By Andie Mills
On this seven track CD "doh, ray, me" Andie Mills makes a strong case as a distinctive solo performer. His songs are true life scenes, sung with passion and played with conviction. He really means this. I particularly like the occasional use of solo guitar lines between the varied strumming. They add melodic strength to a generally unstoppable and uncompromising delivery.
Andie Mills' voice is a lethal weapon. The CD starts gently with the reflective "Ame". In "Mitzi" it starts to get more urgent and the voice takes on a harder edge. It builds up though "Dreamt" and powers on though the rest of the set. Softer starts lead to intense crescendos. Given the intimate subjects and the sparse acoustic guitar the almost shouted rock delivery makes me quite uncomfortable and it can be an effort to listen to all seven tracks in one sitting. Ignore it? no chance. This is music for an Acoustic Night when the crowd need to be bullied away from their own conversations. Back in the audio bliss of a good home system with no company it can be a bit like BOLD CAPITALS in a love letter.
Two thirds of the way through the set comes a gloriously out of tune piano thing with lyrics in very dodgy French. At one minute 52, "Restez" is a neatly inspired move. The closing two tracks "Do It" and "Don't Stop" are more developed. "Don't Stop" returns to bits of French with an obvious English accent, a sweet guitar intro and a calmer voice. The restraint helps the powerful emotional content get through.
At heart, this might be a song sampler looking for a band. And when the band is formed and has spent a month or two arranging and recording the songs some half arsed reviewer will come along and say "... but the acoustic versions, recorded in a single afternoon at Touchwood, were much more passionately convincing".
Available in local record shops.