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MUSIC REVIEW (Lo-Fi)
Vincent, Andrew
After-School Special

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Label: Kelp Released: 10/1/2000


Andrew Vincent is now fairly well-known for his wry wit, longing, sometimes overly nostalgic lyrics and unaffected vocal performance. At least around these parts. On "After School Special", the title typical of his taste for seventies nostalgia, he applies his trademark delivery and lo-fi production to a collection of originals and covers often dealing with TV-related subjects ("Degrassi Jr. High Theme", "90210", "Dukes", "LPs + TVs") but not quite so often as to make this a concept album. Not that he's trying to make Kiss' "The Elder" here anyway...

A mix of somewhat unfamiliar material ("Help Me Fall Apart") mixes with new versions ("Submaker Man") and a few previously unrecorded live favourites (the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere", "90210") through 13-tracks of home-recorded, home-burned music. The addition of keyboards, drum-machine and some turntable noodling adds some variety but mostly it's a nice, fairly mellow folk album with the occasional shining guitar plucking and strumming ("His Name Is Jake", "Dukes") and spine-tingling vocal ("Step by Step")... not necessarily ground-breaking but a great album to chill to. Unfortunately the (assumed to be intentional) distortion of the vocals on 90210 obscures what could have been the charming college-radio-friendly "Take The Skinheads Bowling"-type hit of the collection. Maybe he'll re-record that one next time... like Neil Young, Vincent isn't afraid to re-record and interpret his own work, and that's not a bad thing. Altogether a nice interim release between his mostly-solo acoustic debut and his recorded but as-yet-unreleased full-band album.

Steve Donnelly Email WWW

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