Review Summary: Seemingly light album that is easy on the ear but comes up with much more musical substance.
One thing is for sure - Andrew Reed’s album If All The World Were Right and its life-positive sophisticated pop/rock/jazz is very easy on the ear. Many listeners would immediately put an equal sign between easy on the ear and simple. But then maybe they have not heard that legendary tale circling among music journalists about a situation when then young, aspiring rock writer (quite known these days) interviewed BB King.
During the interview, the young writer came with the following statement: “But Mr. King, your guitar solos sound so simple…” BB quipped back immediately: “Son, that is why they are so hard to play”. The same could be said about the kind of music Andrew Reed, himself seemingly a very interesting character, came up with this album.
Seemingly quite deceptively simple, it is actually a very sophisticated combination of pop, rock and jazz past and modern, in some ways akin to something produced by Steely Dan, Style Council and later on Chicago’s Sea & Cake. At first listen, it falls easily on the ears as does a cold lemonade down your throat on a hot summer day, something that reed himself would probably be proud of. But when you perk up your ears to the details, you start catching up all the intricate musical elements involved that make this music sound so, shall I use the dreaded word, smooth. The thing is that ‘smoothness ‘of songs like “Cure My Mind” or “Putting Things In Order” is neither vapid or ephemeral, but there is quite a musical substance behind it that actually made it so listenable. With "All the World is Right (Poem)", the closing track here, Reed even reminds us of the forgotten poet Rod McCuen, also reminding us that he is getting his cues from the Seventies and bands like Steely Dan.
And then when you take a bit closer look to Reed himself you realize that he has valid producing and songwriting credentials and another five albums he has come up with, in the past ten years or so. But at the same time he is involved in healthcare as a business entrepreneur, so he obviously had financial means to seriously invest in this project that involves some ten musicians. And the results are evident.
The additional element that makes this album enjoyable is the uplifting atmosphere that permeates the lyrics that deal with not so easy themes. After all, reed chose January 1, as the release date for this album.
So ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ in this case, as BB King said to come up with some intricate and sophisticated music. Certainly worth more than a cursory listen in an elevator or in a supermarket. No muzak around If All The World Were Right.