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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Andy Spitson

All Eyes On You EP

Review by Gary Hill

This EP is being billed as a preview of Northern Illinois musician Andy Spitson's upcoming full CD and if these four tracks are any indication, that’s going to be a great disc. The music here covers a number of different musical territories, but all of it shows off the fact that Spitson is a great songwriter. The vocals tend to have a bit of a punky texture and at times remind me of Elvis Costello. Spitson is not only a good songwriter, but also a solid guitarist. His solos on this disc, while not the kind of thing that will cause your mouth to hang open (who wants to swallow bugs anyway?) are always tasty and show a musician with an understanding of the nuances of his instrument.For ordering information, or just to find out more about Spitson, check him out on the web at andyspitson.com.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
No Place Like Your Heart
At four minutes, this is the longest cut on the CD. It has an almost progressive rock feel to it at times. The overall effect, though, is of a catchy alternative pop rocker. This one is a good opener.
First, It’s the Crush
The track contains the title to the disc within its lyrics and has a punky, rock and roll texture to it. It’s a fairly basic rocker that’s both fun and tasty. You’ll probably make out equal parts Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones here (with a bit of The Black Crowes thrown in for good measure).
Dear Friend
In some ways this track earns the Elvis Costello stamp more than the rest of the music here. Truly the keyboard laden, retro sounding song structure and arrangement could be taken for a Costello song. The vocals on the chorus are nearly a dead ringer, too. The singing on the verse, though, is the best of the disc and sounds nothing like Costello. The guitar soloing on this track is the tastiest of the set.
Hand Jives & High 5ives
The track is an old school rock and roller that is firmly rooted in Chuck Berry territory. The vocals probably bring it closer to the Beatles take on this – think “Twist and Shout.”  In fact, that title is used in the midst of the lyrics to this one. It’s a cool way to end this set.
 
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