His last music outings were a modern spin on a northern soul sound, but the new material from Andy Lewis, going by the name 41, casts the net just a little wider.
You may know Mr Lewis as Paul Weller’s current bass player, the former Blur and Blow-Up DJ or as one part of Pimlico or Spearmint. With 41, he’s back in his own two feet, with al album which features seven tracks that were conceived at the end of 2010, put together as demos and now polished up and released as a mini album. Primarily because they don’t fit into a larger project. That larger project is Andy’s third full-length album for Acid Jazz, due this summer. But enough about that, let’s talk 41.
It’s a mixed bag, that’s for sure, not really following a single, identifiable thread, but certainly wearing a few influences on its sleeve. Album opener (’41’) for example, could be an update of a 60s movie theme for example (you might just get a touch of ‘Get Carter’ before that old school synth-y hook break comes in), while ‘Complexity’ tips its hat to The Jam, but is perhaps more akin to some 60s-inspired indie groove. Interesting to hear Andy’s voice too (as opposed to guest vocalists), there’s certainly a touch of Weller there. Maybe all that touring has rubbed off on him?
‘Sky Bar’ throws a bit (but not too much) psych into the mix, as does the semi-instrumental ‘Yarbles’ to these ears (is that a Mellotron I hear?). ‘Centre of Attention’ is probably the track that doesn’t quite hit home for me (few too many layers of keyboards, nothing particularly memorable apart from that), ‘Mr Camera’ puts me in mind of Julian Cope’s early work (that’s a good thing, not a bad thing, by the way) and album closer ‘Last Song Of The Year’ is a laid back, fairly unassuming groove that just might stick around in your head long after the CD has slipped back into its case.
I’ll be honest, it’s no classic, but I don’t believe it claims to be. 41 is a collection of ideas that have made it out of the head of the writer and into the studio in pretty fast time. It’s interesting and overall an enjoyable listen. Hopefully a couple of these tunes do get the full works in the end, as they probably deserve it. I also hope the album indicates what’s coming from Lewis’ full album later in the year. Personally I’d like more of this kind of diverse offering than another disc of nothern soul-esque grooves, good as they were. Anyway, give this a shot – it’s certainly not going to break the bank.