60 second reviews, Music

The View from Halfway Down: Andy Bell

(Sonic Cathedral)

Glass Half Full…

Being a middle aged person at any time is an interesting. Health challenges, realisations that you just can’t be like you were in your 20s without looking foolish and feeling terrible, and overall grumpiness are all trademarks, along with the frustration and urge to live out a few dreams.

But things can be good in your 40s and beyond. Proof of this is found in this debut solo record from Andy Bell. The ‘Ride’ guitarist and former ‘Oasis’ member had been sat on this record for a few years, but with Ride reforming has only been able to finish it off with the time afforded by a pandemic. Its title reflecting upon the metaphor of someone falling to their end certainly speaks of the need of doing all what you can to make your mark in this world.

Opening track ‘Love Comes in Waves’ is a melodic start, equal parts Ride and The Stone Roses. Initially there is the feeling the rest of the album may follow the same theme and become a bit samey but on the contrary what follows is very worthwhile. The psychedelic kraut-rock of ‘Indica’ is superb, and then the albums morphs into the folktronics of ‘Ghost Tones’ and the foot-tapping ‘Skywalker’.

This rollercoaster continues for the remainder of the album, giving it excellent variety. By the time of the dreamlike ‘I Was Alone’ and the electronic grooves of ‘Heat Haze on Weyland Road’ (harking on Bell’s electronic side project Glok) you feel satisfied with the listen. Although Andy Bell could clearly write an anthem, his restrain and dedication to the atmosphere throughout is highly admirable. A complex, yet taut 39 minutes, ‘The View From Halfway Down’ is a great album no matter what your age.

8/10

Key Tracks: ‘Indica’; ‘Skywalker’;’Love Comes in Waves’; ‘Heat Haze on Weyland Road’

Love this album? For further listening here are some recommendations:

‘The Weather Diaries’: Ride; ‘The Second Coming’ : The Stone Roses;

‘Neu 2’ : Neu: ‘Silver Wilkinson’ – Bibio

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