Andy Reed is a machine. Between his side projects, contributing to Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock, An American Underdog and The Legal Matters, he’s managed to release a few solo albums as well. If you’ve never heard his music, think Andrew Gold, or Elvis Costello without the sarcasm. His mellow tenor voice matches well with his wonderfully melodic music.
Reed has a gift for finding a melody and running with it. His music will grab you by the ears and refuse to let go. And his compilation, An Introduction to Andy Reed, is a perfect sampler for those who have never had the pleasure of being taken by an Andy Reed song.
The sampler contains songs from my album of the year last year Oddities and Entities, as well as his latest EP, Relay V. 1. Standout tracks include the sing-along track “Crimes of Paris,” which sounds like an Elvis Costello song because it is one, and “Always on the Run,” a Tin-Pan-Alley ditty with gritty guitars dotting the landscape. “Dreaming of the West Coast” is a peaceful track in which Reed waxes nostalgic about better places and better times. “Will we ever get out of here?” he asks, adding an ironic, wistful twist to the song.
“Your Reign is Over” is an energetic song with a stand-out melody that will have you singing along for hours after you hear it. “The Show Goes On” changes moods, starting with just an acoustic guitar and piano, then builds into a perfect AM hit from the 1970s.”Novocaine” has beautiful three-part harmonies and is about a town where no one knows your name – like “Dreaming of the West Coast,” it’s a place to get away.
If you’ve never heard of Andy Reed, this is the perfect introduction to him and his music. Of course, after listening to An Introduction to Andy Reed, you’ll want to do what I did and grab everything he’s done. He’s a bright light in an otherwise dull music scene.