Andrew Cash Murder =

After putting off collaborating with his brother Peter for the time being, Andrew Cash has tentatively stepped out on his own again with this predominantly acoustic album that in many ways is the most introspective work he’s ever done. Although as the title track illustrates, he hasn’t lost any of his fire to write about social issues, the bulk of the songs are simple reflections on love and past travels around North America. Sparse instrumentation fills out the sound and certain moments, such as "Beauty,” could have fit seamlessly on Neil Young’s Harvest Moon. But the real surprise is the album’s closing track, "Twenty Miles Of Texas Left,” an epic narrative that tracks a young Canadian’s misadventures south of the border and his eventual journey home. It’s the kind of song that few (including Cash) have ever attempted to write before and fans should be interested in hearing it on that basis alone. But either way, Murder = is a welcome sign of life from one of Canada’s best singer-songwriters. (Independent)