Album Review: Robbers – ‘Embracing the Phantoms’

Album Review: Robbers – ‘Embracing the Phantoms’

Robbers
Embracing the Phantoms
(Self-Release)

Andrew Accardi has never been afraid to share his true feelings, be it through his complexly beautiful artwork or his various musical endeavors. This time, he’s not only spilling his guts in song, but also taking his past by the hand and leading it into the light. The result of this is the 11 track album, Embracing the Phantoms. In it, Accardi unapologetically displays his past self, his past musical incarnations.

The album is comprised of old demos, in their original form. There’s an honesty that hangs in the air with the music, an honesty that springs from Accardi presenting these songs as they were when he first recorded them. There’s no quick polishing or editing to make them fit with the person he is today. They’re small snapshots of the kid he was when he created the songs: fumbling, slightly awkward, but uncompromisingly true to himself and his feelings. From the soaring instrumentals to the slight echo caused by the recording space (his parent’s basement), the songs have a beauty that’s tinged with Accardi’s nostalgia.

The musicianship is something to be marveled. Robbers has always excelled at weaving a song together in just the right manner, and these early works are no exception. The raw quality of the songs is forgotten from the first note of “Painfully”, a song that could pass as a Pet Sounds rough cut. The piano of “Sweet Old Country Man” is sedate and lulling, as is Accardi’s voice– he almost seems to be asking for permission to be heard over the music. “All I Want” is the closest thing Robbers has to a stereotypically catchy song, with gang vocals and an upbeat melody. “Deadly” is a funk-tinged cut with muted vocals, standing out from its fellows with its spacey sound. “‘Til We’re Old” is the closer, an ethereal acoustic jam that lets Accardi’s vocals shine through.

Andrew Accardi has always masterfully choreographed his dances with demons, his waltzes with angels, and now he’s invited his phantoms onto the dancefloor. These demos are proof that you should never be ashamed of yourself, of your past. Embrace your phantoms, maybe they’ll produce a beauty like this album.

Purchase Embracing the Phantoms here.

5-stars

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