Canada - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 12 - 10/16/97
Fear Of Zen
I got this album over a year ago for free in the mail, I never really gave it a chance. The other day I
was sifting through my old cd's and there it was, pleading to be listened to.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this album a little more interesting than I had long ago assumed.
There is more to Andrew than just another spoken-word wino, he can actually make music too.
Andrew appears to be from the Toronto area, but no real information is in the CD as to who this
man is or where he came from. The album was recorded in Toronto in 1995 at various, well-known
Try not to be immediately turned-off of this album if you are not a fan of Jim Morrison style spoken
word poetry, because there are, in fact some hidden gems in here. Musically Andrew is extremely
eclectic, he explores a plethora of different styles on this album. While many tracks succumb to the
overly verbose, but nonetheless vibrant and visually interesting spoken-word poems.
Andrew explores blues (One Night), Spanish-sounding guitar (Accomplish The Impossible),
country-ish acoustic twanging (Thousand Years). Although I am not a fan of this style of spoken word
(tone and vocabulary tend to override any kind of solid content). Andrew has a unique ability to
apply it to many different styles of music, and he can also turn his spoken-word into some quite
interesting singing. Lyrically most of the actual songs on this record are also quite varied. With John
Rainbow's History Lesson we learn about French missionaries, and in Accomplish The Impossible we
seem to have the bizarre rambling love song. My favorite track is probably The Lampshade, which
combines electric guitar (un peu indie rawk) with some really nice vocal harmonies and better
musical arrangement than some of the other songs, which on occasion lack continuity and direction.
Although Andrew is a talented spoken-word artist, I would rather he explore his jazz and blues
talent than his poems. He shows much promise and talent in this area. Even if I find the Doors
comparison tempting, he is far more interesting than the above and shows far more promise than that
comparison would have you believe. After all, the Doors never used bagpipes, violins, piano, horn,
didgeridoo, Kenyan guitar, string bass, accordian (yes accordian!) on the same album?!
Although this album may be a slightly unpleasant listen (go figure), it is worth listening too simply for
its wide range of sound and style. Andrew is very unique in Canada because of his wild rhythm and wildly experimental, or maybe just
!QUE VIDA!: PO Box 428, station c Toronto Ontario, Canada.
Copyright © 1997 Laura Bowman