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Andrew Neil – Sunny Side (Album Review)

“Sunny Side” shows off Andrew Neil’s distinctive sound while showering listeners with rays of bright, uplifting positivity.


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TOP 5

 

5. LEMONADE

The inspiring track is all about making the best out of a bad situation by remembering the old saying. With its slightly grungy toned acoustics, “Lemonade” remains ultra-sweet at heart with straightforward lyrics like “Don’t be afraid. Even in hell, be thankful for shade.”

 

 

4. SUNNY SIDE

The title track is easily one of the most optimistic of the bunch and a prime example of the album’s overall theme. Neil’s slightly rough vocals are the perfect contrast for relaying the song’s message about finding the silver lining in cloudy situations. A simple yet effective reminder to always “keep on the sunny side of life” that shines bright with upbeat acoustics and genuine passion.

 

 

3. ONE BIG FAMILY

Filled with a strong sense of universal connection, “One Big Family” talks about appreciating the blessings in life through strength, love, and compassion for others. The acoustic guitar on the track is uplifting and well complimented to the vocals. The most memorable lyrics of the song, “Tough times do not last. Tough people do.”

 

 

2. ANYMORE

Deeply personal, “Anymore” questions the meaning of life while reflecting on beliefs of faith with lyrics like “you can lie and say it’s all part of God’s plan” and “you can blame me for not being a good man.” The instrumentals primarily focus on Neil’s acoustic guitar, but some moody keys woven in reflect the song’s darker tone.

 

 

1. GAMBLIN MAN

The bluesy and super soulful “Gamblin Man” is definitely the best of Sunny Side’s offerings. The adventurous story is set in the wild west and is a completely immersive experience. The arrangements are a bit more gritty and complex than some of the other tracks, and this dive into a fictional world really shows off Neil’s powerful storytelling skills.


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. GAMBLIN MAN (5/5)

2. SUNNY SIDE (5/5)

3. ONE BIG FAMILY (5/5)

4. LEMONADE (4/5)

5. HEAVEN (4/5)

6. ANYMORE (5/5)

7. I AWOKE (4/5)

8. DOG WITHOUT A BONE (4/5)

9. KINDA TURNS ME ON (4/5)

10. THANK THE LORD (4/5)


RGM RATING

(A)

 

Virginia-based singer and songwriter Andrew Neil has gone on one hell of a journey to get to where he is today. Back in 2009, the unique artist was in a life-altering car accident that triggered both his transition into music as well as mental health issues. As Neil learned to manage his illness, he also began playing instruments and crafting songs entirely by ear. The resulting “Outsider Grunge Folk” style has resonated with listeners and received critical praise. His latest release is Sunny Side, an optimistically bright alternative folk album that’s meant to appeal to fans of “the lo-if outsider vibe.” At around forty minutes, Sunny Side is made up of 10 tracks, and each one adds a unique depth to the overall experience. The journey feels authentic and uplifting with honest lyrics that address everything from personal struggles to spirituality.

The album opens with the bluesy “Gamblin Man,” which provides a satisfyingly soulful folk song. The feel-good vibes continue with the cheerful title track “Sunny Side.” Neil even addresses issues of unity and romance with “One Big Family” and “Kinda Turns Me On.” The majority of the instrumentals for Sunny Side are acoustic guitar, and the lyrics stick with a simple formula focusing more on the meaning than trying to hype up listeners with anything flashy. Don’t let this fool you into thinking that Sunny Side is boring because it’s basic; sometimes, the simplest things are the best way of providing what you need. The album’s lighthearted sense is filled with presence, and Neil’s obvious passion is compelling. If you’re a fan of indie-folk, you’ll be delighted by Sunny Side’s vibrant energy.

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