Get Me Out of This Place
First Appeared at The Music Box, April 2001, Volume 8, #4
Written by John Metzger
In these days of incessant, mindless noodling, the jam band scene can be a frustrating place for someone who just wants to write songs that say something. It's no wonder, then, that David Andrews has begun to step out on his own — away from his band Calobo and towards a singer/songwriter-oriented perspective.
Now, Andrews' solo debut Get Me Out of This Place isn't going to fly to the top of the pop charts, and while the lyrics are more than adequate, there is still room for improvement. Nevertheless, Andrews has delivered an irresistibly engaging performance on a thematically linked batch of introspective songs that contain a yearning for escape. Most often, it's love from which Andrews finds a need to flee, but one can't help but wonder if there's something else that feeds his desire to make a change.
Throughout Get Me Out of This Place, Andrews leans heavily on the faded musical styles of the '70s. Most prevalent is the influence of Jackson Browne and David Lindley whose spirits seem to pervade the disc. Runnin' Away Again, Mistress of the Moon, and, quite frankly, just about every song on the album touches upon the duo's many stellar collaborations with pinpoint precision. Folded in, however, are shades of many other artists. I Believe blends Toad the Wet Sprocket with Peter Gabriel's Salisbury Hill; 2000 Miles merges Ritchie Valens, Jimmy Buffett, and Van Morrison; Ballad of the Sad Café fuses The Eagles and The Wallflowers; the title track is flavored by Crosby, Stills, and Nash harmonies; and Stephanie Schneiderman's backing vocals often play the perfect Emmylou Harris-style foil to Andrews' Gram Parsons-esque lead.
Get the picture? Get Me Out of This Place isn't so much original as it is an amalgamation of the many great artists and albums that have preceded it. If anything, this is Andrews' tribute to those who have written songs that have gotten under his skin, leading him to the path on which he currently travels. His passionate lyrical delivery, his infectious — if somewhat borrowed — sense of melody, and his consistently heartfelt musical performances all help to keep this album from becoming a rote reflection of the past. Instead, it's a shimmering collection of material from a promising songwriter with a long, glorious future ahead of him.
Get Me Out of This Place is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2001 The Music Box