Robert Anderson aka RW/A is an artist from Oakland, California who recently released That's True. It seems like the album was a complete DIY production done from the comfort of his own home. There’s definitely the familiar home recording quality I’ve heard countless times before and overall I thought the production was solid.
The songs are pretty straightforward and revolve around guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Up first is “Along with Me” which consists of minor and major chords, 4/4 time and some catchy vocal melodies. As the song progresses other elements like a second guitar show up and there are some nice pushes in terms of dynamics.
“Of the Surf” has a slight ’50s vibe. The guitar work is similar to The Animals and other acts from around that time. It’s lush, easy to appreciate and has a relaxing vibe. “Don’t Follow” is more moody and pensive. I really enjoyed the vocal harmonies which are done on the verse.
“Head in the Sand” is a solid rock song. The song is about 4 dbs quieter than the previous song which is an issue with the mastering. One of the highlights was “Get Away (feat Lena).” The male and female vocal performances sound good together and I liked the melodic guitar parts as well.
“Beauty All Around Me” is another solid song which is laid back. The vocals are delivered in a very comfortable vocal range. I again was attached to the guitar, especially the lead. He tries to get a little more rock-oriented with “Do You Blame?” but the mix was having a hard time keeping up with the sound he was trying to achieve. “More of a Friend (feat. Lena)” has a bit of a Velvet Underground vibe but perhaps a little less psychedelic sounding. “Preacher” is another more rocking song.
My critiques are fairly minor and related to engineering. These songs would have benefited from being passed to a professional mastering engineer. I thought the artist did a solid job but a mastering engineer could have helped with the overall RMS level and made the sonic imprint of the songs a little more cohesive. The drums were a little too perfect, clean but not really dynamic compared to the rest of the sounds to my ears. I’d love to hear these songs played with a full band live.
Overall I thought this was a solid album with some good songwriting. Anderson certainly has some talent in multiple areas and I enjoyed the songs. Take a listen.
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