Andy Wade - Black and White World - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Andy Wade - Black and White World

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2016-01-28

Wade’s third solo album opens peacefully with a short, gentle piano solo that reminds me of the mellower selections from Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas or the nostalgic ruminations from George Winston’s seasonal albums (e.g., December) and New Age maestro William Ackerman. ‘Sky Turns Blue’ introduces some bark into the session, particularly during the fuzz-drenched solo that elbows its way into the funky pop tune that features some excellent vocals. ‘Black and White’ also features a yearning vocal over a lonesome piano backing – melodic, swaying, tearful. It’s a good, late night, tears-in-your beers pity party without resorting to maudlin, school-aged, diary scribbles. Another ripsnorting solo breaks the mood, which is otherwise reminiscent of Roger Waters, minus the Speaker’s Corner theatrics.

     Wade changes horses again for the proggy ‘Prowl’, a synth-driven instro that’s not as ominous as its title suggests, but still manages to raise a few hairs, while its alter-ego, ‘Intermission’ builds a funky, dance beat onto a catchy little synth/guitar combo – like something that just escaped from a Giorgio Moroder soundtrack.

     ‘While You Dream’ is another heartbreaker that tugs at the core of any father watching his daughter drifting off to see the sandman or, perhaps, a lover reliving the day’s events while his life blood lies silently beside him, all innocent and helpless in the moonlit bedroom. Wonderfully evocative stuff. As are the forlorn confessionals ‘Two Halfs Make A Whole’ and ‘Lullaby’, that reminded more than a little of Roky Erickson’s soul-baring tales of woe.

     Luckily, it’s not all poor, poor pitiful me wallowing in the dark with a few lagers and a box of razor blades sentimentality, as ‘Slip Slide’ offers another synthy ditty with some tasty guitar licks, and ‘Not That Guy’ delivers a little country-flavoured toe tapper, recalling Nick Lowe during his Brimsley Schwarz days, or even the stuff he’s been churning out recently.

     We round the homestretch with a slide-and-organ-driven bluesy ballad ‘Only One and Only’, which had me digging out Paul K & The Weathermen’s ‘Liar’s Prayer’ just to make sure Wade didn’t re-record it and just change the title. Nope – this is an original tune...but it’s mighty close if you’re a fan of Paul’s material.

     Once again Wade delivers the goods, with a varied album that teeters between upbeat, dancey synth rockers and chillout, downbeat navel gazers that’ll have you examining your own relationships, as you pull on your dancing shoes and get ready for a wild night on the town. I think I prefer the more reflective, personal pieces and, perhaps, the album started out that way and he needed some fillers to flesh it out. The synth pieces feel a little forced in these surroundings. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but maybe they should’ve been saved for the next album? Still, it’s well worth your time, so head on over to Andy’s site and check it out: http://www.andywademusic.com/music

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