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Andy White

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Album Review

White has switched from edgy folk label Cooking Vinyl to the more austere Thirsty Ear for this self-titled departure from his usual sparse and driving protest songs and Irish ballads. These are thoughtful pop constructs that leave the listener on a plateau of abandon one minute and in a melancholic valley the next. The album is outstanding in its evocation of emotional ambiguity, both lyrically and within its brilliant harmonic changes. Themes of yearning — for travel, home, companionship, and freedom — and moving on filter through in vignettes, both specific and non-specific. The tracks are enriched by a roster of guests, such as Radoslav Lorkovic on accordion, Ursula Burns on harp, and Stephen Fearing on mandola. It includes the gospel-tinged wails of Josie Docherty on "Jesus in a Cadillac," a duet with the Wild Colonials' Angela McCluskey on the sublime "Please," and the elevating single "Coz I'm Free," which was inspired by the tattoo on the arm of Olympic 400-meter champion Cathy Freeman.

Biography

Born: 28 May 1962 in Belfast, Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Irish singer/songwriter Andy White was introduced to American audiences in the mid-'90s as one-third of ALT, along with the Hothouse Flowers' Liam Ó Maonlaí and ex-Split Enz leader Tim Finn. White's career actually began a decade earlier with a 1985 EP on Stiff Records called Religious Persuasion. A move to the London label yielded his debut full-length, 1986's Rave On, a political protest album in the vein of Bob Dylan that addressed problems in Ireland and his native Belfast. After 1988's Kiss...
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