16 Aug 10
Before contemplating listening to Andy Burrow’s, sort of, second solo album, I have to warn you, it’s certainly not the [stereotypically] ”coolest” thing you will hear this year. I say (type?) that with no negativity intended, the LP is much better for it, there’s no jackhammered ”synthesizers = change” agenda, no ”recorded on a tape recorder = credibility” production, and certainly not a trace of chillwave, witch-house, or any other frentic fad chasing sub-sub genre’s. What it is, to me anyway, is the sort of record you might find before everyone became attentive blogoshpere dwellers, rabidly trying to find the next ”Kurt and Courtney” (Wavves and Best Coast apparently..), i.e playfully un-restricted.
Across its 14 tracks, Burrow’s freedom from the confines of former stadium bothering outfit Razorlight, is easily traced as well. The decidedly ELO aping ”Nice Try” glows with enthusiastic optimism, fusing classic Macca piano, with stop start bass and harmonised vocals, culminating in something that potentially should be cheesey mid day Radio 2 fodder, but comes off infinitely too joyful, charming and sincere for that.
”Green Grass” finds itself in a much more jaunty frame of mind, making full use of the abundance of guitars/riffage, groovy bass, and jittering synths, conveying Burrow’s sense of home sickness (”why why why, wont anybody fly this plane home?”) and yearning whilst still maintaining his almost trademark, sunshine poppiness.
Almost being the word to focus on there, as tracks such as ”Bruises” show a much more battered and…well bruised (sorry) Burrows. It’s almost theatrical delivery is Sebastien Tellier esque, particularly when the tracks heartbroken piano, melds with the skittering drums and Andy’s soft yet strong, knowing yet weary vocals.
Similarly ”You’ve Found Love” is an (almost overbearingly) soppy track, that somehow mixes elements of The Beatles, Queen and ELO, whilst managing to sidestep parody or pastiche.
14 tracks may seem a bit much for one sitting, especially taking into account the similarity in instrumentation and tempo tying the songs together, but it never detracts from the charm, and pick-up-and-playability of Sun Comes Up Again. Astonishing the former drummer of RAZORLIGHT could produce such an accomplished body of work. Whodathunk it?
7.5 and a bit/10