ANDY BELL – ” Flicker ” Best Albums Of 2022

Posted: February 17, 2022 in MUSIC

‘Flicker’ is the second album from Ride guitarist and songwriter Andy Bell. Written almost as a conversation with his teenage self, it follows the triumphant solo debut that was 2020’s ‘The View From Halfway Down’. This 18-track double album finds Andy moving towards classic song writing, notably on the reflective lead single ‘Something Like Love’, the strident harmonies of ‘World of Echo’, the joyous refracted loops of ‘Jenny Holzer B. Goode’ and the fuzz-laden late-’60s balladeering of ‘Love Is The Frequency’. Stylistically, the four sides of ‘Flicker’ take in everything from modern psychedelia to fingerpicked folk, whimsical baroque pop, and Byrdsian 12-string beauty.

Andy Bell‘s new album is a bit of sonic time travel. You notice even before listening: the album cover features a blurry but clearly much younger Bell, a portrait taken during the shoot for Ride‘s 1990 debut, “Nowhere“. And the songs are ones Bell had started but never finished from throughout his career, including a few that date back to the early ’90s. He dusted them off during lockdown, brought them into focus and recorded them at his friend and onetime Oasis/Beady Eye bandmate Gem Archer’s studio. “When I think about “Flicker“, I see it as closure,” says Andy. “The cognitive dissonance of writing brand new lyrics over songs that are 20-plus years old makes it feel like it is, almost literally, me exchanging ideas with my younger self.”

What a treat “Flicker” is. The songs have a youthful energy, with a melodic style that feels very ’90s but Bell has brought maturity to them, as well as the blissed out sound heard on 2020’s “The View from Half Way Down” to them as well. It’s the best of both worlds: an 18-track double album that breezes by, full of jangly Britpop (“World of Echo,” “Love is the Frequency”), groovy psychedelia (“Riverside,” “Jenny Holzer B. Goode,” “Sidewinder”), ethereal melodies (“It Gets Easier,” “The Looking Glass,” “The Sky Without You”), contemplative folk pop (“Gyre And Gimble,” “We All Fall Down”), and more. There’s also “Something Like Love” that sounds like a first cousin to Ride’s “Vapour Trail” that takes an entirely different, dreamy orchestral path. On it, Andy sings, “Lost in a reverie of future days,” a phrase that’s also a good description of this album.

The Ride singer-guitarist reworks unfinished songs from throughout his career on this excellent double album

released February 11th, 2022

All tracks written and performed by Andy Bell

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