Review: Andy Meadows "Give Me The Microphone"

Andy Meadows immediately surprises and impresses listeners from the very start of his terrific new album "Give Me The Microphone." You see, the album cover featuring the young and smiling Meadows does not give the slightest hint that this country boy possesses a deep, rich, Josh Turner-esque voice that bolts out of the speakers upon first listen.
The album begins with "Forbidden Bliss" and is followed by the stellar title track "Give Me The Microphone." This cut proves that Andy Meadows has a distinctive country music sound that would be instantly recognizable on country radio.

On "Inspiration," Andy Meadows successfully performs a beautiful country music ballad and proves that he's no one trick pony. However, it is on the next track "Jenna's Song" where Andy Meadows shows he has true star quality. Meadows' lyrics are honest and deeply personal when he confesses that the thought of Jenna is driving him insane. On his website, Meadows is even more honest. He said he met his first prostitute in Dallas who later became a girlfriend of three months. Then, Meadows seems to confess an assault on a drive-thru attendant with baby oil, and that's not all. Indeed, his personal experiences could probably fill a jukebox.

The cut "How Bad It's Gotta Be" has a killer melody and engaging lyrics that could make it a major country hit. However, the song needs to be retooled with Randy Rogers-style instrumentation, tighter production and a faster speed to be a radio hit. With a producer of the caliber of Lloyd Maines, "Hot Bad It's Gotta Be" could be a Number One for Andy Meadows.

"I Don't Want To Know" provides a near-perfect vocal performance from Meadows, and the instrumentation is pitch-perfect. "Fatherly Advice" illustrates the more reflective side of Meadows, but nothing can prepare the listener for the Americana track "Dying Man's Prayer." Andy Meadows' stark and vulnerable performance is radio ready and could win over even the most skeptical music critic. "Never Be The Same," "Kindred Soul" and "Through" round out the album. "Through" is a lyrical gem that could use more of the anger and soul shown in the wonderful "Dying Man's Prayer."

Most of the songs on "Give Me The Microphone" offer flashes of genius but a few others play it too safe for an artist who obviously has a significant gift and an unusually sardonic wit. Andy Meadows can and should be a country music star, but he's never going to be a cookie-cutter country artist. That's a good thing, because the songs he is most passionate about are easily identifiable on the album. There definitely is a country and Americana music star within the soul of Andy Meadows. He proved it on "Dying Man's Prayer." The real test is whether he can be true to himself and bring that musical honesty to the recording studio and the stage.