Andrew Sandoval is a well-documented sunshine pop addict, and there's no arguing he's learned a lot from all those pretty-on-the-surface, sad-on-the-inside songs he's been doting on throughout his career in music. Sandoval has learned to write songs that mimic the style of his heroes with impressive accuracy, and his fifth album, From Me to You, is a modest marvel of 21st century pop. Recorded mostly utilizing acoustic instruments and without trap drums, From Me to You's 11 songs are full of beautifully layered harmonies, chiming guitars, subtle keyboard lines, and drop-dead-beautiful melodies that would do Michael Brown or Emitt Rhodes proud. The liner notes state that this material was all recorded live in the studio, which would make the seamless perfection of these performances all the more remarkable. However, while Sandoval's music is impressive indeed, as a lyricist he leaves a bit to be desired, and if From Me to You has a flaw, it's that listeners have heard most of these tales of love gone problematic told with greater eloquence from other writers, and while none of them are thuddingly awful, they're also not nearly as memorable as his melodies (which are also derivative, but with enough skill and craft to make them compelling despite their familiarity). Sandoval is able to blend form and content with equal skill on the gently melancholy "No One Else," and the playful venom of "I Hate Your Guts" is a welcome diversion, but too much of From Me to You suggests he ought to collaborate with a wordsmith who can bring the same strength of craft that Sandoval brings to his music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming