Drew Smith's Lonely Choir
Fat Caddy Records
By Al Kaufman
Austinite Drew Smith is everything that's right with CDs, both musically and aesthetically. For the visual sense, this is a gorgeous CD. Dave Schwab's intricate pen and ink drawings are whimsical, and the artistry on the liner notes is brilliant. This is a wonderfully packaged CD.
What is so amazing is that the music is just as great. Andrew Smith is a gifted songwriter who wears his influences on his sleeve. In case you wondered who they are, he opens the CD with the bouncy piano tune, "Nilsson Sings Newman," about a loserish guy who thinks his life will get a little better if he can convince his girlfriend to listen to Harry's album of Randy's songs.
Ray Davies of The Kinks and Van Morrison are also represented. On "Silver Pictures," if Smith's blued-eyed soul isn't enough to recall Morrison, the song's topics of women, barrooms and music surely do the trick.
"Instead of diamonds, I'm gonna buy you the truth," boasts Smith on "Diamonds." This CD feels the same way. Smith has no intention of blowing your mind with over the top production or jaw-droppingly shocking lyrics. Instead, he writes perfectly-crafted pop songs that will make you happy, sad, lonely and hopeful, sometimes all in one song. And if that ain't that the truth, I don't know what is.