Review Summary: "You have exactly what I'm drinking for"
Call me crazy, but I don’t believe it is ridiculous to propose that Andy Hull is a hero of sorts. Hull was that average kid in his junior year of high school, unwilling to let go of his passion, even if it meant his future was on the line. Not returning to school for his senior year, and while his classmates were partying and chasing girls, Hull was at home, writing song after song. Unlike every wannabe songwriter however, there was something spectacular about the way they were written. Whether or not the words were based on personal experiences, they were incredibly poetic and meaningful. Even at his young age, he understood what music was intended to be about, and was not afraid to show his true colors. Hull’s music career flourished in the following years, being both effective and prolific in his late teens and early 20’s. Since 2005 with Manchester Orchestra, Hull has been responsible for the release of three EP’s, an unreleased album, and two critically acclaimed full-length records. On top of all of that in a short time, Hull has been proficient enough to take on a solo project, Right Away, Great Captain, in which has an even greater focus on his tormented lyricism.
“The Bitter End” is what an Andy Hull record would have sounded like had he not joined Manchester Orchestra, and is a stark comparison to the band’s latest, “Mean Everything to Nothing.” Right Away, Great Captain is essentially a bare bones version of Manchester Orchestra’s earlier work, if that is even believable. Virtually all of “The Bitter End” is Hull’s calming vocals over his acoustic guitar, leaving a sort of folk feel, and placing greater emphasis on lyrics. In fact, much of the music is single arppegiated notes rather than open chords. The record is actually very effective in this regard, and is not intended to be musically outstanding.
Right Away, Great Captain’s debut is the first of a two-part concept album, in which deals with a 1600’s sailor who leaves home to sail across the sea. The record is a journal of his travels, thoughts, and frustrations. Right Away, Young Sailor!
alludes to the sailor’s growing inhumanity from being away from home, “I just wanna kill a man, kill a man.” It wouldn’t be implausible however, to believe that the album is a direct correlation to Hull’s life; not that he is a sailor, but the tracks appear to be an account of his life struggles, triumphs, and pains. Not unlike in “I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child,” Hull’s songwriting is blatant and metaphorically sound, as if the words are flowing effortlessly. At any given time you have the ability to be charmed, distressed, and merely blown away by the poignant lyricism. Most significantly, is Hull’s ability to relate to the average person, from his claim “You have exactly what I’m drinking for,” in Night Marry You
to his pleading of “Love, come and save me, from the burning,” in Love Come and Save Me
. The record’s most incredible underscore could very well be that of the sparse piece, Cause I’m So Scared of Dying
. Although simple like on the rest of the album, the guitar work calmly propels the inner turmoil of Hull’s thoughts. There seems to be an indescribable pain in each of his words; so serenely articulated, yet exploding with passion. “Yeah, no *** you’re not breathing, but man I can feel you inside.”
Right Away, Great Captain may be a side project for a man who has much more going for him at the moment with Manchester Orchestra, but for this very reason should not be overlooked. “The Bitter End” is a folk lover’s paradise, focusing purely on simplistic acoustic guitar and poetic lyrics. Most importantly though, Andy Hull’s contributions to this side project are nothing short of brilliant, indicating that his fervor and determination for his music career has not gone by the wayside. I wouldn’t believe that it would be going off on a limb to say that everyone’s favorite lumberjack look-alike is one of the greatest lyricists in the field at the current time.
Night Marry You
Love, Come Save Me
Right Ahead, Young Sailor
Cause I’m So Scared of Dying
I’m Not Ready to Forgive You
Captain I'm Fine And Thank You For Everything