Well, what more can I say? If this is the sampler then I can’t wait to hear the full length! Leek, you’ve done it again, keep up the great work. LeeBeevers
From Icarus To Phoenix is the brand new album sampler from ex Dexys Midnight Runners keyboardist, Andy Leek. My expectations ran high after his last performance on ‘Waking Up The World’ and I have to say I wasn’t one bit disappointed.
You can’t really say this sampler “kicks off”; it’s more like this sampler floats you gently downstream whilst being fanned with a palm leaf at sunset. A smooth introduction with Andy’s light, feathery vocals eases you into the first song ‘Beloved’- almost reminiscent of Iron And Wine in ‘Flightless Bird’.
You’re then thrown into a 70’s style funk fest with a bubbly beat and almost psychedelic keys of 'Forgive Me (feat. Jackie Williams)'. Andy’s vocals truly shine here, giving it his all he dominates the track with his outgoing voice accompanied by Jackie Williams- who’s backing vocals can be described as nothing but sassy.
After that burst of energy you’re eased back into Andy’s laid back, poetic style songs with the final sampler track ‘Natalie’. This track is an odd one for me, as I can’t seem to put my finger on what makes me like it. Usually I can hear right away what I like about it but this is a mystery to me. The Indian theme to the song gives it an almost psychedelic twist with a pinch of mesmerizing backing vocals. LeeBeevers
I once called him the greatest undiscovered talent in pop. With the release of this album, hopefully that won’t be the case for much longer. Mike Davies
But, truth to tell, there’s not a weak number throughout and, if you buy the CD online, you also get a link to download 12 further new numbers. I once called him the greatest undiscovered talent in pop. With the release of this album, hopefully that won’t be the case for much longer. Mike Davies
His songs could be just for you, personally… or simply, for everybody. A master of intros. A prince regent of popular music. Andy Leek is the consummate pop singer-songwriter. Iain P W Robertson
Ask Andy Leek.
Borrowing nothing, yet sounding familiar.
Managing melancholy, yet being up-tempo.
Modern, yet mature pop.
Some songwriters and musicians possess the inner muse, yet very few of them combine the arts with such ineffable mastery.
Andy Leek does.
What he creates comes from the heart, yet appeals to the head and the body and the soul. From the luxuriant warmth of vocal harmony to the ingenious riffs of atmospheric instrumentation, you can sense Andy’s depth of feeling, his character, his empathy with the sound, the clarity of the lyrics and his audience. He combines personability with a broader respect.
His songs could be just for you, personally… or simply, for everybody.
A master of intros. A prince regent of popular music. Andy Leek is the consummate pop singer-songwriter. Iain P W Robertson
Following hot on the heels of his remixed debut album ‘Say Something deluxe’ produced by, the man behind the Beatles, Sir George Martin. On the 1st April 2013 Leek releases an epic 16 track double concept album ‘Waking up the World’. Andy Leek
PRLog (Press Release) - Jan. 29, 2013 - With 22 years of song writing, performances and vocal evolution under his belt Leek’s new release is fresher than ever. Playing virtually all the instruments himself, producing and writing every song, ploughing through his life savings and struggling with the news of a serious illness, the past three years have created the album which stabilized and perhaps ‘saved his life’.
‘Waking up the World’ is an album with variance in style and a melancholic depth flushed with vocal harmonies real strings, percussion and brass. Youthful dreams, poisoned society, and the spiritual journey are among the aspects of the album that render its unique concept. Every song has a sister song reflecting opposing themes of innocence, experience, realisation and return which flow throughout.
Andy Leek’s home grown talent is inspirational and despite various difficulties on his roller coaster ride through the music industry, he returns here raising the bar of popular music, with high quality beautifully produced refreshing songs that touch your heart. Andy Leek
Lyrically there are themes of innocence, dreams of days past, and spiritual awakenings. Deep listening that somehow manages to be relevant to listeners of any demographic. Hattie Livingstone
‘Waking Up The World’ is certainly an ambitious title - it seems to suggest that all seven billion of us are totally musically naïve. However, after listening the title track, it’s clear why Leek opted for it. What starts as quite a slumbersome track builds to quite a crescendo; with vocals, piano, organ, and electric guitar (all of which are performed by Andy himself).
Listening to the album, it’s hard to label it with a specific genre; it’s pop meets mo town meets 70s rock – there’s a definite resemblance to Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall. What we can be in no doubt about though, it the talent of Andy. Writing, arranging, producing and performing an album this good is no mean feat.
There’s a certain melancholic beauty to the album which “stabilized and perhaps saved his life”. Lyrically there are themes of innocence, dreams of days past, and spiritual awakenings. Deep listening that somehow manages to be relevant to listeners of any demographic.
Do yourself a favour and go buy Waking Up The World: you'll never be awoken in a nicer way. Jacob Jones
ANDY LEEK is one of pop's great enigmas: undeniably talented and on the face of it could have been an international star and yet hardly recognised or noticed outside his amazing and surprising no.1 in Lebanon.
Acclaimed by George Martin as " the real McCoy" and still persevering through serious illness to record, play, produce, write and fund this double album against all the odds. This man deserves not only a hit but a medal for self belief and optimism.
The music was beautifully produced over a three year period. One-time Dexy's man Leek's remarkable songwriting and vocal skills have somehow defied time intact and even improved on previous recordings, his is a truly natural talent.
From the soulful call to arms of the title track through gospel call and response and Dylan-esque imagery full of archetypes and religious referencies to the sublime vocal of 'Natalie', Leek touches parts of the psyche long undisturbed and challenges us to respond. Forget pop music: this is art poetry and spiritual awakening in one.
With a musical sensitivity and lyrical dexterity perhaps unheard since Lennon, Andy Leek puts himself on the line time after time and your heart follows him there. Do yourself a favour and go buy Waking Up The World: you'll never be awoken in a nicer way. Jacob Jones
When Sir George Martin compares your work to that of Lennon and McCartney you just know a musical treat is on it's way. The new album from ex Dexys man Andy Leek 'Waking Up The World' is a joy to behold and he chats to Brfm on Friday 29th March at 4.15. Chris Phillips
When the producing legend that is Sir George Martin describes you as 'the greatest undiscovered talent in pop' and 'the best thing to have come out of Dexy's' you just know that you are in for a gem of an album. Andy's songwriting has been rightly celebrated in the past but he has been very quiet for a number of years and all is revealed in the fascinating sleeve notes.
Waking Up The World sets the tempo for the first part of what would be a double album on good old vinyl (16 Tracks), it provides Dylanesque lyrics blaming politicians, bankers and judges for the worlds ills with a touch of McCartney melody and some fine Latin percussion. This track alone is worth the long wait between albums. Here In My Youth has echoes of Andy's Dexy's heritage with some fine soaring Brass courtesy of the Little Big Horns (Great name). She Is The Doorway To Love is a nod to George Martin's influence with an intro 'lifted' from Because and more Dylan style introspection. Natalie is a brooding, beautiful track and could be a future single.
Love Is Your Soul highlights the versatility of Andy's vocal abilities, effortlessly going through the octaves all to a wonderful stabbing string arrangement. Together had me thinking of Jellyfish or even World Party, while Maybe is a more sultry ballad. Forgive Me has Andy showing not only is he a great songwriter but can play a mean organ and harmonica. There are some lyrical sideswipes 'lost my youth, talent and wealth, blame it on someone else' and who can blame a little bitterness given the well documented musical betrayals he has endured at the hands of others. Tell Me has more of that breezy Harmonica and a decidedly upbeat frame of mood.
Don't Ask is a dark indictment of the world with its melancholic lyrics beautifully juxtaposed with the cheery salsa rhythm. Some tracks sound like Simply Red if Mick Hucknell hadn't swallowed a bucketful of saccharine, Andy has a knack of marrying upbeat music with barbed lyrical assaults. I'm Wit Chris Phillips