Kyle Andrews

Amos in Ohio

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Aside from a few additional musicians, Kyle Andrews is his own one-man band, and it's this concept that makes so many of the simple tracks on Amos in Ohio so promising. Using a drum machine, keyboards, and his sweet but somewhat ragged delivery, Andrews nails the subtle indie pop nugget "Amos in Ohio" and sounds like an Americanized Robert Smith alone with his thoughts. Meanwhile, "Moon Tea" is a tad more upbeat, with a great keyboard accenting the track quite nicely and brings to mind Pete Yorn. Even with the keyboard, it sounds more rootsy than electro or techno-oriented. This is more indicative during the slightly rowdier pop/rock of "Music from an Adjacent Car." The barren, hushed tones of "Your Tester Bunny" is an early highlight with the musician giving a great performance on lead and harmony vocals. But it falls off the rails with an odd hip-hop backbeat to conclude. Often quite catchy, Andrews is quite open to changing gears during the songs, as he does nicely on the infectious "Scent of Mint." Perhaps the lone departure is the Arcade Fire-meets-Dylanesque folk ditty "Tree Hugger," which has bits of tambourine and rudimentary lullaby-like keyboards. Another gem is the toe-tapping, feel-good "Self Help Tapes," which sounds like a cheery Velvet Underground complete with some hand claps. Only when Andrews sounds earnest does he sound at his most languid, especially with the rather communal "Lake Erie Lament," which is tired and blasé. The musician shows great promise on the stellar "Glass Jar Filled with Teeth" and also "Penguin Suit" which falls closely in line with John Ralston.

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