By Andy Clare
This is big hearted music. "After Everything" is a 3 track CD with one very fine song and two OK tracks. "It's because of you" fits together like a good song should. It's somewhere between Don Henley and Del Amitri and if you think that makes it sound corny, fair enough. The world needs some curly haired smiling stuff for the grown ups. The voice is strong and confident, the guitars damp and soar as needed and the verses roll on like they were going somewhere. The chorus is memorable, tuneful and open ended. Sad but not deranged. Philosophical but not tortured. I love it.
The other tracks don't reach the same confident level, exposing some uncertain writing. The sound quality is as good and the musicianship is fine. But the line "she walked out the door" is followed immediately by "she asked me if I believe in fate" (shouting it through the keyhole?) "Its better to win, but I prefer to lose" just doesn't work for me as a chorus line.
A nifty bridge leads into track 2 ""Better for you now", but again, the words drop in too heavily right at the start and my attention wanders off "When the world just gets you down, I could always come around ." Well, yeh you could. But it doesn't make a great opening to an epic song and Andy Clare is in epic song territory. One out of three ain't a bad start.