Andrew Vincent Rotten Pear

Andrew Vincent Rotten Pear
Andrew Vincent has learned more than a few tricks over four albums and this, his fifth, is deceptively simple. Featuring sparse instrumentation and understated vocals, Vincent has stripped his gifts to the bare essentials and the result is intriguing and charming. Most songs here just feature Vincent's barely-there voice and either single guitar or accordion accompaniment, yet there's an innate and catchy melody in each one. "Canadian Dream" is a wry vignette that has a bouncy guitar as its soundtrack, while the title track is just Vincent and a frenetically paced accordion that catches the imagination with the barest of threads. Of course, "Nobody Else" and "Under Your Thumb" are more standard guitar-and-drums pop songs, but it's when Vincent strips it down that there's real magic at work. For example, "Hounds of Love" has been covered endlessly but Vincent's hollow and haunting take is off-kilter and fits in well with the rest of the album. Rotten Pear is unique and idiosyncratic but it's also immensely enjoyable. (Kelp)