Album Review :
Andrew Hedlin - Downstairs

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Artist: Andrew Hedlin
Album: Downstairs
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: August 23, 2008
Reviewer: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. What’s a Song?
2. Comin’ Back
3. Subway
4. Marigold Street
5. Count on Me
6. Anchor Me
7. Winter Vacation
8. 40,000 Brothers
9. Sunlight

Hailing from Manitoba, Canada, singer-songwriter Andrew Hedlin seems to be a man of wide experiences. Acoustic songs like “Subway” and “Marigold Street” sound like the life of any of us, talking with old friends and dealing with stress, but “Comin’ Back” picks up the pace with a clean electric guitar and catchy chorus about traveling all over the world. “Anchor Me” asks God for help in overcoming doubt and temptation with acoustic guitars and subtle synth. Other tracks vary between the upbeat folk feel and the soft contemplative one, but “40,000 Brothers” has to be the most unique song, as it asks a girl for forgiveness for having played with her heart and driven her to suicide and then contemplates the best way to kill yourself. The whole song is very obviously tongue-in-cheek, and the music is the acoustic campfire type fun I would expect for a storytelling song like this. Andrew Hedlin’s music is the sort of thing I would enjoy listening to at an open-mic night, but it lacks the transcendence to really stand out and take off. With more time, maybe it will develop with maturity and complexity, but until then, this independent artist will remain on the outer edge of my radar.

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