Sears, Andy - Souvenir,
This CD is a special limited edition release, that was put out to combine with Andy Sear’s solo European tour. It is not a fully fledged album, but is more a collection of demos and is a work in progress in readiness for his planned solo album which will be called ‘The Dragon Inside’. Some of these songs my end up on that album in a very much reworked form, and others will not. Andy played all of the music, which will not be the case in the ‘proper’ album with just some assistance from TN bandmate Dean Baker who assisted with some keyboard programming. But, to my hearing Andy is really selling himself short as this is a fun album that would happily form part of any proghead’s collection.
Yes of course the main purchasers of this album will be Twelfth Night fans, and they will be pleased to see reworkings of three TN numbers – but this is album that does stand very much on its’ own merits as opposed to something that is for fans only. Andy has lost none of his vocal range or power over the years, and this collection shows that his instinct for melody and passion have also not faded away. It starts with a delicate piano-led piece, “Satellite” which in all makes three appearances on this set (as the opener, as an extended version and as an instrumental video) – in many ways this reminds me of Phil Collins and I can’t think why for the life of me. But for me the highlight is a solo rendition of “First New Day” which has been considerably reworked – it has a depth and passion that is somehow more than the original, although instrumentally it is much less!Within the booklet Andy explains each song and overall this is a set that many people will enjoy. It certainly fulfils the original purpose of having something available for those who saw him tour, as if I was there I would definitely have purchased this, but for TN fans who can’t wait or just for those who want good melodic songs with great vocals then this is worth getting.