STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 159538-23612 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD EP ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Having been bowled over by 'Heart', the first of Andrew's four EP series, I almost approached this, his second release, with a certain trepidation. Surely the Nashville-based songsmith couldn't maintain the same level of dazzling songwriting craft shown on 'Heart' while reading a review of 'Soul' where the journalist asserted "there is a strong Bonnie Raitt vibe to the music on 'Soul'" hardly encouraged me as I've always found Raitt's work to be rather derivative and unconvincing. But I need not have worried. In fact the smouldering soul blues "Set Me Free" has even made it to the heady heights of the Cross Rhythms chart. The band accompanying Andrew on the track, with Hammond and electric piano by Ben Shive, is spot on. The standout song for me is "Leave It While I Love It". In husky tones the songsmith skilfully tells the tale of his decision to leave years of on-the-road gigging so he can spend more time with his wife and family (Andrew is now working in A&R with EMI Christian Music Group). There are plenty of deft musical touches throughout the six songs. I loved the jazzy ambient soul feel of "Soul On Fire" with some wonderful BVs from Stacy Lantz while the dreamy "The Bird Who Was Friday (A Visit, A Vision)" even won me over despite my usual aversion to stream-of-consciousness lyrics. With this reviewer long having held the view that GK Chesterton is Christendom's greatest writer, how could I resist a Chesterton-referencing title?
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