Andy Pratt's first album preceded 1973's self-titled release on Columbia, which included the minor hit "Avenging Annie." Records Are Like Life is a lost treasure. This is Pratt at his most innocent, with vocals that sound otherworldly and songwriting that is way ahead of its time. Here Andy Pratt sounds like the doppelgänger of another pianist/vocalist from Boston, Willie "Loco" Alexander. Both men play a fusion of rock with pop and jazz flavors and lots of other influences invading the framework of their compositions, but Alexander did it with more emphasis on the avant garde while Pratt kept it serious -- somewhat. Their vocal stylings are frighteningly similar for two musicians who came from the same region and same point in time, but performed in different circles. "Shiny Susie" on side one is almost eight minutes long, its movements more like a mini-play than a pop tune. "Bella Bella" was a staple of Pratt's live show, and very close to the style of what he would soon record for Columbia. Although his most cohesive recording would be the 1982 five-song EP Fun in the First World, with producer Leroy Radcliffe getting Pratt focused in a rock setting away from the softer pop that Arif Mardin and Eddy Offord brought the artist toward the end of the '70s, this first effort has inventiveness that sounds fresh decades later. "Wet Daddy," the opening track, is a charming guitar/percussion ditty. "Oliver" an indication of where Pratt would take his music: elegant piano, double-tracked vocals, and a unique melody. The rolling drums work against the bass and piano at points, with the guitar tastefully finding its way into the mix; the song develops into a pretty resolution. "Low Tide Island" changes the mood again, with Pratt's vocals absolutely spooky and guitar and strings buffeting his performance. A truly extraordinary song. The title track brings things back to the jazz/pop that is Andy Pratt's forte. Although he would co-produce 1979's Motives with Emerson, Lake & Palmer engineer Offord, it is interesting that this is the only album produced by the artist on his own. The manic intensity of the final track and the free spirit of the performance make this a very original recording.
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AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione