The True Riches Of Life
Andrew Handrick
Independent
2005

Andrew Handrick has spent the last 12 years of his life struggling through the genesis of this, his first collection of original alternative rock and folk-flavoured songs. Andrew hails from Dublin, Ireland where his musical life began but he currently lives in Austin, Texas; a fantastic music city and one in which he hopes to continue to shape his career. Andrew credits such diverse bands as The Rolling Stones, REM, The Who, The Velvet Underground and The Jam as his influences. He has been a singer/songwriter for the past four years, before which he played in and wrote songs for the bands Grover and Booster in Ireland. As a founding member of these bands he recorded a session for the famous Dave Fanning show on 2FM National Radio in Dublin. In April 2005 Ireland’s favourite music magazine, Hot Press, named Andrew’s CD “Pick of the Fortnight” - a distinctive honour indeed. An accomplished musician, Andrew plays guitars, bass and keyboards on The True Riches of Life and produced it with his engineer and bazouki player, Andreas Nolan.
I imagine that Andrew Handrick, like most of us, has traveled a challenging road stumbling over self-doubt and a broken heart now and again while accumulating life experiences to write about. His efforts were not in vain because this is a lovely, reflective and subdued look into Andrew’s world that is reminiscent of an Elliott Smith record but far less tortured. It’s perfect fare for a rainy day when you’re curled up on the couch with your favourite book. His music is heartfelt but unobtrusive. I can’t think of a single artist I could compare his voice to as it’s quite unique and one which might be an acquired taste for some as he sings in different registers on parts of The True Riches of Life as in the songs “City Morn’” and “Stolen” (its music is very striking) and the lower registers aren’t his strength because his voice just sounds flat. However, on the whole this record illustrates that Andrew holds great promise as an artist. Among the nine songs on this CD my favourite is the melodic yet plaintive “Miss California”:

“If this was the last time, would you let me know? If this was the last time, would I see you go. Don’t answer…It’s a yes and it feels like silence.”

I also really like the more effervescent “Come Around”, the reflective love song “Learning Curve” and the aching “Ground Down” and though I love the optimistic music of “Wendy” I just don’t see how lyrically and thematically it fits in with the rest of the album.

The True Riches of Life is somewhat flawed but it is those flaws that make it interesting and I’ll look forward to hearing new songs from Andrew Handrick in the future.

Andrew’s CD can be purchased at his official website at www.andrewhandrick.com and isound.com/music/andrew_handrick. You can also drop by www.myspace.com/andrewhandrick and tell him what you think of it yourself.

Christine Bode
c.bode@partyinkingston.com