Andy White – How Things Are – album review

I have a great deal of time for Andy White. He writes a damn fine song, chock full of melodies, and he has a fine voice to go with his excellent playing.
I’m always excited to see something new from the man but I must admit that the subject matter here gave me some jitters – he has just suffered a marriage breakup and felt the need to write about it. However, he managed to avoid the obvious agonized melancholy and the result is pretty damn listenable.

“Writing these songs was my way of coping. All of the songs are intense, but it’s not all a sad story. Love at first sight? Yes, that Romeo and Juliet moment does exist. I know how lucky I am that it happened. Even just once is amazing” – the story of the album in his own words.

It is definitely different from his previous albums opening with a real rocker on ‘Driftin’ and then on to sweet and lonely ‘Separation Street’ with a delightful string section – this is not stock stuff! This all works; the jaunty and Beatlesque ‘You got me at hello’ or the moody and dark ‘Jessica Says’ or ‘Shakespeare Take My Hand’ which is simply a paen to the great man and wondrous stuff too.

It could easily have been a weak and pissy little ‘boo hoo hoo’ album but he is better than that and the album bears regular listens to draw out all of its joys.

Final word to Mr White: “How Things Are is a celebration of, as well as a valediction to, a time that’s gone. More ‘Street Scenes From My Heart’. As well as the end of something, this is a first chapter”

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Andy Snipper, February 2014