“Bob Dylan is making the chips,” once quipped the over-assured Johnny Borrell – “I’m drinking champagne.” Since then, the bubbly has been on ice for indie rock’s most deluded burk. As former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows launches his solo career, where can we place him in this rock star kitchen scenario?
Those of you expecting to hear the angular indie disco staples of Andy Burrows’ past will be sorely disappointed. Leave any preconceptions at the door. From the rich acoustic textures and warming vocal harmonies of the opening title track, Burrows makes it clear that it’s time to forget Razorlight.
Recent single ‘Because I Know That I Can’ displays Burrows’ intent on this record pretty clearly, as does the jaunty AM Radio noodling of ‘Keep On Moving On’. They bustle along with a wonderfully familiar yet timeless sense of rich songcraftsmanship that owes far more to Cat Stevens, Van Morrison and Simon & Garfunkel than it does to The Strokes and The Libertines.
Sadly, that familiarity comes with a numbing predictability in places. ‘Maybe You’ drags with a bit of a catatonic lull while ‘If I Had A Heart’ and ‘Stars’ smack of lazy Sunday afternoon boredom. But that’s all before Burrows shifts to something else entirely with the jittery soft-electro dance of closing track ‘I Want Your Love’, which breathes an air of promise into the record as a hint of things to come.
If Dylan is making the chips and Borrell is drinking champagne, then perhaps Burrows is brewing a nice pot of tea. It would all sound great on Radio 2 – but I mean that in the nicest way possible. It may be a little MOR, but overall ‘Company’ exists comfortably outside of any era, genre or trend.
It’s humble and understated yet layered and considered – everything that Johnny Borrell is not. Let’s hope Burrows becomes known for this, and this alone.