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Shield

     
         
         
         
     
             
Andy Jones is a rock singer/songwriter, born in the UK and studied in Birmingham before moving to the German Ruhr area in 2005. He relocated his home and his musical base to Osnabruck, Germany in 2013. Andy has performed, and released material with the bands Ferryman, Temple Of Twilight, The Acoustic Outlaws and The Electric Outlaws, In 2016, Andy released his first solo album, 'Unspoken', with the follow up 'Shield', a 2018 release.    
             
The musical styles of rock and metal music have so many different genres, catering for a wide audience and an even wider array of moods and feelings. For angry there is thrash metal, for attitude there is sleaze metal, for happy and jolly there's AOR, and of course the feel good, adrenaline pumping power metal genre. And then there is the mellow, soft rock genre, for when you're taking a long romantic walk along a beach at night hand in hand with your loved one, or just simply sitting, sipping drinks and talking endlessly about spending the rest of your lives together...and this is exactly where rock singer Andy Jones fits in. His second album 'Shield' is the soundtrack to the aforementioned romanticism, featuring songs about love, life and fatherhood.    
             
Classic sounding soft rock heralds the beginning of 'Shield' (the album) as the catchy grooves of 'Anticipation' gently grabs hold of you, hooking you in for a "lazy like Sunday morning" hour of easy listening. The rockier 'Camouflage' is more up tempo, invoking foot tapping and gentle head nodding while 'Don't Come To Me' bristles with angriness about false friendships, Andy spitting his vocals venomously with lines such as "don't need your shit when I got my own" and "don't tell me 'bout your situation, sure as hell it won't help mine". 'Automatic' slows the tempo, bringing forth an image of a darkened bar, a sole spotlight focused on the stage where Andy sits on a stool with a guitar, the other musicians almost hidden in the shadows... The lyrical theme of the album swings from love and life to politics and everything in between. The refugee crisis is the topic for the guitar led amble 'Karim', with some very poignant lyrics. Andy has a great voice, very clear and powerful, perfectly suited to this style of music, with 'I See You' showcasing his vocal talent to the full.    
             
'Better Than This' strolls across boundaries into blues territory, taking in Southern rock as it gently glides on. Dealing with animal and human rights, 'Better Than This' is bold, with an emphatic and catchy sing a long style chorus. 'Your Wish' is hard edged and more punchy than anything else heard on the album so far and is a melodic hard rock gem. By far and away the standout song on offer is the love ballad 'Love Of My Youth'. A vocal performance full of emotion, and delivered with a huge amount of passion, 'Love Of My Youth' is a fabulous song. The title song 'Shield' is all about fatherhood, and the amazing wonders that it brings...and for all of us parents out there listening, every single line of 'Shield' will resonate deeply with every single feeling you have ever had for your children. Upping the tempo and injecting a large dose of melodic hard rock, 'The Man I Was Before' thumps and thunders along. For those old enough to remember the great Western films of the sixties and seventies, 'Will We Ever Learn' has the identical sound of the songs associated with that cinematic era. 'Will We Ever Learn' majestically swings and swaggers on its way. A meandering journey enters the final stride with the final song 'Parting Promise', a huge departure from anything else on the album, 'Parting Promise' is an up tempo and energetic romp that will definitely "get the party started".    
             
Overall, a mellow journey of soft rock, with touches of the blues and Southern rock, 'Shield' is a "lazy like Sunday morning" easy listen.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
             
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