Andy Jackson: 73 Days At Sea

Pink Floyd engineer’s underwater visions.

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“I am unafraid to stand naked in the rain,” states long-time Pink Floyd engineer Andy Jackson, which must be roughly the feelings of any behind-the-scenes operator stepping into the spotlight.

Jackson now has 2014’s warmly received Signal To Noise to boost his confidence, and this follow-up shows it’s not just vanity that’s drawing him out of the shadows. The shards of Gilmourian guitar glinting across tracks such as Type 2 Error complement his skilful touch with evocative studio atmospherics. In terms of narrative themes, we build up a head of steam on the odd, Final Cut-style musings of Legends Of Mysterious Apes, complete with lapping waves and animal noises, but it’s the 17-minute Drownings that’s the high-water mark. This he-said-she-said account of a doomed relationship grabs your attention thanks to guest vocalist Anne-Marie Helder. Her appearance adds contrast, because while the rest of the album is strong on atmosphere, Jackson’s voice lacks charisma, which can dampen the songs where a good vocalist could have brought them to life. Once you tune in to his rather droll delivery, though, you find he’s created an intriguing and intoxicating watery world here.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock