Andy McKee
Art of Motion


4.5
superb

Review

by zuzek USER (8 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2009 | 46 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A man and his instrument in its rawest and purest form.

Chances are you’ve seen a video on YouTube of a bald man with an impressive beard playing an even more impressive tune: “Drifting”. This is the way most people have come into contact with the music of Andy McKee. Now, if you’ve seen this particular video, chances are higher that you’re already familiar with his compositions due to the curiosity you likely couldn’t control. If you haven’t and Andy McKee is still unknown to you, I envy you for that initial pleasure of discovering his music.

Enjoying a background in rock and metal (which today McKee claims still influence him greatly), a young Andy became captivated by jazz and folk-spirited acoustic music in his late teen years. Through passionate self-studying of the instrument and a wish to share his compositions, McKee gradually began to make a name for himself in the rather tightly knit acoustic community, even earning high placement in several national fingerstyle guitar competitions. Incorporating a harp guitar and baritone guitar next to his trusty six-stringer, McKee must have constantly looked for ways to broaden his horizons and become a more well versed player over the years. This approach has undoubtedly paid off as his music has breached out of the small acoustic community and reached people all over the world with songs like “Drifting”, “Rylynn” and “Africa” (a stylish interpretation of the Toto classic) earning millions and millions of views on YouTube.

Using the aforementioned multitude of influences to the utmost, each song has a unique vibe and something entirely different to offer. With songs clocking in at three to four minutes on average, a healthy balance in assorted sounds is maintained throughout. From uplifting soundtrack-esque compositions like “Keys to the Hovercar”, to the soothing and almost trance inducing “Into the Ocean”, “Art of Motion” soulfully covers close to every sound you would expect from an acoustic album and more. Because of the immaculate songwriting skills that McKee enjoys, he constantly manages to bring intriguingly memorable melodies to the table. You will likely find yourself humming them within days of listening to “Art of Motion”. The album steers clear of becoming repetitive, for many a bane of the genre, due to McKee’s nature of frequently offering stunning and unexpected variations of the main themes leading each track. If anything, these traits might get some people a little lost in figuring out which track or passage they want to listen to next.

Andy McKee transcends the concept of virtuoso that is usually associated with technical proficiency. Yes, McKee’s music is enriched and riddled with technicalities such as singlehanded harmonics, tapping and percussion that will repeatedly impress you. But there simply is no usage of technicality here for the sake of being able to. Reminiscent of seldom legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, McKee expresses himself with exceptional ease and grace through his guitar. His qualities remind us that a virtuoso does not fully encompass someone with flawless technique, which can be studied and learned with time by most men. Rather, I would like to argue that being a virtuoso ultimately is a matter of the soul, heart, spirit or whatever you wish to call it. This is what makes one able to establish a connection through music with another human being instead of solely baffling fellow instrumentalists. This connection will be entirely different for each and every one of us, and that is why the “Art of Motion”, if you’re receptive to it, will provide an exclusively personal experience for you. Delving into lengthy descriptions of every track is thus rendered a futile approach to McKee’s music.

I wholeheartedly recommend “Art of Motion” to anyone that feels he or she has a passion for music, regardless of the favored genre. Whether you feel the need to relax, need some company at your boring desk job or are pondering about a gift for father’s day; this deserves to be heard by anyone and is fit for any occasion. Andy McKee is unquestionably one of the most gifted yet underappreciated artists of today and the sole thing that stands between this album and classic status is time and the recognition it truly deserves. Give it a chance and you will be surprised with what you’ll find.



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user ratings (207)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
zuzek
May 2nd 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This was exceptionally tough to write. Due to being an acoustic guitar player and loving to jam to McKee's tunes myself it was hard to stay professional and somewhat objective while still trying to capture the album well. I truly believe this is a very rare album and mark it very very close to a 5/5. I hope I succeeded in making this a strong case and that it leads to even just one person to discover Andy McKee. Enjoy the read and let me know any criticism you might have, cheers!This Message Edited On 05.02.09

AlexTM510
May 2nd 2009


1405 Comments


Its about time someone wrote a review for him-excellent review pos. I like many was one of the guys who skimmed his youtube videos. But yea I figure it be a good time to check this album out. Again awesome review

KTV
May 2nd 2009


760 Comments


i can't listen to him without watching the videos on youtube. i just think it's really boring without actually seeing him do it.

Rugter32
May 2nd 2009


754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This guy is a guitar god, seriously. Every damn song in this is good.

Fina1e
May 2nd 2009


123 Comments


This guy is good, but I still prefer Micheal Hedges when it comes to acoustic guitar.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
May 2nd 2009


3780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'sif this didn't have a review already! This is one of my favorite instrumental albums ever. Stunning.

elephantREVOLUTION
May 2nd 2009


2791 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

andy mckee changed the way i look at the guitar. he is so awesome

BallsToTheWall
May 2nd 2009


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cant believe I went to orlando instead of watching this guy live. Great review, about time this was done.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

zuzek
May 3rd 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers for the comments lads, glad to see so many people like this album so much. And yeah Balls, you'll regret not going to see him forever!

lateoctober
May 3rd 2009


171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for reviewing this. This guy needs more exposure, this is a great album, thought I probably would not say great on a 4.5 scale, it can get a bit repetitive at times and languid. Posse'd anyway, this is a good heartfelt review.

BludgeonySteve
May 3rd 2009


558 Comments


Aside from being "impressive" I've always found him to be boring. There's really only so much I can enjoy music without a message or purpose other than "hey look how talented I am". However I will give him props for raw talent.

zuzek
May 3rd 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And that is why I wrote "if you're receptive to it" in my review. And I don't mean this as a dickish statement at all.This Message Edited On 05.03.09

Doppelganger
May 3rd 2009


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i like watching him play this stuff more than just listening to this album.

Golgoroth
May 4th 2009


1084 Comments


I disagree with RNR, there is a lot of emotion in his music.

I'm listening to him without watching right now and still think it's awesome.

Shrapnel94
June 13th 2009


2213 Comments


Just watched the video for Drifting on youtube and instantly started downloading this.

Waior
June 13th 2009


11461 Comments


This is a great album with the great review.

Shrapnel94
June 13th 2009


2213 Comments


And does anybody know what in god's name that guitar is that he is playing in his video for "Into The Ocean?"

cirq
June 13th 2009


9265 Comments


this man is talented

zuzek
June 13th 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Waior.

Shrapnel, it's a harp guitar. Want me one of those haha.

devouredbymetal
November 9th 2009


516 Comments


amazingly talented .



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