Alibi - Andrea Wittgens EP Review
Canadian born, Seattle-based singer, songwriter and musician takes a break from her band - Sugartown - to release her debut solo EP, and what an EP it is. I stumbled upon her site via Reggie Watts' MySpace page - being drawn in by the beautiful photograph - which you can see on this review. The photograph looked like a glamorous 50s-style shot, and shows Andrea's beauty perfectly.
The track playing on Andrea's MySpace page was Aquarium - one of the tracks on this EP - I was smitten!
Starting from the beginning (always a good place to start, I find), the opener I Know Better is a great, slightly quirky song - in the Suzanne Vega mould (not vocally, but in it's quirkiness). Next follows my favourite: Aquarium. The beauty of this song is the softness of the piano, and Andrea's excellent voice - it really is aural perfection. The chord progression is lovely, and the subtle synth chords parts add an extra dimension to the song.
Alibi was just an afterthought starts off with an "oompah" style vibe (in delivery, if not in sound) comes along to out-quirk with it's time signature change in the middle-eight, but again, is lovely in it's delivery. Did You Go Too Far takes us back into conventional-style territory, with subtle percussion, piano and string section, and slow-build bridge.
Interesting rhythms continue, as the fifth track Highly Trained Killer kicks-in, which is a well executed exercise in dynamics, with it's slow crescendos being followed by more gentle parts.
Last track Love is a gentle slow-build ballad and brings the six track EP to a close. Production and arrangements are superbly executed throughout all of the songs, and there's a nice cohesiveness between all tracks that tells you they belong together on this EP (ie. It's not just a random collection of tracks). Top marks to producer Bob Power (Me'shell N'Degeocello, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu and Maktub).
The line-up for the EP includes:
- Andrea Wittgens
- Vincent Gates, Bob Power
- Joel Grow
- Kelly Paletta
- Producer/ keys/ drum programming
- Bob Power
In summary: this is a stunning first EP, and one that will be finding itself in my CD player quite frequently.
You can purchase the EP directly from Andrea's website or from iTunes (details on the website).