Andy Pratt

Andy Pratt Is Back

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This 14-track retrospective album from Andy Pratt is a "promotional only" item issued by his new label, It's About Music, which is unleashing the artist's immense catalog via MP3 and the Internet. It's not only about music, it's about time (!), as Pratt's deep, refined, revered, and appreciated artistry was garnering critical acclaim until he migrated to Belgium. Fans of the performer who brought the house down at Boston's Paul's Mall in the '70s have reason to rejoice, and this sweeping overview of his catalog, though limited, is refreshing and deserves commercial release. The original title track off his 12-song 2003 release is even darker than the music on Fun in the First World, but when heard in this context, preceding "Avenging Annie" from his second album and "All I Want Is You" from the Arif Mardin-produced Shiver in the Night, well, it gives shivers. One can really appreciate "All I Want Is You" for the immaculate pop that it is, a song that should have brought the singer/songwriter a level of fame beyond that enjoyed by Harry Chapin, John Sebastian, Jim Croce -- indeed, stardom on the level of James Taylor is what these compositions and their creator deserve. "Grey, Chick and Malda" -- a song about his favorite hippie couple -- works better in this house rather than on Heaven & Earth, especially the way it separates the song from Shiver in the Night and the powerful "Karen's Song" from Resolution. The inclusion of interpretations -- Bowie/Queen's "Under Pressure" and a delayed-reaction Rolling Stones psychotic reaction rendition of "19th Nervous Breakdown" -- is an element that can bring a fellow who is known mostly for his song composition to a wider audience. Pratt's performances in the '70s were things to be experienced, and hearing the methodical reading of Mick Jagger next to the slick introspection of "Constant Heat, again from Resolution, will certainly bring that great work the attention it deserves. What is really necessary is a biographical DVD of the artist, but until that develops something along the lines of this intriguing look at over 30 years of music on one disc is certainly in order. Immense.

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