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Album #275: Andy Bell – The View From Halfway Down

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Oxford, England
  • Label: Sonic Cathedral
  • Best Track: Love Comes in Waves

There’s sometimes talk of a shoegaze “big three” consisting of Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and Ride. These three bands are often suggested as an introduction to the genre from which to work your way out, including by this flowchart.

Personally, I’ve never mustered quite the same enthusiasm for Ride as the other two, although Nowhere (1990) and Going Black Again (1992) are both good albums. Friday saw frontman Andy Bell, also known for his work with Oasis and Hurricane #1, release his debut album.

I think I actually prefer this record to anything I’ve heard by Ride. Vocally, I certainly dig it more, with Bell’s work alongside the Gallaghers bringing a Manchester swagger to songs like the glorious opener ‘Love Comes in Waves’. A real summer anthem that makes me long for a proper summer!

In other parts, the album is more exploratory, such as the instrumental ‘Aubrey Drylands Gladwell’ and the jangly ‘Skywalker’.

I find myself feeling pleased for Andy Bell that this project is a success. He seems a humble guy who puts his heart and soul into his work, and is who genuinely stoked at the renewed popularity Ride are enjoying as shoegaze comes back into fashion.

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