Monday, 10 September 2012
REVIEW: JUST BY CHANCE-UPBOUND
Onwards & Upbound.
If you happen upon Andrew Jones and Liz Owen, 'Just By Chance' then you will be lucky enough to see two strong, singer/songwriters who make just one amazing acoustic duo. This hard at studio work, ready to radio play, internationally known pair of folk singers have the pop sensibilities to chart a new ground of success and it all starts with the eagerly awaited release of their first full length, debut album 'Upbound'. A ten track record that looks to design this bands bright future and take them higher.
The great group have spent the last two years gigging and recording and have reaped the benefits of the seeds they have planted and sowed. Whether it be from the reception of their cult favorite 'Lavender Infection' to their introduction on Tom Robinson's 6Music show. Or their warm 'Walking In A Winter Wonderland' cover on their indie label 'Searching For Dandelions' Christmas album to their supporting acquisition of an opening slot for Joan Armatrading at the Liverpool Philharmonic this fall.
Now after last years 'Four Steps Forward' EP (featuring the beautiful and bold 'Believe Me' and 'Learn To Crawl' and two more tracks found on this release) Owen and Jones take ten more tracks forward on 'Upbound'. An album as together and incredible as the two album-titled songs. 'Upbound' rises perfectly along with the second, guitar only part that is instrumental to the pairs versatile success.
Following the amazing artwork off their E.P., JBC cover the canvas of their new release beautifully. The only thing that is more artistic is their sound as they package themselves perfectly. This promising promotion is nothing however compared to the genuine spirit of this real pair who afford more than those other acts who just look to sell out. Hopefully this album will sell well on iTunes and Amazon, either way this release exists as great music forever and regardless and a turning point for the pair.
With extended play favorites like 'Walking Tall' and 'Let Them Be' Andy and Liz's reputation and record play looks to grow. Still, it's when you put the headphones and delve deep into this decadent and delightful disc that you hear just how good this band can get. 'Pick You Up' is the deepest devotion. The pair harmonize a beautiful hook, singing "I'll pick you up/what have we got to lose/waiting at you door/I'll give you time to tie your shoes" on a track whose lyrics are both the type most singer/songwriters would love to pen themselves and most couples would love to hear from each other. Tattoos' ink more signature styling of this acoustic act, leaving us with a lasting impression of perfect production and wonderful writing.
It only gets better as it gets deeper. What more can be said about the emotional resonance of Liz's lament 'Since You Left'? Which right here will go down as a 'By Chance' classic. This track is tears falling beautiful and as Liz bares her heart and soul over this song, Andy provides beautiful background vocals that are both subtle and sublime. 'Ghosts' is haunting and powerful, while 'Savior' comes at the right time with the sort of heroic acoustic guitar plucking that Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds live at Radio City Hall would be proud of.
The honest but upbeat 'Shame On Me' rounds everything off perfectly on a groundbreaking and breakthrough first release. It's only going to get better and more deserved for Andrew Jones and Liz Owen. This perfect pair have put out a 10 track, 10 out of 10 record. Can you imagine what they've got next? Whatever it is and whatever will be, this is no illusion. Together this group are just that good and it's not by chance. It's meant to be. TIM DAVID HARVEY.