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Andrew Combs - Canyons of My Mind

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 3 / 7 / 2017

Andrew Combs - Canyons of My Mind
Label: Loose Music
Format: CD


Excellent 70's-influenced second album from melancholic Nashville-based singer-songwriter Andrew Combs

With every new release of this kind, you keep wondering when they are going to stop finding undiscovered singer-songwriters from the 60s/70s whose masterpieces have inexplicably been kept locked away in the vaults for decades. Except… no wait… this one’s brand new. Andrew Combs is a young man who came to public note with his acclaimed 2015 album ‘All Is Dreams’ and has decided that his follow-up should take you back on a trip to the 1970s, when melancholic singer-songwriters could be lavished with the finest session musos in the land to crack out songs of heartbreak and loss. In some respects, ‘Canyons of My Mind’ could be dismissed as a throwback. But, who cares when it’s a throwback to a time when music was excellent – when, if you composed a mid-tempo, ballad called ‘Dirty Rain’, then you cut to a string quartet on the chorus and faded out to the sound of a storm. Or when, if you had a mid-tempo piano ballad that was crying out for an ELO-style guitar solo, that’s exactly what you got. Track after track hits the spot perfectly, with the switch up at the end of side one from the wistful lovelorn balled ‘Hazel’ to the glorious country-standard ‘Rose Coloured Blues’ set to become one of the standout musical moments of 2017. Everyone hangs around Combs’ vocals. Singing in a falsetto that settles just a notch above his natural pitch. He is the centre of attention on every track, despite the excellent production. Although these are melodies that demand a singalong, you’ll find your throat starts to croak a little if you turn the volume up too loud. As this excellent record draws to a close, you are reminded of that point when Richard Hawley realised how to make the music of his mind come alive (2003’s ‘Lowedges’). It’s clear that, like Hawley did for a few years, Andrew Combs may be sticking resolutely to tested musical formulas for now, but has the talent to push himself further in years to come. Until then, though, ‘Canyons of the Mind’ confirms the emergence of a major talent.

Track Listing:-
1 Heart of Wonder
2 Sleepwalker
3 Dirty Rain
4 Hazel
5 Rose Colored Blues
6 Better Way
7 Lauralee
8 Blood Hunters
9 Silk Flowers
10 Bourgeois King
11 What It Means to You

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All These Dreams (2015)
Melancholic and reflective second album from Nashville-based singer-songwriter Andrew Combs, upon which his mature lyricism hides his surprising youth

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