Artist: All City Affairs
Label: Lujo Records
Review By: Jacob Gehman
Peter Andreadis, the man behind All City Affairs, must have the guts of a great white shark. Many people can perform in a band. Many people can even perform all by their lonesome if they are playing some kind of instrument. Andreadis, on the other hand, performs on stage to a recording with all of the background music on it while he sings. Which is bad if it's just a person standing a a mic, crooning. However, as a quick Google image search will tell you, Andreadis doesn’t just stand there and sing. No, instead he evokes images of vaudeville performers of years past, often sprawling on the stage in a theatrical manner. Which is interesting because you can’t tell from the music that theatrics might be a direction he might go. You can imagine it from an artist like Antony & The Johnsons, who’s overly dramatic music would fit well with that idea of a stage show.
All City Affair is fun, light-hearted music that borrows heavily from The Beatles and other oldies pop rock icons, while adding more contemporary influences like The Flaming Lips at the same time. Nothing about the song’s sound will bowl you over initially. But after several plays you’ll pick out some of the great details, either compositionally or vocally, that stand out and make the song excel.
The vocals are generally great. He has a voice that can sound sensitive without sounding emo and powerful without being overbearing. But the best parts are when he has harmonies going by layering the vocal tracks. His ear for a captivating harmony is what drives this album.
Andreadis has a sixth sense for knowing when to add new elements to a song to keep it from feeling like it’s being too repetitive. A good example of that is the song “Accidental Death Of A Highschool Football Player” which is the only track to go over 4 and a half minutes. He builds up the ending, first throwing in a great guitar part, then slowly adding things like bells, cello, and so forth. Anyone can add bells, but it takes good songwriting to know the best time to add them.
If you’re just looking for good pop rock songs, Bees is a pretty fantastic album to check out. There will be moments where you might have to double check your stereo to see what artist you’re really playing, but it’s just done so well that I find it hard to fault him for that.