POCKETBOOKS - Priorities (Best Kept Secret)

Pocketbooks is a solo project for young London songwriter Andy, who writes insightful lo-fi tunes chronicling everyday life’s ups and downs. The title tracks opens proceedings with a gentle piano instrumental before the actual meat of the album kicks in. ‘Lessons That I Have Learned’ is quite a jaunty song, although the vocal sounds a bit weak, being pitched too high to really suit the music. ‘The Stars Of The Plasma Screen’ is a nice piano and vocal piece, while ‘The Ballad Of Cannock Town’ is a low key ballad, both of which work slightly better on the vocal front. ‘Vitamins And Indecision’ is an upbeat way to end the side, and from hereon in things improve dramatically. ‘Asleep ‘Till The Door Opens’ has double-tracked vocals which make the sound much more full, and for ‘A Decade Of Priorities’ an electric guitar is produced, and while the resulting solo is not exceptional is does make a nice change from the general acoustic feel of the rest of the songs. ‘Accepting Sadness Is The First Step’ closes the album with a typically plaintive ballad, ending an intriguing collection of songs. Musically they could have benefited from better arrangements, as while Andy is obviously a gifted pianist there is not much else on here apart from the odd guitar, which does tend to get a bit samey very quickly. Other than that an interesting effort.