ERIC ANDERS – More Regrets (Baggage Room Records)

Eric Anders is an American singer-songwriter, who got into music relatively late in life. He released his first CD in 2003 and, following a three track EP, he has now released his second full length album. Unusually for a singer-songwriter Anders does not play any instrument, and he co-writes all of his songs, so this album could be judged on his vocals and lyrics, and yet it is the music which first impresses. Subtly played by his band, but able to take the lead when needed, the musicians are in tune with the songs, and Anders has come up with some fine melodies. ‘Song 79’ and ‘Icarus’ are both gentle ballads, but with a rock touch most apparent in the guitar breaking through in the middle of the latter. ‘Settlin’ Comes’ is more acoustic, and sounds like an American Belle & Sebastian in its gentle melancholy. Anders’ smooth tenor vocals are used to full effect on ‘Together Alone’, giving it a yearning feeling which echoes the lyric. ‘Practiced Isolation’ is one of the highlights of the album, with Anders’ vocal melding with the band’s minimal backing to produce a most moving song. From glancing at the song titles you might be forgiven for thinking that this is the classic ‘singer’s break-up album’, with ‘Together Alone’, ‘More Regrets’, ‘You Lied’, and ‘Remembering On My Own’ among others being typical ‘she left me, my life is over’ type songs, but tucked in amongst those are some more positive songs about the importance of home to the individual. No matter what the subject matter, the thing that all of these songs have in common is that they are great songs – musically, vocally, and lyrically everything just seems to go together just right. Another album is imminent, but for now this one will be a regular visitor to my decks.