Andy Smythe has been making music as a soloist since the mid-90s and more recently as the lead of a folk-rock trio. With Waiting For A Rose To Bloom he returns to basics. The album is all original, based on piano with some guitar. Andy’s songs cover of group from eulogies to Brian Epstein and Alf Ramsey to the fight against the fascists in London’s East End in the 1930s – an appropriate subject at the moment.
The problem is a lack of musical variety. The opening track, ‘Lost For A Little While’ boasts a strong lyric about a loss of personal direction, I suppose. That’s followed by the up-tempo ‘Soul Brother’ but after that the album settles into a slow-to-medium groove which suits ‘Sweet England’, a song of lost love, but falls short with ‘7th Symphony’ and ‘Brothers’. The piano arrangements are often interesting but I find Andy’s celebrated vibrato annoying and he tends to push his voice too much in his upper range. You can probably get away with it if you have a band behind you but Andy is out on his own here. The pace picks up a bit with the final track, ‘The Pale Blue Dot’, but it’s a bit late.
I wish I could be kinder about Waiting For A Rose To Bloom but I’m afraid that I find it a bit dull.
‘Sweet England’ – live:
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