Andy White – How Things Are – album review Folk Words

‘How Things Are’ from singer-songwriter Andy White – telling tales of truth

So you devote an entire album to answer the question ‘How are things?’ There’s a thousand ways that could go wrong. Not this one. ‘How Things Are’ from singer-songwriter Andy White mixes folk, pop and rock with powerful lyrics to forge an album that despite opening personal anguish and suffering to wider inspection makes a statement anyone can share. Clearly a personal catharsis, Observations and Comment this album tells its tales with truth and never once wallows in self-pity, it simply expounds feelings many wish they could articulate in an equally lucid way.

The ireful opening testimonial rock-drive of ‘Driftin’’ slips easily into the simpler stripped-back, resigned and sombre narrative of ‘Separation Street’. The journey reflects, looking back through the melodic hook and pop-ballad feel of ‘You Got Me at Hello’ and delves deep through ‘Band of Gold’ into a past with a less than rose-tinted view. These are
songs written by a man willing to share a level of intimacy and hurt. There are no raging rants nor self-obsessed sorrow, there’s only words and music that offer much.

A testament to ‘not seeing it coming’, ‘All it Does is Rain’ sounds its warning through warm guitar and soft strings. The lyrics take on a tougher tone with the painful passages of ‘Closest Thing to Heaven’ – bare and unadorned, and the final rejection within ‘Picture of You’ – intense yes, but that only makes the message clearer.

Any familiarity with its themes could make ‘How Things Are’ a hard listen. A stronghold of sincerity or a palace of pain, whatever it’s a damn fine album.

Charlie Elland, February 2014