Andy Collins

Closure

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Taking time out from his day job with the Storys, singer and guitarist Andy Collins has fashioned one of those quiet, contemplative albums that float so pleasantly that even if you're in the other room at the time, its mood is contagious. The opening "Believe" sets the stage with an almost mantra-like rhythm that builds slowly before it reaches its hook. Further into the set "The Flow," "Two Horse Race," and the stupendous closer "Only One Night" all pinpoint Collins' strengths as a songwriter, while "All the Things You Dream Of" has the kind of melancholy moodiness that, vocals apart, put one in mind of Meddle-era Pink Floyd.

Speaking of vocals, meanwhile, "Find Your Own Way Back" nails a vocal that is ever-so-slightly reminiscent of a less whiny Tom Petty, and that isn't a bad thing. Add a super sensitive Tim Hammil production, and a band that knows exactly where each song ought to be taken, and Closure is, in fact, a remarkable opening. Where this album stands in the story of the Storys themselves, of course, is for posterity to determine; that band's tale, after all, feels far from over. But any of the songs and performances here would dignify the mothership's activities, and that's a rare feat among sideline solo artists.

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