Singer/songwriter Andrew Petersen (Brisbane, Australia) has released his first solo album entitled, “The Universe, And Its Sense Of Humour”. Petersen, the frontman for soul-rockers Shutterspeed, has been working on this project for 2 years, which he describes as: “It’s got definite country flavours but it’s not a country record, it’s got pop sensibilities but it’s not a pop record. It’s music with a melodic heart. It’s music with humour and passion”.
Petersen‘s solo record distinguishes itself from Shutterspeed with its organic and acoustic feel, yet he has not abandoned his instinct for writing solid melodic hooks. Sprinkled into the mix you’ll hear some well-placed harmonica, mandolin, pedal steel, and banjo, but it would be a misnomer to call this country or folk – it’s more pop rock with an alt-country flavor. The production is remarkably good – bright, crisp guitars whether strummed or picked.
Petersen‘s voice sounds somewhere between Bob Seger and Ed Roland (Collective Soul), just perfect for this type of roots rock. Highlights include the upbeat harmonica-enhanced “A River Near Here”, the swaying “It Gets That Way”, and “I’ll Come Running”, a veritable tribute to classic Bob Seger. There is also a great cover of “Soul Deep”, an all too often forgotten gem by Wayne Carson Thompson made famous by The Box Tops in 1969. Finally, “Hide” is a stripped down and beautifully performed acoustic ballad that quietly closes the record.
If this were basketball, “The Universe, And Its Sense Of Humour” is nothing but net. A fantastic debut that hits all the right buttons. Recommended for fans of Ryan Adams, Will Hoge, and Counting Crows.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11