Michael Andrews' Spilling a Rainbow starts out hallucinatorily, as a set of billowing thoughts and soft echoing music. Even more strangely, that opening cut, The Dentist, chronicles when he first heard he was going to be a dad…while sitting in a dentist's chair and going numb. Heh! Ironic. From that point on, though, a decad of well-crafted pop tunes arises, somewhat like Love's old Forever Changes or The Zombie's Odyssey and Oracle, not a screaming crashing song cycle but an exploration of country lanes and lives. More than once, Andrews sounds like the Zombies' singer Colin Blunstone, a vocalist I've always greatly favored (his take on Misty Roses remains stunning) through thick and thin. Rainbow is a thoughtful panoply of realizations of what it means to suddenly find yourself with responsibilities you'd formerly taken for granted that would happen one day a long ways off, a wispy dream, something that occurs on TV…now crashing through the front window.
Expect some William Lyall, Guggenheim Trio, and large remembrances of the semi-symphonic crowd, even high period Brian Wilson cut with Graham Nash. Harking back to Blunstone, though, I'd say even comparisons to Alan Parsons would not be inapt, with prog shades as well (the delightful My Warming World), at least not insofar as the balmy breezy softsiding Al so nicely put into all his releases is concerned. Though I review damn near everything from Cannibal Corpse to Iannis Xenakis, I will always, to my crit confrere's vexations, harbor a soft spot for Parson's Project work…and have everything he ever put out. Andrews fits that oeuvre very well indeed—and even 10CC's, as Bubbles in Space sounds just like a lost cut from Original Soundtrack. Thus, don't expect Spilling a Rainbow to be squarely in any of the comparatives I've cited but instead a delicious blend of all of that and then of the gent's own eccentricities. He's well known for radical remixes of materials from Joe Jackson, Tears for Fears, and others, but this is distinctively his own and heralds the kind of guy who a hell of a lot of songwriters are going to listen to. Very closely.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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