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Andy White Andy White
Album: The Guilty And The Innocent
Label: Andy Childs
Tracks: 10

By my very rough reckoning, "The Guilty And The Innocent" is the thirteenth studio recording released as Andy White since his debut, "Rave On Andy White", back in '86. There have also been a live album or two, the obligatory greatest hits collections and a box set of the all the studio albums, except this one. Then there are the albums this Northern Ireland born, Australian based singer songwriter has done with other musicians, most notably "Altitude" an album he did in collaboration with Tim Finn and Laim O Maonlai collectively as ALT.

That post punk background has produced an artist who is not afraid to call something out if he sees it as being wrong and with a background that includes working at Real World also isn't afraid to frame it in whatever musical style the song feels most comfortable in.

Most of the time that is a swing across the folk, blues, indie and punk scenes, but with a nod to many other genres and "The Guilty And The Innocent" is no exception to that rule. Similarly it's an album that is narrative lead. That occasionally makes it a more difficult album to listen to than an album that is more focused on melody, but that also make it more likely to reward your efforts.

"The Guilty And The Innocent" is more than an album for the disenfranchised, it's more a way of helping people find their voice. The philosophy of, give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world, is used to great effect, but instead it's more give a man a song and you can voice their cause, give a man a voice and they can voice their cause and the voices can come together as choir and the choir gets louder and easier to hear.

Andy White is a man that knows how to put a song together, they won't always be comfortable to listen to or more importantly hear, truth can be like that. Sometimes things go awry simply because we can't be bothered to try and stop it. Cliques and cartels gain power because we let them and once they're in place, like lice, they are very difficult to pick out.

I can easily recommend "The Guilty And The Innocent" it's full of great songs, the question is do you want to hear them? It may not be comfortable listening, but it's worth the craic.

Neil King