Just as that good-humored season Summer fades away to reveal its more pensive, introspective cousin Autumn, Bom Bom Bom and friends dwindle to reveal Andy Burrows‘ new album, Company. The transformation of Andy Burrows from Razorlight drummer to solo artist has been a delight to listen to, with stopping off points with We Are Scientists, a christmas album, Funny Looking Angels, and his band I Am Arrows – who produced one of the festival anthems of 2010 in ‘Green Grass’. Burrows says that his first solo album, Company, is the first album he’s made “exactly how I felt musically and lyrically”. So, any good?
Company is a mix of wild country stomp and spiraling, dreamy melodies, a bluesman with a not-so-secret love for folk. This of course gives a nice bit of variety to the album; with jazz breaks and swelling orchestras making friends with Burrows’ no-nonsense guitar. And Burrows can sing! His delicate voice paints scenes of Burrows as a passenger on his road of melancholy: “There were no stars in the sky/And I never asked why/ It was better never knowing”. So not quite the levels of over-eager, insistent enthusiasm we might have expected from One Direction, but, thankfully, I didn’t have to review anything boy band related. Instead I got soul, tenderness and a nice helping of sincerity.
The main single, ‘Because I Know That I Can’, a treatise on hesitation delivered to a foot-tapping, banjo-twitching, barn dance hoedown is certainly a highlight as is ‘Keep On Moving On’, a rocksteady, determined number with an outrageous guitar solo by Keith Murray of We Are Scientists. ‘Hometown’, a more reflective and delicate piece, shows Burrows at anthem mentality, building up from basics to a swelling, heartfelt ballad.
All in all, an accomplished first album, evidently crafted in the way Burrows wanted. Though it may not get a huge reception, this is a huge building block that should remove him from people’s minds as ‘that Razorlight drummer’ to the gifted craftsman he has become. Having said that, one thing to remember is that the album is more than a sum of its parts in that, while the songs are of good quality, there is no one tune that will resonate around my head for years to come. This is an album to be listened to in its entirety, and that is no bad thing.
Things to do while listening to Company: read James Joyce, think of past lovers, eat some crisps. Things not to do while listening to Company: clubbing, exercise, call your Mum (that would be rude).