News & Features

CD releases, artists touring, festival previews, news from UK venues and anything else that people are talking about


Conversations with international and UK artists about their music, their inspiration and their future plans

cds & other reviews

Sorting through the mass of new releases for the hidden gems, as well as reviews of live shows, festivals, books and movies


Some ideas for thematic CD samplers or iPod playlists. Add your own suggestions or submit an entire list

Reflections of an Illusion

Andy Whittle

January 29, 2011 Comments: 0

On first listen, Andy Whittle's latest album comes across as fairly uninspired English singer-songwriter fare. But it’s worth persevering with to reveal a handful of memorable songs. Whittle at his best has a definite gift for melody, and some of these songs once implanted in your brain will be pretty difficult to shift. Unfortunately you also get a similar number of songs that are simply unremarkable, so there's a disappointing inconsistency.
This is Whittle's fourth album, and as a singer he’s easy on the ear, with a quite distinctive Northern English accent that comes through at times. He plays guitar and piano (at times deliberately out of tune), accompanied by a small band. “Spanish Armada”, taken at a relaxed strolling pace, is first-rate.
On both this and the opener “Easier Said Than Done”, his backing singer Helena Derriscott gets a verse to herself, to good effect. They sound good together - her voice both complementing and providing a nice contrast with Whittle's.

“Own Sweet Time” with its simple repetitive guitar figure is another track which is addictively catchy. There's a clutch of love songs - “Wide Awake Waltz” is about being hopelessly in love, “Parting Song” a straightforward, but pretty, break-up song, and “Smoke Screen” about being left behind.
Unfortunately there are a couple of songs where Whittle seems to have come up with a simple image (for example: You're about as reliable as a market wristwatch) on which he has hung a whole song.  He pulls a similar trick with “Metal Shoe”, suggesting life is like a game of cards. These are fairly slender offerings, and a couple of the other songs make even less of an impression. It's this inconsistency that lets Whittle down, but the best of “Reflections Of An Illusion” gives cause to hope that – if he exercises stronger quality control in the future – better things could lie ahead.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options