To this point in time, Danish born, London based Andreas S Jensen has made a notable name for himself for being a guitarist in Dub Pistols, as a writer/producer whose co-writes with the likes of Kevin Lyttle, Armand Van Helden, and Nate James have sold close to a million copies, and in collaborations as remixer, producer, session player, and engineer with artists such as Dido, Rizzle Kicks, Vybz Kartel, Sam And The Womp, Beenie Man, Nerina Pallot and more. This month though sees the singer songwriter/musician make his own individual impact, expectantly what will be his biggest one yet, with the release of a debut solo album. Disturbed is an ear pleasing, imagination stroking collection of songs combining lyrical intimacy with an alluringly broad brushstroke of sound. It is a release which makes the most seductive company note to ear and then haunts the memory once departed; that in anyone’s book the sign of something special.
Jensen has already enticed praise carrying attention with his first EP Disconnected which was released at the beginning of 2014. Embracing inspirations ranging from David Bowie, Tom Petty, and Elliot Smith to Soundgarden and The Zombies, the encounter was the first step towards the lofty heights now awaiting the senses within Disturbed. For the album Jensen drew on the talent of a group of London session players he has met through his producer and session work including drummer Adam Falkner (Babyshambles/Dido), guitarist Garo Nahoulakian (Nadine Shah), cellist Ben Trigg (Arctic Monkeys, Unkle, Jamie Collum), and Antonia Pagulatos (Gorillaz, Blur) on violin and viola as well as Jesper Lind (Jack Savoretti), Nikolai Bjerre (Lamb), Jack Cowens (Dub Pistols/Bondax) and many others. The result of this union of craft and invention is a record as rampantly catchy as it is emotionally open; each song like a big brother knowingly understanding those moments in life, love, and longing we have all hugged or endured.
Disturbed opens with its new single released a week before the album and fair to say Only Die Once instantly has attention gripped. Jensen’s voice is the first enticement, his warm slightly sandy tones soon joined by a theatre of rhythms and keys as a guitar weaves its own suggestive bait. There is drama in piano and bass too whilst instinctive infectiousness fuels vocals and the melodic coaxing hooking the senses whether in a controlled smoulder or a fiery blaze. As a sign of things to come across the album, the track simply blossoms and grows with every passing second; a crowd of instruments and sounds uniting in a fanfare of imagination and enterprise.
The outstanding start is matched by next up Trust Is My Anchor, a single released earlier this year which had us on board with real anticipation right then for what Disturbed would subsequently bring. Like the first, the song makes a gentle start, acoustic guitar aligning with Jensen’s ever appealing voice and like its predecessor a proposal which just opens up its sound and invention with every breath. Soon it roars with a robust rock pop temptation which sublimely ebbs and flows in intensity whilst increasing its hold on ears and appetite second by second. There is something of Billy Momo to the subdued moments of the track and a hint of R.E.M. in its bolder expulsions; both deliveries as compelling as the other as another pinnacle within the album is exposed.
Take My Heart and Go needs barely a breath to seize ears as a glorious gnarly tendril of sound winds around the senses, a flirtatious bassline and the caress of acoustic magnetism swiftly stepping up alongside. Mixing country flavoured rock and eagerly strolling indie pop, the track has the body bouncing and hips swaying in no time with the imagination employed by word and another rich tapestry of textures and invention. For personal tastes it is probably fair to say that the track just misses the heights of the pair before it but the pleasure loaded grin our faces during its presence each and every time reveals all and alone why with every listen Disturbed becomes more essential.
Through the electric shimmer of Another Way Of Leaving, a proposition merging sixties psych and eighties pop in its tantalising soulful croon, and the Baroque kissed Unchanged captivation is intense and greedy. The second of the two especially bewitches with its shadowy reflection and perpetually rising crescendo of sound and endeavour, the strings which magnetically colour most tracks voraciously manipulative and rousing before And She’s There calms things a touch with its vibrant canter. It too is a tenaciously catchy enticement all the same though which imagining The Everlys and Walker Brothers born as one and breaking out today gives a sense of this superb slice of contagious pop.
Thought gets the focus over body with the balladry of next up Looking Back For Something New, though it is hard not to sway to its melancholy lined tone and melodically intimate presence, while Run with at first a similar gait brews a contagion which has body and spirit rocking as again eighties funk/pop collude with electronic and creative drama. Both of the songs have a firm hand on ears and lustful attention though each is eclipsed by the bold exploits of Dangerzone, a theatre of rock pop which surely has to be the next single. Some tracks make you greedy for more, this is one for Jensen though one among quite a few to be honest but the show stealer of Disturbed for these ears.
The album concludes with I Carry My Cross, a beguiling dark folk/ country spectacle weaving in strands of gypsy, carnival and Latin rock which with its hypnotic funereal march is reason alone to take a chance on exploring one rousing release.
To be honest as much as we loved the single Trust Is My Anchor a few months back we were maybe expecting Disturbed to just back up its striking presence rather than take things to a whole new level. Boy, were we off the mark, the album a BIG must for all rock, pop, indie fans well everyone who loves boisterously catchy and emotionally honest music.
Disturbed is released September 15th with the single Only Die Once out September 8th.
Pete RingMaster 04/09/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright