It is tempting to say that there seems to be no place in the music industry of 2009 for an artist like Andrew Solomon, a singer/songwriter/pianist with a husky, earnest voice whose pop/rock compositions and performances recall Peter Gabriel here and Marc Cohn there. More than 20 years earlier, Solomon's style of music may have been all the rage as artists like Phil Collins and Steve Winwood tore up the charts, but that was before grunge and boy bands and the hegemony of hip-hop, and now it sounds like a throwback to an earlier time. The issue comes up because the music is so accessible and appealing that it seems to presuppose a mass audience rather than one of the many niches that make up popular music in the early 21st century, but maybe it represents just such a niche, nevertheless. After all, every time it seems melodic pop/rock has disappeared from the best-seller lists, someone like James Blunt or Daniel Powter appears to prove it hasn't. So, it might be more accurate to say that there are fewer slots in the mass marketplace for this kind of music, and the thing that separates a Blunt or a Powter from an Andrew Solomon is a breakthrough hit. There are many potential hits on Something More, Solomon's third self-released CD and first full-length album (albeit at a mere half-hour running time), among them the Gabriel-like "Lay Me Down," the Cohn-like "Simple," and Solomon's closest thing to a hit from earlier in his career, "Leap of Faith," repeated from his self-titled debut EP. Were one of these songs to get picked up by a TV show or used in a prominent film or played repeatedly on some taste-making radio program, Solomon easily could take the next step to a profitable music career. As it is, people who wonder why they don't make music like those quality artists of the '80s used to do should go to andrewsolomon.com and discover that someone does.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann