I Am Arrows - Sun Comes Up Again

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2010-08-16

Having been painted as the real talent in Razorlight (one look at the ridiculous Johnny Borrell and it's not hard to see how that happened), drummer and songwriter Andy Burrows follows up his charity album Colour of My Dreams with this debut proper. So does Sun Comes Up Again back up the hype some have been throwing his ways? Well, yes, it does. The album swiftly reveals itself to be an absorbingly well-constructed, breezy pop gem. There're traditional pop smarts aplenty on the likes of opening track 'Nun', second song 'Green Grass' and the loping 'Park Slopey', but there're also flashes of influences from more leftfield names such as Beck and Belle & Sebastian.

Overall, however, this an album full of big pop moments, dressed up in a way that's palatable to the fanbase Burrows has already built up. 'Nice Try's skipping piano is shamelessly indebted to Paul McCartney, and as such would not be out of place on an album by Mika, The Feeling or (gulp) Take That. But is that really such a bad thing when the music is as well constructed as it is on songs like 'No Wonder' or the galloping 'Another Picture of You'?

Ultimately, how much you like Sun Comes Up Again will depend on how much you like the seam of classic pop Burrows mines throughout. Once you get passed his consummate songwriting skill, there's not much here to really surprise. The more eclectic influences start to sound a little like window dressing, and occasionally Burrows serves up something like 'So Long Ago', whose twee chamber pop is simply irritating. The spaghetti western folk of 'Battle for Hearts & Minds', meanwhile, is a dull and laboured attempt to bring a little more depth to proceedings.

Still, it feels a little churlish to have a go at Burrow for accomplishing what he clearly set out to achieve - crafting a record with a classic pop sound, which Sun Comes Up Again undoubtedly has even if it itself isn't a classic. If his solo career fails to take off, which on the evidence of this album would be very surprising, then Burrows can certainly look forward to a career as a songwriter for X Factor alumni. Meanwhile, you only really need to know this: Sun Comes Up Again comprehensively pisses all over Razorlight's woeful Slipway Fires.

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