Review: Andy Friedman "Laserbeams And Dreams"

Andy Friedman's sparse vocals and quiet guitar hit the heart like a silver bullet on his intellectually stimulating new release "Laserbeams And Dreams."
The unassuming musical muscleman carefully ponders life's questions with "It's Time For Church," which helps the album to mosey out of the barn on  a winning note. Friedman is no post-iPad musician, and this is a compliment of the highest order. His quiet reverence for his craft is best observed on the soulful "Motel On The Lake," which provides vivid lyrical imagery.

The quiet "Nothing With My Time" provides insight into Friedman's calculations of infinity in a supersized song that causes listeners to deeply ponder life. However, the singer-songwriter picks up the pace with the melodic and fun "Old Pennsylvania" which oozes folksy charm and should be immediately released to Americana and Roots radio stations.

The most surprising song on the album is "Roll On, John Herald" which mixes elements of rock, punk and soul to create a rousing musical brew that is shocking in its intensity. Even more surprising is the gentle "Quiet Blues" that follows "Roll On," and this juxstoposition only serves to increase the impact of the the laid-back blues cut. However, the best song on the album is the crusty "Going  Home (Drifter's Blessing)" which is a melodic folk masterpiece.

"Laserbeams And Dreams" is a uniquely wonderful collection of songs that actually lives up to the album's very intriguing title. Indeed, the stark album cover is also an honest portrayal of the music provided, because the artistry of Andy Friedman is all about one man and one guitar. Sometimes simpler is better.