Review: Andy Livingston “Indigo”

Andy Livingston “Indigo”

29 Dec, 2010 Annie Reuter

For many, music is an escape from the everyday life. When one cannot find the words, a song often provides the answer. This was the case for Andy Livingston.  “Words have always failed me, but the songs come to the rescue to help say what I cannot say, what I am not supposed to say, and what I want to say but do not know how.”  The singer/composer wrote his first song in response to a challenge: “I bet you can’t write a song.”  He hasn’t been able to stop since. Livingston began to write instrumental numbers in high school and composed for his high school orchestra. After various bands came together throughout college, he took a hiatus from music until recently. It wasn’t until he attended a symposium where Anderson Cooper told the audience to “follow [their] bliss,” that he decided to give music another shot.  In 2009, Livingston released his 12-track album Indigo. With soaring musical landscapes, the piano-infused LP showcases Livingston’s talent as a composer and singer. Unique themes of marriage of spirituality and sexuality, masculinity, and the emptiness of lust and love embody the LP. Though it takes some time for the listener to decipher each song’s meaning, Livingston’s musical talent is evident throughout.

“Indigo Winter” begins Indigo with delicate strokes of the piano accompanied by Livingston’s deep voice. With powerful vocal and musical crescendos that bring to mind Josh Groban, Livingston impresses.  The piano-infused album delves into many issues masked by numerous analogies and metaphors. Still trying to find his voice, the once shy boy is slowly coming out of his comfort zone.  While the first four songs are piano heavy, string features help accentuate “Light” while a keyboard track and masked vocals on “All That I Wanted” add a new style for Livingston. Like many, Livingston questions what he wants on “All That I Wanted.”

A song about losing someone important in your life, the listener can relate. “All that I wanted (or thought I wanted) slipped through my hands and blended into a blacker version of his gray/Is there another way to recover what I said/Maybe I’ll wander, but then again maybe I’ll stay/It was all that I wanted,” he sings.

“He’s Suffered Enough” and “Good Old What’s His Name” are a welcomed change on Indigo. The more rock-centric “He’s Suffered Enough” features electric guitar accompaniment and faster vocals from Livingston. “Good Old What’s His Name” follows suit and picks up the pace. What sounds like a carnival-esque track, the upbeat percussion and quickened strokes of the piano coupled with Livingston’s eerie vocals beg the listener to hit the repeat button. Additionally, the track demonstrates Livingston’s more playful side and ability to switch gears without taking himself so seriously.  “Same Day” and “Waiting” follow suit and soften the album with piano interludes and Livingston’s slow singing style. While his talent is evident, more fast-paced tracks would have helped the release. With that said, “Heavy” provides a new sound for Livingston with heavier percussion beats and intriguing lyrics.  “I don’t know what to say/I don’t know what you want from me/I’ve heard it all before/And you play me like a symphony,” he sings. With a deeper singing style and emotion-fueled lyrics, the track stands out.

A powerful release, Indigo showcases Livingston’s prowess at composing and writing music. While the piano infused tracks embody the majority of the LP, more versatility between song and musical landscape would have strengthened the album. While Livingston says he hopes to contribute something meaningful to the musical conversation since it “helped him find the voice that had often been silenced by shame,” Indigo provides an adequate introduction to this desire.

Review by Annie Reuter
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)