Andrew Montgomery – Ruled By Dreams

Andrew-montgomery-Ruled-By-Dreams-album-coverAndrew Montgomery starts his first solo album with a song which is a slow march that in itself showcases the talent and grandiose elements of his astounding vocal perfectly. By the end of the song, the piano-driven refrain has built to a full-blown band with harmony vocals and brass accompaniment.

’Sorry Someday’ is up next, and as the lead single, is a more upbeat affair which by the second chorus will have you hooked. Similarly ’La Graciosa’ is unbelievably upbeat and catchy. You just can’t help but stamp your foot along to it.

In the 90s Andrew was the lead singer of Geneva. They arrived at the end of Britpop and although (to my ears) didn’t sound Britpop probably suffered from being pigeonholed. By 2000 they had demised, and with it we lost Andrew’s amazing three-octave vocal. What I loved on the few occasions I saw them live was the ability for his voice to soar angelically and then dive to a deep and furious growl.

It’s that second growl which is missing here, and it’s a real shame. Sure it may be that it doesn’t match the musical style of the album but a notable omission nonetheless. I feel this complaint is a bit of a cheap shot considering the talent which is on show. However, as a fan from his Geneva days I would love to have heard some of that grit too.

Nearing the end of the album one of the songs we hear is ‘Memento’. This is a track which doesn’t fit with the style of the rest of the album. It feels more modern, has distorted electronic elements, and if anything is reminiscent of Weather Underground, Geneva’s second album.

On the whole this is an accomplished album with some really strong songs, an amazingly talented vocalist, and superb production values. It is very moody and atmospheric in places and played at the right time of the day fits right in. From a totally selfish point of view I’d have loved a few more upbeat and angry songs, but maybe what I want is Geneva. That’s unfair, I know I shouldn’t compare, but I can’t help it. Regardless it’s fantastic to have Andrew back singing for us again.

The album is out this week, and Andrew starts a short tour this month at the following shows:

Monday 6th October: London – Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
Saturday 18th October: Glasgow – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Thursday 23rd October: Bristol – The Exchange
Friday 24th October: Southampton – Lennon’s
Sunday 26th October: Exeter – The Voodoo Lounge at The Phoenix Arts Centre

Gareth Fraser

Editor of Musicscramble. Obsessed with music from a young age leading to over 1100 gigs under his belt with little sign of slowing down. A serious record collecting habit and a love of concert photography.

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