Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf debuted with the album
Darker Days (2009), followed by
the EPs Waiting for the Sun to Leave (2010) and Sam Jones Feeds His Demons (2012), and by the second
album The Bearer of Bad News (2012).
After the success of his single Jenny Come Home (2015), Shauf crafted
two concept albums around a similar topic: a single night of drinking with friends at a bar.
The songs of The Party (2016) are humble and polite, often whispered,
accompanied by a discreet piano and occasional bursts of chamber counterpoint.
The pace is lethargic and the melodies are trivial. The
Beatles-ian Begin Again, the Eagles-ian Eyes Of Them All and especially the surreal To You feel like masterpieces amid so much blandness.
When the marimba introduces the rocking Quite Like You, it feels like
a breath of fresh air.
The scope of the album is ambitious, but it would take higher musical skills to
fully deliver on the premise.
The Neon Skyline (2020) is similar to a rock opera in that it tells a
story, but too many songs are bland and weak.
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