Sunday 19 August 2012

Andy B - Love Songs In A Different Key

Album review by KevW

If Exeter singer-songwriter Andy B had any serious aspirations for stardom he'd maybe have chosen a more Google-friendly title with which to embark upon his musical career (we gave up after the first five pages) but the humble name is the perfect partner to the humble indiepop that constitutes 'Love Songs In A Different Key', the third in a trilogy of albums that began last year. These simple tunes are wilfully ramshackle and human, and it these attributes that makes this such an endearing record. Using guitar as a base, they're lightly ordained with piano, occasional strings (we're hardly talking Arcade Fire or Spiritualized here) and equally charming and off-kilter accompanying vocals.

This is indie as it was thirty years ago, music made with the tools available, not recorded in plush studios with all mod cons and a blank cheque. Lyrically it's very sweet (but not twee) and the structures are fairly basic with the routine rhymes in the lyrics (gone, wrong, hang on, so long - face, race, space, pace) only serving to add to the charm. Erstwhile indie producer Andy Fonda is at the helm and deserves a pat on the back for realising that these delightfully fragile songs are best not tampered with too much. 'Love Songs In A Different Key' has an almost live feel that gives an warming intimacy; it's not shiny and note perfect and the backing vocals on 'Not Fooling Anyone' and 'Life's A Disease' are better for being unrefined.

Songs like 'I'm So Glad I Found You' and 'Lost For Words' are what DIY indiepop was made for and the real strengths of this album lie in it's honest simplicity. Andy B won't become as much of a recognised name as Katy B and is unlikely to need to reinforce the mantelpiece for Brits and Mercurys as this album is largely unremarkable. What it is though, is genuine, charming and, in it's own little way, quite adorable. Above all it's reassuring that artists like Andy B exist and are content to make music that's theirs and is stamped with their own personality. On an album full of love songs, this fact reminds you that it's not just looks that count, what's inside is equally as important.

Andy B's website

Buy the album

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