Andrea Perry: Four
In addition to releasing four solo albums, Andrea Perry has made a career for herself in music publishing and composing for video games and commercials. This varied musical experience is evident in her smart, sophisticated pop music. Four, Perry’s most recent project, is a perfect example of this. As beautiful as her melodies and lyrics are, it is her immaculate arranging skills that stand out.
Funded partially by a successful Kickstarter campaign (which I happily contributed to), Four offers up some of Perry’s most personal songs in playful chamber-pop arrangements. Recalling the pop brilliance of The Cardigans, these songs effortlessly traverse styles, keys, and time signatures, but always feel easy and simple. With so many of the 14 songs under the three-minute mark, the album pushes forward quickly with strong momentum, ultimately feeling like one extended piece of music to be taken in as a whole. The light arrangements of strings, jangly guitars, and layers of vocals keep the songs afloat throughout and don’t let the intricate chord progressions weigh down the listener.
Lyrically, the album seems to focus on relationships either beginning or ending, and the surprising similarities these two situations offer. Though the songs never feel pained or melodramatic, Perry emphasizes the anxieties associated with finding new love and commitment or with losing love and moving on. These are sites of personal transition, and, as articulated on “While Spinning,” both experiences can make it hard to “hold on” and keep yourself grounded.
Perry closes her album with “Alright With Me”, a beautiful song about accepting these transitional times in your life and finding peace with yourself. This colors the rest of the album, adding an optimism that clarifies the disparity between the anxious lyrics and seemingly happy music.