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There and Then It’s Gone
Artist: Patrick Andrew
Label: Treefrog Records
Length: 13 Tracks/48:39
Fans of the late, great PFR have been clamoring for more from the dynamic trio, and received it recently with The Bookhouse Recordings, a reworking of seven classic PFR songs with three wonderful new tunes (available here). While I enjoyed the PFR project, my favorite recent release from the PFR family is outstanding new solo project by PFR bassist/vocalist Patrick Andrew There and Then It’s Gone. This power-pop masterpiece is full of hooks and catchy vocal turns by Mr. Andrew and features guest performances by Matt Slocum (formerly of Sixpence), PFR alum “Big dumb” (says the liner notes) Joel Hanson, drummer Paul Eckberg (Amy Grant’s band), and engineering by PFR alum Mark Nash. But most of the album emanates from the talented hands and voice of Patrick Andrew, who played most of the instruments and wrote all of the songs (assisted by wife Helen on “This Private Room.”
The lyrical content is strong stuff at times. The Andrew’s lost a child at birth in 2002. The sadness (and ultimate hope) behind the loss of Chesna Angelina is framed in the lyrics of the song “Goodbye”:
A peaceful angel diedWhile this (and other touching moments) on the CD are framed in sadness and the stark reality that comes with real life, there are also smile-inducing moments in abundance. As a mirror of reality, the songs on There and Then It’s Gone mix celebration with trial. Two of the songs are dedicated to the Andrew’s children (“Olivia’s Song,” a song that any parent who loves spending time with their kids can relate to, and “Everett’s Song,” which emphasizes to “be a boy as long as you can” while sharing advice about life on the stage and hopes and dreams for the future). Also of note are the dream-like, stream of conscious lyrics of “Waxgirl,” and the soothing message of “Closest Friend” (I don’t just come here for the absolution/I don’t just come here for the quick solution/I come believing/My prayers are answered by my closest friend).
Musically and sonically the CD is top-notch. The lyrics are poignant, and the music rocks. Fans of PFR (duh!), the Beatles, Cheap Trick, the Zombies, and just about any artist who knows how to rock with melody, hooks, and great vocals will enjoy this project enormously. There and Then It’s Gone is what Christian art should and can be: creative, immensely listenable (lotsa repeatability built-in!), and music that touches the heart while leaving you humming the tunes AND longing for the Creator. This ones a keeper, and you need a copy.
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