Andrew Reed chose to release his latest album, If All The World Were Right, on the first day of the new year. On the day that so many people have imposed importance: fresh starts, leaving the hardships of the last year behind us, a stronger fight for what we believe is right. For Reed, he strove to harken in the new year with warmth, kinship, and no shortage of positivity.
If All The World Were Right feels like a give-and-take of energy, beginning with the exaltation of the joyful and ultimately jazzy “Sailed Away”, then bending into the introspective request for assistance of “Cure My Mind”, we feel his lightness and good-intentions at play. No music is created — or experienced — in a vacuum, and Andrew Reed makes sure to draw you into his world so that no one feels alone. He invites you on a journey that blends genre and moves between geographical spaces, but promises growth and light in the process.
Part of what makes Andrew Reed such a strong songwriter is his attention to the world around him, as well as the expansive nature of his own experiences. He brings his range to light by moving effortlessly from pop-ballads to gritty rock to sweet Americana. The album manages to hold it all by virtue of considerate lyrics. “They made me great, but I never won,” he declares, in character, in “The Ghost of Robert Johnson”, a bluesy song with careful organ and mid-song acoustic jams. Later he moves into orchestral territory with the rock-rooted “Hourglass”. “Life in the City” creates the edgy sense of a busy night with horns, while “Putting Things in Order” describes a more suburban life unkempt.
By the time “Open Road” brings back those jazzy light notes that the album began with, we feel like we are emerging from an experience once more into sunlight. A slower reprise of “Sailed Away” completes the circle in full, before horns, piano, and strings underscore the reading of “If All The World Were Right” — a much gentler iteration that the voluminous piece that came mid-album.
If All The World Were Right is a comprehensive emotional journey that kicks off a new beginning the right way: with feeling and tenderness and light, and for that the journey it carries you on is worth every minute.