Artist: Patrick Andrew
Songwriting can be the best therapy during extremely difficult personal circumstances as PFR bassist/vocalist Patrick Andrew demonstrates on his independent solo effort, "There and Then It’s Gone." Listeners can easily file Andrew’s disc under the popular “sensitive male singer/songwriter” genre currently comprised of John Mayer, Howie Day, Rufus Wainwright and Jack Johnson.
Andrew’s mostly upbeat, introspective songs are pop/rock concoctions of the same radio-friendly ilk as his contemporaries. Mostly, the songs stem from Andrew’s personal experience — of losing a daughter, Chesna, shortly after her birth, a celebration of fatherhood and his son Everett’s autism diagnosis. At first listen, specific themes may be a bit difficult to decipher, as the lyrics are sometimes vague. But, after a few spins meaning begins to set in.
"Just Begun,” the album’s opener, rings of new beginnings as Andrew sings of trading old ways for a new system of living under God’s guidelines. “There and Then It’s Gone,” the album’s title track, is one of the standouts with its soulful, soaring vocals and solid rock rhythm. The song is full of tension and restraint (both vocally and musically) in the verses, only to build into a catchy chorus that sticks in your head long after the music fades.
Further into the disc, Andrew shifts perspectives, balancing the upbeat and optimistic with a dose of dark, both in lyrical theme and chord choice. Death and unexplained loss are part of the journey here in songs such as “Goodbye” and “Never Be the Same.”
Overall, "There and Then It’s Gone" is not the light, pop ear candy that one might expect from a troubadour in the company of Bebo Norman and Crowded House’s Neil Finn, which he gives a musical nod to. But these songs are unique and quirky, and his vocals tend to grow on you after each listen. There’s heart in Andrew’s art, and that fact certainly makes this CD spinworthy in my book.
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