In her young career as a songwriter and musician, Courtney Marie Andrews has rarely fallen short of brilliance. Her latest album, On My Page, is no exception. Long-time fans will notice a new maturity and polish to her sound. They may also miss the comparatively loud, raw energy of some of her earlier work, but the peacefulness of this album is by no means a detriment to it. Andrews’ vocal performance, always impressive, is virtuosic on this album. The musical arrangements flow beautifully, often featuring sweet, simple strains on piano of violin against Andrews’ complex finger-picking on guitar. The quality is excellent throughout and each song is moving in its own way.
Some brief highlights:
The opening track, “Woman of Many Colors,” which feels like a kind of mission statement, setting up themes of identity and life experience that permeate the album.
“This Time,” which demands a comparison to Joni Mitchell, speaks particularly on life experience. This song has a wonderful energetic sound, making great use of percussion (cymbals!) and happy piano lines.
“Haven’t Seen It” is full of soul, strength and honesty. Andrews’ voice, in the low parts of her range on this song, is powerful.
The delicate interplay of piano and guitar on “500 Nights” is very beautiful. Add in the lyrics and this song is dangerously likely to make you cry.
“Paintings From Michael” has a lovely bright sound, but is particularly notable for its engaging story. Listen to it and make your own interpretation.
Finally, “On My Page” has some of the most beautiful guitar and vocal work on the album, which is saying a lot. Again, Andrews’ vocal stylings remind me of Joni Mitchell in the best possible way. The instrumentation is spare but powerful.
Give On My Page a second listen if the power of these songs doesn’t hit you at once. As I said, it is a peaceful album, but the messages embedded in Andrews’ songs are intense and interesting. On My Page, a beautiful album featuring excellent musicianship, is a work of art you shouldn’t miss.
Photo by Alex Scoville/DD