Andy White – How Things Are – album review Glasswerk Magazine

Irish singer, songwriter, poet and novelist Andy White makes his home in Melbourne these days. His new album How Things Are is the eleventh studio release in a near 30 year career, and is a very personal collection of songs written after his marriage broke up. With his son Sebastian on drums and Domini Forster as a one-woman string section, White took to the studio to work things through and the result is an intimate album full of feeling.

The album’s theme is clear from the start. Driftin’ is an upbeat song with a dark edge that explores a long career of making music and touring and the resulting effects on family life. The beautiful Separation Street follows, a lovely acoustic song of sheer heartbreak. You Got Me At Hello looks back to the beginning and falling in love before Band Of Gold explores the confusion that results when a long term relationship comes to an end and you try to move on. This opening section of four strong songs sees White use all of his considerable poetic skills and the result is outstanding.

The rest of the album does not perhaps reach the standards of its beginning, being merely good rather than excellent. Two songs stand out: All It Does Is Rain is another delicate acoustic song of heartbreak delivered with real feeling, while Closest Thing to Heaven describes the day that White’s wife told him it was over after nineteen years with clear anguish.
Andy White has covered a great deal of ground in his career and this most personal of albums demonstrates his fine songwriting very well. The best writers create from their own experiences and White has taken his heartbreak as inspiration, as well as hopefully achieving some form of catharsis in the process. How Things Are is an excellent album full of deep feelings and passionate songs.

Gordon Johnston, February 2014