It takes a brave, some would suggest stupid, man to walk away from a band enjoying huge commercial success, but that is exactly what Andy Burrows did in 2009 when he departed Razorlight. More than just a man behind a drum kit, he co-wrote the ubiquitous 'America', an indication of his song-writing ability and ambitions. 'Fall Together Again' is his tenth album and will be supported with a handful of UK dates before he heads to mainland Europe.
The opening 'Derwen' is a rich, string-laden intro that is all but instrumental, with perhaps the greatest compliment being that it should have been developed into a full song. Lead single 'As Good As Good' then sets the tone of fabulously melodic pop, which in this case is fused with a touch of funk. For those unfamiliar with him as a vocalist, Burrows also displays ability that fully justifies the decision to step out from the back of the stage. At softer points, he is similar to Badly Drawn Boy, but he possesses the ability to take his voice to the top range of a choir boy. It is further demonstrated on the breezy 'City To Coast', whilst 'All This I've Heard Before' has anthemic quality to continue the momentum.
It's not unusual for records to load the better songs toward their front end, resulting in the album quality tailing off into mediocrity or worse. Not here. 'Who Are You Now?' sounds like it could have been released in the New Romantics era, shimmering as Burrows hits an unexpected falsetto, before rolling into the warmth of 'See A Girl'. The bar is further raised with the emotive 'Watch Me Fall', which takes a more synthesised tone, yet the feeling it generates couldn't be any more organic. Burrows' encapsulating voice again takes centre stage on the stripped-back 'Hearts And Minds', whilst the closing 'Don't Be Gone Too Long' is an appropriate finale where the artist manages to turn melancholy into optimism. Given his past affiliations, you'd be forgiven for approaching this release expecting guitar based rock music, in which case you could be disappointed. Where Burrows hasn't let anyone down is in producing a proudly melodic collection of mature pop songs that, at its worst, is good and, at its best, is brilliant.
Continue reading: Andy Burrows - Fall Together Again Album Review
Andy Burrows and Ilan Eshkeri - The Snowman and The Snowdog (Official Soundtrack Album) by Ilan Eshkeri and Andy Burrows is out now on Play It Again Sam. The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the London Metropolitan Orchestra, and the 60 piece ensemble was joined by a choir of Andy and Ilan's friends and musical collaborators for the recording, - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 12th December 2013
The highly anticipated follow up to Raymond Briggs iconic penned classic 'The Snowman' was released to critical and public success, bringing 11 million people together to share the enchanting experience of 200,000 hand drawn images which brought the world's favourite flying snowman back to life. This season the Snowman is back with the release of 'The Snowman and the Snowdog Original Soundtrack' by film composer Ilan Eshkeri and Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows, allowing listeners to re-immerse themselves in the film's classic themes throughout their Christmas.
What is immediately clear is that 'The Snowman and the Snowdog' soundtrack is not trying to re-create the 1982 minimalistic and intimate score featured in the original 'Snowman'. Instead, 'The Snowman and the Snowdog' features an ensemble of 60 instruments performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra complimenting the impressive artistry of the film to make a mesmeric symphonic experience.
Opening track, 'A New Beginning' encapsulates the emotional film's beginning; featuring violin from former Bond member Haylie Ecker, the track uses a collaboration of string instruments to create a repressed yet subversive feeling, immediately engaging the listener. Following track 'Christmas' manages to avoid the cheesy conventions usually associated with Christmas music and alternatively creates a mature and developed sound that utilises the mellow piano and string instruments.
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Will you be getting tickets for Brent live?
While David Brent and Andy Burrow’s musical union isn’t a joke in and of itself – the pair have known each other since Ricky Gervais met Burrow on Jonathon Ross in 2008 – there’s nothing more Brent than coupling with a member of Razorlight. Nothing.
Burrows is alright though; he’s got a lovable face and plenty of auburn stubble. And he’s not Johnny Borrell. Combine those things and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent bloke all told. He’s now realising the dream of every 29-year-old man (he’s 34 himself) by playing live with Gervais’s Brent.
The Snowman and the Snowdog will no doubt light up living rooms across Britain when it airs on Christmas Day, and the man behind the music for the upcoming sequel to the beloved 1982 festive classic The Snowman, Andy Burrows, is sure that people will love this new one all the same. Why you ask? Because his daughter says so.
The former Razorlight drummer spoke to the Daily Star recently, and revealed that he tested out the score on his four-year-old daughter before he submitted anything for the new TV short. He told the paper, “I wanted the songs to give the same childlike excitement I felt when I watched the original Snowman. If Chloe started dancing around, I knew I was on to a good thing.”
The soundtrack also features a few faces you wouldn't expect to be penning the music for a festive family treat; Muse's drummer Dominic Howard and Ash singer Tim Wheeler. Although Wheeler did release a somewhat tongue-in-cheek Christmas album last year with Emmy the Great, Burrows and Howard's involvement in the project did turn a few heads. Nevertheless, he has since endeavoured to contribute to a Christmas film that not only his daughter can enjoy, but everyone can.
Many consider Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' the last true Christmas song to be released; it's hard to believe that was back in 1994! Since then, there's been a sputtering of jovial Christmas releases, but nothing that seems to stand the test of time. 2012 has actually delivered a handful of relatively acceptable additions - both cover of classic tracks and original tracks. Here are a few of the tracks you might be hearing more of over Christmas.
Continue reading: Stocking Fillers: Best Christmas Songs of 2012
Albums of Note... It looks as though Bruno Mars has stepped things up a gear on Unorthodox Jukebox. From straight-up pop songs, to disco and funk stylings, and a nod to reggae in there too, Mars very rarely fails to hit the mark with these new tracks. “Unorthodox Jukebox is a rich pick and mix of different and colourful elements. His lyrics sometime fall short, but a likeably mischievous personality shines through nonetheless, and so on the whole this is a real step up even from the songs that broke him so hugely two years ago.”
Adding a fresh slant to the out-dated genre of twee-duets, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro release a self-titled album of brief ditties, which may appear cutesy at first glance but soon reveal their darker side, with lyrics such as “I can't be the first to say you're the worst, surely there's one or two? / I care more if you act as though you like me than if you really do.” Adam Green is probably the better known of the two, from his work as part of Moldy Peaches and of course his solo work, too. Binki Shapiro already has indie cred from her other band, Little Joy. “Like everything the pair have done individually, together they have made a record that's short, sweet, and maturely macabre; a late contender for an album of the year.”
You have to wonder who the happier man is - Johnny Borrell, still trying to drag a fourth album out of the embers of the Razorlight franchise this far on from the poorly received Slipway Fires, or Andy Burrows, the band's former drummer whose departure in 2009 due to personal and professional reasons seemed to mark the start of their tailspin.
Burrows has certainly been the busier, quitting Britain for New York three years ago, falling in with Keith Murray of We Are Scientists and then with Editors' Tom Smith arguably reinventing the concept of the Christmas album with the mellifluous Funny Looking Angels. Returning now with his first "Proper" solo album, the introverted Burrows recently admitted that whilst in Razorlight, it had been his love-hate relationship with Borrell which spurred his song writing on; Company is less than ground breaking musically, but seemingly hanging his own name over its doorway can be equated to a major personal step forward.
This lack of ego is a little surprising when you remember that, after all, this is the man who penned Razorlight's arena friendly apex America, but anyone using that as a cautionary tale here is being over anxious. Written, co-produced and with most of the instrumentation played by Burrows, the reality is that Company is frequently down tempo, occasionally maudlin, and any bombast is in very limited quantities. Burrows is also quick to point out that essentially this is a "Pop" record - just not in a Gangnam Style way - and with its rich, slightly antiquated harmonies and uncluttered production he has a strong case.
Continue reading: Andy Burrows - Company Album Review