By Andy Burrows
Sometimes it's brilliant to be surprised, and this single from Andy Burrows is a truly welcome one. The former Razorlight drummer and I Am Arrows frontman seems to be on a mission to prove his worth as a songwriter and this little gem does nothing but add weight to that objective. 'If I Had A Heart' is a great pop song, albeit a sad, reflective one - but aren't they sometimes the best, and the most accessible?
Like his I Am Arrows material, the song was recorded with Andy's producer friend Eliot James who seems to have a talent for bringing out the summery pop in Andy's folky compositions. However, it is almost impossible to ignore the sadness in 'If I Had A Heart's lyrics and overall sound - it puts you in mind of being at the beach on one of those chilly summer days: nice, but with an edge.
Despite the song's poignancy, if you get a chance to check out the accompanying video you'll no doubt find yourself laughing along. Whatever the sad true-life tale behind 'If I Had A Heart's origin, Andy's sense of humour remains unquestionably intact and he clearly isn't afraid of making a bit of a fool of himself. How can you not like a guy like that?
But let's get back to the music. Fuzzy synths and electronic beats usher in the song's fat, synchronised bassline before acoustic guitars shuffle into earshot. Burrows' hushed, husky vocal is heartfelt and full of melancholy and his post break-up ponderings ensure that the lyrics are relatable; they're thoughts we've all lost sleep over countless times.
'If I Had A Heart' really grows on you after a few listens. The song's catchy chorus proves surprisingly epic, much to the credit of the spidery, sci-fi guitar, and being the talented drummer he is, Burrows sprinkles touches of inventive percussion all over the song. It is attention to detail like this that helps amp up If I Had A Heart to levels of anthemic glory.
In an ideal world this song would be a big hit for Andy, and deservedly so, but we have to look at the facts here: good music isn't recognised by the masses like it once was, and decent songs like this are unfairly swept under the carpet. Still, at least we know we've heard it and that's something to smile about.