Courtney Marie Andrews: Old Flowers (Fat Possum) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020  

Courtney Marie Andrews

Old Flowers

Fat Possum

Jul 24, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


In the pantheon of break-up albums, those that center around longer term relationships should wear the crown. The end of summertime romances should warrant only a song. Richard and Linda Thompson’s Shoot Out the Lights may be the break-up album to rule them all, but Courtney Marie Andrews’ Old Flowers deals with the aftermath of a nearly decade long relationship with loads more compassion. The album is as much of a reflection of the difficulty of separating and moving forward as it is any indication of what may have soured. 

Musically, Old Flowers is about as stripped down as they come. Andrews plays guitar and piano and accompanies herself with musicians of the highest order—Twain’s Matthew Davidson (multi-instrumental) and Big Thief’s James Krivchenia (drums). Krivchenia is accustomed to a sympathetic assist and his contribution here goes from a whisper to a scream—both masterful.  On centerpiece “Carnival Dream,” Andrews’ piano and plaintive vocals are interrupted by intermittent crashes of drums that land with the weight of counting off the years.

Andrews’ vocals may not have the hard-bitten vernacular of Iris Dement, but in their purity of tone share the same deep level of pathos. Whether leading us on folky rambles like “Burlap String” and the title track or the quieter meditations of “If I Told” or “Break The Spell,” Andrews’ vocals are a beacon. That she can also take us along for the breezy tongue-in-cheek country song of “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault,” lets the listener know with a wink that Andrews has full control of her faculties. (www.courtneymarieandrews.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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