Suburbs Of Eden

Debbie Andrews

Frankly Mills Music, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Classically-trained pianist Debbie Andrews is a bit of an enigma to me. Maybe it's because she's able to display her talents without coming off as a show-off on her latest disc Suburbs Of Eden. Maybe it's because she proves she can write poppy songs without sounding like she's aiming for any one particular genre. Maybe it's because this eight-song, 27-minute disc leaves me wanting a whole lot more from this young artist.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Working with musical partner Mike Blaxill, Andrews spins tales which are pleasant enough to listen to yet leave the listener feeling like there might be a deeper meaning in the songs than they immediately recognize. Tracks like "Resurrection" and "Dog On A Skylight" demonstrate the skill that Andrews has - as a songwriter, as a musician and as a singer. It's not easy to be good - even passable - at all three skills at once. Andrews shows she's more than good.

Interestingly enough, Andrews seems to save her best material for the end of Suburbs Of Eden. "Hitchcock Blonde" would be one of the two songs I'd pinpoint as having what they call "singles potential" (the other being "Dog On A Skylight"); this particular track is catchy enough to easily fit into any AOR aor adult-contemporary mix. The disc's closing track, "Testament," leaves the listener wanting so much more from this album, yet teases them by not offering more.

And maybe that's the one drawback I could see with Suburbs Of Eden. Being an independent artist, I can understand that Andrews is most likely working on a shoestring budget. (Fortunately for the listener, she didn't cut corners regarding the selections of backing musicians or the disc's sound, as both are superb.) But I honestly would have liked to have had more material to talk about on Suburbs Of Eden. Andrews proves she's worth the attention with the songs presented here; if only she had given me more fuel to stoke the critical fire I'd like to light for her.

Suburbs Of Eden is a disc which demonstrates the promise that Andrews has as she continues to hone her craft into a blade so sharp it will undoubtedly slice her own path through the muddled musical genres. All I know is that I want to hear more - and I hope Andrews won't keep her soon-to-be-large fanbase waiting long.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Frankly Mills Music, and is used for informational purposes only.