Stefan Theil – Lead Guitar
    Corina Elvers – Vocals
    Sharky – Lead Vocals

Label: High Roller Records

Out: September 13th 2019

Playing time: 32:57

Track list:

  • Long Way
  • Give It Up (Heart Over Mind)
  • Deep From The Heart
  • Prelude C. P. F. L.
  • Can’t Pay For Love
  • Home Alone
  • My Way
  • Take Me Away
  • The Crossing
  • Through The Storm (Shoreline II)
  • Midnight
  • Just When I Met You
  • Stronger
  • Heat Of The Night
  • Light My Life (2019)

Rating : 8.5/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber




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