Sometimes, when we review music, we have to strain to find the good in a song. Not maybe because it is necessarily 'bad', maybe it is something in the production, maybe it is something that is just not your jam, but whatever it is, you want to get the review off your desk and get back to your series link on Netflix.
Today was not that day. Today we are looking at the new single by Andrew Patterson, 'Alright this time'. Recorded at Hillhouse Studios with the immutable Phil d'Alton (Master & Dog), who has worked with Joshua Burnside and Ryan McMullan. And from the outset this song just oozes quality. It begins and persists with a light and spacious tone and timbre that is instantly engaging. This is a fine piece of story telling with a pop sensibility. The piano and rhythm guitar weave delicately so as to never intrude on one another, with the rhythm section rooting the song and allowing Andrews lyrics and voice to sit on top. The backing vocals are used sparingly but to great effect to accentuate the song further.
Prog rock this is not though. The musicality on the track is very familiar, it is not a song of experimentation. It brought to mind Mrs Potter's lullaby by Counting Crows (no bad thing) but with a slightly more delicate delivery than Adam Duritz delivered in the same. The music is competent and serves its purpose, which is to give space and a stage for the message Andrew is trying to convey to the fore.
Andrew himself has described his song-writing endeavours as an opportunity to fill people with a sense of hope and this song should be viewed as a rallying call. Well on the basis of this, viva la revolution! There are flavours of many great songwriters within this track which ebbs and flows and swells in equal measure to draw the listener into the carefully crafted lyrics and yes, a real sense of hope of the world as a general. Arguably this is a very aptly timed single if one were inclined to turn the TV on these days.
There are hints of Glen Hansard and Foy Vance in there but also of Joshua Radin. Phil's work engineering this are evident as the influence of the structure and composure of Master & Dog comes through in abundance as well. This is no copycat work however, and deserves the merit to stand up by itself and be enjoyed widely. So go and stream this song, like this page and go and see Andrew play this live, on the strength of this you will not be disappointed.
Click the logo above to stream this song, or give the video a watch below, either are excellent choices.