Andy Clark – I Love Joyce Morris

Album Review | Greywood Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 5/5

Initially, “Welcome to the Party” sounds for all intents and purposes like Glenn Tilbrook after a lost weekend listening to Double Fantasy, but there’s so much more here than meets the ear. I Love Joyce Morris, named for the family apple tree that his children would play around, as indicated on the cover illustration, is awash with accessible songs and Beatles influenced melodies, certainly on “Socks and Shoes”, “Welcome to the Party” and “Hunker Down.” If the opening song clearly invites us into his world, “But for You” goes on to set out the singer songwriter’s story so far, with a driving Graceland rhythm, whilst meditating on the fact that “time flies by at such a rate”, well doesn’t it just?

There’s just too much to like on this album, which unashamedly borrows from 1970s pop (surely that’s the opening guitar tumble to The Boxer on “Monsters” isn’t it?), yet he does it so well. “Daddy Please” is possibly the only rootsy departure from the album’s consistently melodic sound, with a few banjo-totin’ Bluegrass Clichés thrown in, whilst the kids ask all the seriously unanswerable questions. The tender moments are eloquently delivered, such as the gorgeous “Sunny Boy”, with a similar message to Lennon’s love letter to Sean in Beautiful Boy and the closer “Apples”, which confirms what we had already begun to suspect, that Andy Clark’s kids are but the apples of his eye. Well produced and packed with memorable songs and instrumental breaks in just the right places, I Love Joyce Morris is a record you will want to hear over and again.

Choice Track: “Welcome to the Party” (NSV 486)