Last year I had the privilege in writing a review for the first studio album by Outsider/Lo- Fi/Indie artist Andrew Neil , entitled Merry Go Round. . I told the remarkable story about how the talented up and coming musician was able to succeed in producing a collection of songs this writer enjoyed mostly for the thought-provoking lyrics and well- structured melodies and riffs. (You can read the full story and review below)
Since then, Neil has been able to emulate his idol- Daniel Johnston- by being voted Rankers top Outsider artist. The genre pervades a distinct sound and style to it that allows the artist to express a raw, untainted edge without the use of technology. This has led to comparisons with Elliot Smith, Kurt Cobain, Neil Young and the aforementioned Daniel Johnston, who sadly passed away recently.
These comparisons can be heard in Neil’s latest offering entitled Freak, which was released this past week (OCT 15). This was once again produced by Andy Waldeck and the album brings fourteen more songs of Neil’s undoubted talent for writing engaging tracks about mental health, depression, love and loneliness. These tracks each tell a story, supported by an equally proficient band, and backup vocals from his father, Ray.
The self-titled opener is an emotionally charged song with some hooks that will keep the ears eagerly waiting to hear more. The self- reflective lyrics are daunting and telling, but the music chimes. The openingff hypnotises, whilst Neil’s ri innocuous vocals are rich and mellow. It is a good pick to begin with
Hope is an enchanting melody that could be an anthem for mental illness. Neil’s childlike tones deliver each line with aplomb, as the listener can empathise with his message. The strong metaphors intertwine with deft piano keys, and an overall vibe of positivity and innocence.
Pull Me Back Together reaches the midway point with another melodic track steeped with groove and a Latin influence. This is another reflective track that focuses on Neil’s recovery. I liked how the lyrics use nursery rhymes as a metaphor to convey this. Neil’s guitar play improves with every song, as each riff transcends throughout the album.
https://open.spotify.com/track/0UouIW4h28cCtjD7l1iSB4?si=wJITqGhjQw2UIwFffkGPRQ -Put Me Back Together.
Beautiful Dancer is another spell binding track, which I think focuses on looking for answers. The music is melodic and dark, whilst the bass and drums combine with mesmerising riffs that feel like the singer is floating amongst the clouds.
The album wraps up with Disappear, a somewhat nod to Neil Drake. This gothic style track opens with a heavily distorted slide guitar. Neil’s tone is more bluesy with darker lyrics. The syncopated beats provide a catchy riff and structure that suits Neil’s overall ability as an adept guitar player and lyricist.
Overall, this was another strong outing from the impressive Andrew Neil. His albums improve with each release, as he is able to convey his emotions via a portal that he seemed born for.
Freak is out now via all good musical platforms like Spotify.
If you’d like more information about Andrew Neil and his other projects, please visit his website at https://www.andrewneilmusic.com/
Alternatively, you can follow the musician via his social media outlets,
Written by Anselm Anderson - UK / Lancaster
My name is Anselm and I have a strong passion for music. I host two rock radio shows for the internet on a weekly basis. Also, I have experience in the past year of writing music reviews and conducting interviews with upcoming artists for several online music magazines. My main goal is to continue to write for thse interested in learning about what is new in the musical world.
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