Fraser Anderson has a quote from Gandhi on his fridge which reads 'every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle, and a victory.' Just like these wise words, Anderson's fourth album is filled with the trials and tribulations of life, and the moments of beauty that surround us.
Undercover Of Lightness begins with it a smooth horn section, a soulful double bass and Anderson's calming and delicate voice easing us into a late night jazz backdrop for Simple Guidance. Beautiful Eyes is haunting, ethereal and elegant. The seductive shift to the track when the siren female vocal creeps in for the chorus adds a chilling dreamlike quality to the song.
The fluidity of the album continues with the William Orbit style production for Go On Wide Part 1. The electronic dominance of the track's prelude has a total mood shift in Part 2; with birds tweeting and the sound of running water, it's more reminiscent of a relaxation tape. The track is grounded once again by a soft acoustic guitar and Anderson's tender and insightful lyrics 'if I try to live by some book instead of my heart am I lost in the dark? Life is just a moment...”
Anderson's poetic use of language intertwined with melody will no doubt garnish comparisons to Dylan, Cohen and modern song-writers such as Rufus Wainwright, all of which can be heard as influences in Please Let this Go.
It's a mournful love song sensitively arranged, it's almost funereal in tone, like a eulogy looking back at love and moving on. Wind and Rain brings out more of the romantic in Anderson's work, whist Feel offers a more dramatic sound with an electric guitar, echo, slap bass, and a more bluesy vocal phrasing.
Musical poem, With You All has Anderson spinning his words about life and fatherhood over a beat a la Baz Luhrmann's Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen and 19 by Paul Hardcastle, which is coincidently referenced in the song 'I was 19 when my first child was born.' Rising Sons brings the electric guitar back and incorporates some of the sounds and themes we've heard earlier. Love, loss, sensitivity, break ups, fatherhood, it's all there. It's an emotionally profound track which resonates with the last line, 'I'm here for you, my darling...' before cutting off, leaving a weighty emotional moment just hanging with the wonderment of silence.
Fraser Anderson has managed to create a thoughtful and impassioned album using a beautiful blend of bare acoustics and studio sounds, bringing a new level to the singer-songwriters medium. Deeply profound and poetic.